By Bianca Garcia
Casa 0101 premiered “An L.A. Journey,” the story of Lorenzo Alfredo, an 11-year old K’iche orphan from the mountains of Guatemala and his troublesome journey to the United States.
The play delivered director Emmanuel Deleage’s stated vision and goal for the play was to tell a story of hope, human migration and positive attitude.
It also gave a clear concept of destiny, which he found fascinating.
The play began with Alfredo singing a unique and intriguing K’iche song, that was translated to both English and Spanish on a screen on stage.
The play has a radio DJ as a narrator for most of the story, who has a big reveal by the end of the play.
The K’iche language was spoken by five-year-old Lorenzo, played by Yocani Tonatih, when he was a child and his grandmother, played by Yolanda Gonzalez.
Homeless 11-year old Lorenzo, played by Olin Tonatiuh, has strong work ethic and high hopes.
Tonatiuh’s portrayal of five-year-old Lorenzo had the audience fixated on him. He carried the entire performance well.
A stubborn, whining Olivia, played by Blanca Melchor, takes in 11-year-old Lorenzo and together they run an at-home tortilla-making business and Lorenzo gets a place to live.
Melchor delivered a great performance and brings Olivia’s character to life.
The bond between the two is there from the moment they meet to the end of the play.
The set was projected onto blank walls.
There were different visuals for each scene – from pictures of the Mayan symbol to mountains and pueblos in Mexico and Guatemala city.
More life could have been brought out of each scene if there were more sound effects and better lighting.
The message of the story was about hope, hard work and faith.
The actors all did a good job portraying the characters.
Lorenzo Alfredo appears singing and dancing to a song that he loves and finds it to be relevant to his story.
Alfredo shared how thankful and blessed he was to have met two ladies that work for Jovenes, Inc.
They have helped him tremendously since hearing his story.
Every seat in the theatre was filled and the audience was entertained and captivated by the performance.
The founder and some of the staff of Jovenes, Inc. was in attendance.