Fresh from two successful runs at the Edinburgh Festival, writer-actor Peter Searles is performing his one-man show Hey Gringo at the Culy Trucking Company in the Gaslamp Quarter through July 31. British comedian Stephen Frost is the director.
Searles gives a blow-by-blow account of his adventures traveling through South America twelve years ago. Not so much a play as a fascinating pub tale staged with dramatic effect, Hey Gringo is comprised of two long monologues: "Through Peru" and "Bolivia and Beyond." The monologues run on alternate nights.
In "Through Peru" Searles describes not only crossing the snow-capped peaks of the Andes but being incarcerated in one of the most brutal prisons in the world. He also explores one of the wild tributaries of the Amazon.
In "Bolivia and Beyond" Searles sets off in search of a mysterious cave rumored to hold the last of the cosmic secrets. His journey takes him through lawless cities, seedy bars, prisons and the jungle once more.
"My stories are true-life travel stories," Searles said. "It all started when I met Frost in a London pub and told him the Amazon tale and he convinced me to stage it. I gave my first performance in front of six friends 'Upstairs at the East Dulwich Tavern' and then off we went to the Edinburgh Festival."The Culy Theatre is located at 344 7th Ave. For tickets and information call (619) 338-0526.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent