December 14 & 15 at 7pm, 16 at 2pm & 7pm & 17 at 2pm & 7pm
Director & Choreographer: Carlos Mendoza
Produced by: Hispanic Arts Theatre
Fun for the Whole Family – Piñata for Children During Intermission
Las Posadas is a novenario (nine days of religious observance) celebrated chiefly in Mexico and by Mexican-Americans in the United States, beginning December 16 and ending December 24.
La Posada is a parade led by Mary and Joseph while La Posada Magica, on the other hand, is a musical play that follows this tradition and adds a fun, musical spin to the story.
Plays for kids can be painful for their parents and family members. However, this production is a guaranteed family destination that truly is fun for everyone. Performed in English with a Latin beat, this enchanting musical play for all ages is about a young girl who joins her neighborhood posada on Christmas Eve. Along the way, Gracie and her companions encounter colorful characters, including chocolate-gobbling sisters, graveyard spooks and a heartthrob rock singer. Finally, the journey through her community commemorates Joseph and Mary’s search for lodging and becomes for Gracie a time of discovery, renewal and reunion.
La Posada Magica was a holiday staple in Costa Mesa, California for 15 continuous years. Hispanic Arts Theatre itself has performed the production for San Diego audiences for three years. Once again La Posada Magica returns in 2017 for the holiday season and we’re overjoyed to bring plays for kids and the whole family back this year.
$36.00 General Admission | $18.00 (18 and Under)
CARLOS MENDOZA (Director-Choreographer) is a graduate of the United States International University in San Diego, he earned his BFA with an emphasis in Musical Theatre. Since that time, he has worked extensively as a director, choreographer and producer, and most recently choreographed In the Heights at the Moonlight Stage Productions in Vista, CA. He has won the San Diego Critics Circle Awards for his productions of West Side Story and Ragtime; the 2014 BRAVO (San Diego) award for body of work; the 2015 National Youth Arts Award for his production of In the Heights at San Diego Junior Theatre; and an Inland Theatre League Award for choreography for his production of In the Heights at Performance Riverside. In addition, Carlos choreographed two full seasons of Dos Y Dos for the Latin American Multimedia Corporation, a groundbreaking educational TV/DVD Series. When not working in theatre, Carlos can be seen sailing the seven seas as Cruise Director for Holland America Line. For more information visit www.carlosmendozaonline.com
JOSHUA CARR (Musical Director) has been involved in all aspects of musical theatre for 40 years with expertise in producing, directing, musically directing, conducting, acting and teaching. Theatres include the Welk Theatre (9 years), LimonCarr Productions (21 years with partner Ray Limon) Jupiter Theatre in Florida, Portland Musical Theatre, LA Music Center on Tour, Starlight Musical Theatre, Moonlight Amphitheatre, San Bernardino CLO, Music Theatre Southern California, Music Theatre West, Yorba Linda Civic Light Opera, Downey Civic Light Opera, The Poway Center for the Performing Arts, Tustin’s Broadway In The Park (13 years), Houston’s Theatre Under the Stars and many other theatre across the United States. He has performed in over 150 productions making a career of playing Tony in West Side Story, Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance, Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Will Parker in Oklahoma, the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz and many other productions across the country. As a producer he has mounted over 300 performances and events including Broadway musicals, variety shows, tribute bands and celebrity appearances with Mitzi Gaynor, Debbie Reynolds, Shirley Jones, Rich Little, Cloris Leachman, Vicki Lawrence, Jo Anne Worley, Rex Smith, Debby Boone, Cathy Rigby, Michael Lerned, The Lennon Sisters, Tom Netherton, Guy Hovis, Ralna English, Sissy King and Arthur Duncan and the Welk Sweetheart – Mary Lou Metzger. He is currently the Owner and Producer of From Start to Finish – Carr Consulting and is currently the Theatre Contributor for KUSI-TV’s weekly theatre segment in San Diego
MARIA OROZCO-SMITH (Stage Manager) is very excited to be working with HAT after the very successful Latin Nights. Previous SM/ASM credits include: Supers, A Christmas Carol, Behanding in Spokane (Cygnet Theatre); Enron, Skinless, The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek, The Toughest Girl Alive (MOXIE Theatre); Harmony, Kansas (Diversionary Theatre); Raw 4 (Malashock Dance), Grey Gardens (ion Theatre); Kid Arthur (The Space Theatre, London); New Voices (San Diego Dance Theatre); Les Miserables (Verge Theatre); Little Women The Musical, Eurydice, The Labyrinth of Desire, The Clean House (San Diego State University). She holds a bachelor of arts degree from San Diego State University in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in stage management. Much love and many thanks to Gene and Elliot, Beatriz and Jaime.
VANESSA OROZCO (Gracie) is excited to be joining the cast of La Posada Magica! She is a sophomore biology major with a double minor in Spanish and Musical Theatre at Santa Clara University. In her free time, she loves volunteering at the animal shelter and performing with her SCU a cappella group. Some of her favorite roles include: Millie, Thoroughly Modern Millie; Nina, In the Heights; and Natalie in All Shook Up. She would like to thank her family for always being so supportive through the craziness of college and theatre
MICHAEL S. GARCIA (Refugio) is an American Film and stage actor based out of Los Angeles, CA. He’s a recent graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic arts and alumni of the San Diego School of Creative and Performing arts. He has recently been seen as the Singer in Picasso at The Lapine Agile, and will be appearing in a film by the title of Armed in theaters February 2nd, 2018. A San Diego native, he is extremely pleased to return home and share this very special piece with you all.
ELIZABETH JIMENEZ (Caridad/Widow Sandoval/Rocking Sister) is currently a graduate student at the University of San Diego where she will receive her Master’s in Education next summer. Recent/favorite credits include: Heathers: The Musical (Onstage Playhouse), The Living Altar Plays Festival, Plays By Young Writers (Old Globe); Beachtown and Native Gardens stage readings (San Diego Rep); Seven Spots On The Sun (InnerMission Productions); Lamb’s Valentine’s Day Cabaret (Lamb’s Players); and In The Heights (SWC). She holds her BA in Theatre Performance from SDSU. Mucho amor a mi familia! www.elizabethjimenez.com
ALEX GUZMAN (Horacio) couldn’t be more excited to be a part of La Posada Magica. He was recently seen in Homos, Or Everyone In America at Diversionary Theatre. Favorite acting credits include: Awake and Sing, New Village Arts; The Normal Heart, Lydia at iON Theatre; Seminar, The Taming of the Shrew at InnerMission Productions; The Lion in Winter at Moonlight Stage Productions; ENRON at Moxie Theatre; Angels in America: Part 1 & 2 at Palomar College. He would like to thank Carlos for his passionate direction of a remarkable story, Maria Orozco-Smith, the talented Posadero’s for being so great to work with, and his beautiful wife for her support. Feliz Navidad.
DEBBIE NICASTRO (Consuelo Widow Sandoval/Rocking Sister) is thrilled to be back for the 3rd time in La Posada Magica with her cast of posaderos under the direction of the incomparable Carlos Mendoza. She has appeared in North County and San Diego for over 20 years in such shows as Hello Dolly, Music Man, Evita, How to Succeed and Annie at Moonlight Theatre; and SweeneyTodd at Starlight, just to name a few. She is a currently the music director for Moonlight Youth Theatres Holiday Show Choir. Debbie is a sought-after voice teacher in North County specializing in musical theatre. She would like to thank Maria, Josh, and the band for all their beautiful work. Special love always to Alicia Mendoza and the entire Mendoza familia. Merry Christmas and Feliz Navidad.
TAMARA RODRIGUEZ MEHL (Mami/Mariluz) Originally from Monterrey, Mexico Tamara’s credits include: The Pitch (world premiere LATC); Up Here (world premiere La Jolla Playhouse). Regional credits: West Side Story as Maria (Pechanga Casino Resort), Camelot (TheBarnStageCompany), Mary Poppins Regional Tour (Theatre Royale); Meet Me In Saint Louis (Welk); Les Miserables Regional Tour (Theatre Royal); West Side Story (TVP); Tik Tok Man Of Oz (Winkie Con); Annie Get Your Gun (SDMT); Wizard Of Oz (Moonlight); Chicago (Berklee). TV and Flim credits: Sweet Fifteen: Mom, I Want to be an Artist, Telemundo; and Buscando a Timbiriche, La Nueva Banda, (Univision); Other credits: Nokia Theatre Live with Shakhar Binespajooh alongside the L.A Philharmonic; Lena Horne Tribute (Isabella Gardner Museum); Mexican Independence Bicentennial in San Antonio TX; San Diego Latin Film Festival 2015/2016/2017 Featured Artist; International Songwriting award 2012; San Diego Film Festival 2017 Nominee. Education: Graduated cum-laude with a dual major in Voice and Songwriting from Berklee College Of Music. www.tamaraonline.net www.tamararodriguezmehl.com
BENJAMIN A. MENDOZA (Papi/Jose Cruz) Ben is a telecommunications Business Account Manager for T-Mobile Business selling wireless solutions to businesses and a resident of San Diego. He received his B.A. in International Relations emphasis in Business and a minor in Fine Arts from the University of San Diego. He is very active competitive league soccer player/coach for a soccer club called Sudaca FC and a member of the Ballet Esmeraldas de Colombia. He went to San Diego School of the Creative and Performing Arts and cherishes every minute of wonderful memories while performing Musical Theater, Drama Productions and Shakespeare as a finalist in a National Competition. Credits include: Chino in West Side Story, Kenicke in Grease, Peter in Jesus Christ Superstar, Anselmo in Man of La Mancha, to name a few. Ben also performed in the Shakira video, Hips Don’t Lie and commercials for Carl’s Jr, and La Piel. He performs throughout San Diego playing many percussion instruments which he enjoys very much. Ben was last seen at the San Diego Rep as Papi/Jose Cruz and is happy to be back once again. He sends his love and dedicates his performances to his son Diego Andres Mendoza and daughter Maya Juliette Mendoza.
SEBASTIAN MONTENEGRO (Marcos/Bones/Lauro) Is thrilled to be a part of this Hispanic holiday production. Credits include: Graffiti Pete In the Heights, The Little Mermaid, Aida, and Fiddler on the Roof at Moonlight Stage Productions. Other credits include: Hello Dolly, The Pajama Game, and High School Musical at Starlight Musical Theatre. Special thanks to Carlos Mendoza and my Mom Daneyse for their continued love and support.
MARC CARO-WILLCOX (ELI/BUZZARD) is elated to be a part of La Posada Magica! Credits include: Supers and Shockheaded Peter (Cygnet Theatre); Avenue Q (OB Playhouse); A Chorus Line and Seussical (Coronado Playhouse); Next To Normal (Visionary Performing Arts). He has also performed as a dancer for Visionary Dance Theatre and KO Dance Co. Production. Teaching credits include: San Diego Junior Theatre (Choreography, Teaching Artist); Helix High School (Choreography); New Conservatory Theatre of SF (Choreography); and Young Actors’ Theatre (Choreography). Marc would like to thank Carlos, Josh and Maria for their hard work on this project and Oliver for everything.
ANDY MENDOZA (Andres) Born in New York, raised in California and Colombia, South America, Andy picked up the guitar and taught himself how to play at 12 years old. At 13, he joined his first rock band and in high school he performed in musicals including the part of Conrad in Bye Bye Birdie. Andy was in and out of bands until he founded the indie band “din” in the late 90’s. After 2 years he produced the indie release 11 tracks CD called Genuine Leather Soul. After a year of touring and promoting the album, playing venues like the Casbah in San Diego and the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles including The Whiskey, The Roxy and the Coconut Teaser, the band ran its course and split up. This opened a main turning point in his career. In 1997 the growing Latin Market was booming with alternative Spanish Rock fused with Latin rhythms that called to his soul. Fluent in Spanish, Andy began composing and Latinizing his style. For this he decided to go solo and travel back to Colombia in order to find his roots and a new path. By 2002, he was signed by Warner Brothers Latino as an exclusive artist with the stage name, MENDOZA and released two CD’s, Nación Pop in 2000 and Tribu in 2003 which produced 3 hit songs (Traicionera, Aroma de Jazmin & Recuperar) that charted on the Spanish Rock Billboards in South America in Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Costa Ricaand Ecuador. His music videos can be seen on Spanish MTV and YouTube (Aroma de Jazmin and Recuperar). After his contract ended in 2008, Andy decided to move back to Southern California with his wife Marcela, to be closer to the family and continue working as a composer and live musician. Andy’s music is available on Amazon & iTunes by searching “mendoza tribu.”
Director & Choreographer: Carlos Mendoza
Musical Director: Joshua Carr
Producer: Hispanic Arts Theatre
Photo credit: Ken Jacques Photography