Richard Montoya and Culture Clash Return to La Jolla Playhouse With American Night, Opening Feb. 4

News   Richard Montoya and Culture Clash Return to La Jolla Playhouse With American Night, Opening Feb. 4 American Night: The Ballad of Juan José, Richard Montoya's new work about a U.S. citizenship test and echoes from American history, opens at La Jolla Playhouse Feb. 4 following previews that began Jan. 27. Jo Bonney directs.

Rene Millan and Stephanie Beatriz
Rene Millan and Stephanie Beatriz Photo by Jenny Graham

The project was written for Culture Clash, the company that often explores issues of identity, race and community. The new work is developed by Culture Clash and Bonney (The Seven, Adoration of the Old Woman). It's a co-production with Center Theatre Group and originally commissioned and produced by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Performances play to Feb. 26 in the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre in La Jolla, CA.

The cast of American Night features Stephanie Beatriz as Lydia/Ensemble; Rodney Gardiner as Ben Pettus/Ensemble; David Kelly as Harry Bridges/Ensemble; Terri McMahon as Mrs. Finney/Ensemble; San Diego native René Millán as Juan José; Culture Clash founder/member Richard Montoya as Juan José the First/Ensemble; Kimberly Scott as Viola Pettus/Ensemble; Culture Clash founder/member Herbert Siguenza as Neil Diamante/Ensemble; Daisuke Tsuji as Johnny/Ensemble.

The creative team includes Jo Bonney (co-creator/director); Neil Patel (set designer); Esosa (costume designer); David Weiner (lighting designer); Darron L. West (sound designer); Shawn Sagady (projection designer) and Ken Roht (choreographer).

According to LJP notes, "Last seen at the Playhouse in 2006 in Culture Clash's Zorro in Hell, Richard Montoya and Culture Clash return with their latest work, American Night: The Ballad of Juan José. As Juan feverishly studies for his U.S. citizenship exam, he becomes ensnared in a tumultuous, whirlwind journey through pivotal moments of American history. Juan discovers America's best in a handful of unsung citizens who made courageous choices in this provocative, irreverent comedy about our shared past — and future." Culture Clash was founded by Richard Montoya, Ric Salinas and Herbert Siguenza in 1984 and has since become the country's most popular and prolific Chicano/Latino performance troupe. Notable productions include The Mission, Bordertown, Radio Mambo: Culture Clash Invades Miami, The Birds, Chavez Ravine, Frank Loesser's Seňor Discretion Himself, Zorro in Hell, Water & Power and Peace.

Montoya last appeared at the Playhouse in Culture Clash's Zorro in Hell and The Mission.

Tickets for American Night: The Ballad of Juan José are available by calling the Playhouse Box Office at (858) 550-1010 or online at LaJollaPlayhouse.org.

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