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American Mariachi

March 23 - April 29

Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage
Old Globe Theatre
Conrad Prebys Theatre Center

Photo Credits

(from left) Amanda Robles, Heather Velazquez, Jennifer Paredes, Natalie Camunas, and Crissy Guerrero. Photo by Jim Cox.

American Mariachi


American Mariachi

A World Premiere
By José Cruz González
Directed by James Vásquez
In association with Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company

Spending her days caring for her ailing mother, Lucha yearns to break her monotonous routine. Here’s a wild idea: an all-girl mariachi band! But it’s the 1970s, and girls can’t be mariachis...or can they? As Lucha and her spunky cousin hunt for bandmates, dodge disapproving relatives, and bring Mom along for the ride, they wonder: will the band come together? American Mariachi is a heartwarming and hilarious world premiere comedy about family, progress, and the freedom to dream big that will send your heart soaring and put a bounce in your step with a wave of vibrant, infectious live music.

Al pasar los días cuidando de su madre enferma, Lucha anhela salir de la rutina. Se le ocurre una idea descabellada: ¡Un mariachi de puras chicas! Pero es la década de 1970, y las mujeres no pueden ser mariachis... ¿o sí? Al tiempo que Lucha y su prima buscan a las compañeras de banda, esquivan a familiares que desaprueban la hazaña y llevan a mamá hacia la aventura se preguntan: ¿Lograremos formar un mariachi? American Mariachi es el estreno mundial de una conmovedora comedia sobre la familia, el progreso y la libertad de soñar en grande; un montaje que hará tu corazón latir al máximo y pondrá ritmo en tu andar con una ola de música contagiosa y alegre, tocada en vivo.

Video: Barry Edelstein talks about American Mariachi

Running time: 1 hour, 40 minutes. There is no intermission.

Production Sponsors
Paula and Brian Powers
Vicki and Carl Zeiger


Groups of 10 or more may purchase discounted tickets, and tickets may also be purchased as part of a money-saving season package.

Learn more about group discounts
Learn more about season package

Program       Guía en Español


Cast and Creative



José Cruz González (Playwright) has previously written the plays Sunsets & Margaritas (Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company), September Shoes (Geva Theatre Center), Curious (Teatro del Pueblo), The San Patricios (Pacific Conservatory Theatre), Among the Darkest Shadows (Wharton Center for Performing Arts), The Highest Heaven (Childsplay), The Long Road Today (South Coast Repertory), and The Astronaut Farmworker (La Jolla Playhouse; 2016 PEN Center USA Literary Award Finalist). Mr. González also wrote for “Paz,” the Emmy Award-nominated television series produced by Discovery Kids for The Learning Channel. He is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre at The Kennedy Center. A collection of his plays, Nine Plays by José Cruz González: Magical Realism and Mature Themes in Theatre for Young Audiences,was published by University of Texas Press in 2009. He is a professor at California State University, Los Angeles and a member of the Dramatists Guild and TYA/USA. He is a Playwright-in-Residence at Childsplay in Tempe, Arizona.

James Vásquez (Director) recently directed American Mariachi at Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company. Previously at The Old Globe he has directed Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Rich Girl, and Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show and provided musical staging for The Comedy of Errors, Boeing-Boeing,and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. With The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program, he has directed Clybourne Park and the world premiere of Keith Reddin’s Acquainted with the Night. He recently received the Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Direction of a Musical for Moonlight Stage Productions’s In the Heights, and he received the award in 2010 for Sweeney Todd (Cygnet Theatre Company). His other recent directing/choreography credits include The Addams Family (Moonlight Stage Productions), West Side Story and Cats (San Diego Musical Theatre), Tell Me on a Sunday (Vista’s Broadway Theater), Pippin, the West Coast premiere of [title of show], and Next Fall (Diversionary Theatre), and Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Pageant (Cygnet), as well as developmental workshops at La Jolla Playhouse and Goodspeed Musicals. In 2004, Mr. Vásquez founded Daisy 3 Pictures with Mark Holmes and Carrie Preston. Their first two feature films, 29th and Gay and Ready? OK!, played national and international film festivals, winning Best Feature Film awards in Seattle, North Carolina, and San Diego. Their film That’s What She Said made its world premiere at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Mr. Vásquez is a graduate of The Juilliard School.

Regina Garcia (Scenic Design) has had long-standing relationships with renowned Latino theatres including Repertorio Español, Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, INTAR Theatre, Teatro Vista, and Pregones Theater. Her recently completed projects include works at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, GALA Hispanic Theatre (Helen Hayes Award nomination), Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Arizona Theatre Company, and Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Ms. Garcia is a company member with Rivendell Theatre Ensemble in Chicago, an advisory board member of Latinx Theatre Commons, and a regional associate member of the League of Professional Theatre Women. She teaches Scenic Design at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

Meghan Anderson Doyle (Costume Design) is Costume Design Associate at Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company, where her credits include The Glass Menagerie, Fade, Tribes, One Night In Miami..., Appoggiatura, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, The Giver, Superior Donuts, Well, Jackie & Me,and Ed, Downloaded. For the theatre’s Off-Center series, she has designed The Wild Party, DragOn, Sweet & Lucky, Cult Following, and Perception. Her DCPA Cabaret credits include First Date, Five Course Love, and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. She has also designed for Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, Theatre Aspen, Curious Theatre Company, The Aurora Fox Arts Center, and National Theatre Conservatory. She has a B.A. in Theatre from University of Denver and an M.F.A. in Costume Design from University of Florida.

Paul Miller (Lighting Design) lit The Old Globe’s production of Guys and Dolls last year. He designed the Broadway productions of Amazing Grace, The Illusionists – Witness the Impossible, Legally Blonde, Jackie Mason: Freshly Squeezed, and Jackie Mason’s Laughing Room Only. He has designed 25 Off Broadway productions, over 60 regional theatre productions, and 15 national tours. His international credits include three seasons at the Stratford Festival, London’s West End, Vienna, Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, South Africa, China, Manila, and São Paulo. His television credits include “Live from Lincoln Center”; over 20 specials for Netflix, Showtime, and Comedy Central; and every live performance over the last 19 years from the internationally televised “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” from Times Square.

Ken Travis (Sound Design) previously designed The Old Globe’s productions of Rain and The Last Goodbye. His Broadway credits include In Transit, Aladdin, Jekyll & Hyde, A Christmas Story The Musical, Scandalous, Newsies, Memphis, The Threepenny Opera, Barefoot in the Park, and Steel Magnolias. His Off Broadway and regional credits include The Public Theater, The New Group, The Civilians, Atlantic Theater Company, Soho Rep., Classic Stage Company, Playwrights Horizons, Signature Theatre Company, Mabou Mines, A Contemporary Theatre, The 5th Avenue Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Center Theatre Group, Guthrie Theater, McCarter Theatre Center, and Paper Mill Playhouse.

Cynthia Reifler Flores (Music Director) also music directed American Mariachi for the 2016 Colorado New Play Summit. This is the fifth original work by playwright José Cruz González on which she has collaborated. Ms. Flores, a classically trained violinist, learned mariachi the traditional way through apprenticeship with male mariachis from Mexico, immersing herself in the mariachi subculture. She has performed with the Grammy Award-winning Mariachi Divas and was an original member and bandleader of Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles, the first U.S. all-female show mariachi of international importance. Ms. Flores teaches mariachi at California State University, Los Angeles and University of California, Riverside, and she performs with Corazón de México in L.A.

Shirley Fishman (Dramaturg) also served as dramaturg for the 2016 Colorado New Play Summit presentation of American Mariachi. Her other credits include Indecent and Come from Away (both Tony Award winners), The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Glengarry Glen Ross, An Iliad, Hands on a Hardbody, American Night: The Ballad of Juan José, José Cruz González’s The Astronaut Farmworker, and BD Wong and Robert Lee’s Alice Chan, among others (La Jolla Playhouse), Jessica Hagedorn’s Dogeaters, Nilo Cruz’s Two Sisters and a Piano, David Henry Hwang’s Golden Child, and, as co-curator, the New Work Now! festival (The Public Theater), Herbert Siguenza’s Manifest Destinitis (San Diego Repertory Theatre), and Lloyd Suh’s Jesus in India and Taylor Mac’s Hir (Magic Theatre). Ms. Fishman is also affiliated with Sundance Institute Theatre Lab and Native Voices at the Autry, among others.

Joanne DeNaut, CSA (Casting) is the Casting Director and Artistic Associate at South Coast Repertory. There she has cast more than 200 productions, including world premieres by many of the country’s leading playwrights like Richard Greenberg, Donald Margulies, Craig Lucas, Howard Korder, Amy Freed, Lynn Nottage, Nilo Cruz, Beth Henley, and Octavio Solis. She has also cast for Center Theatre Group, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and Dallas Theater Center, as well as co-productions with The Public Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, Baltimore Center Stage, and Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Her film credits include work with Octavio Solis, Juliette Carrillo, and the American Film Institute. She received her B.A. from University of California, Irvine.

Rachel Ducat (Production Stage Manager) is the Stage Manager of Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company, where her many credits include All the Way, Tribes, One Night in Miami..., Appoggiatura, Shadowlands, black odyssey, The Most Deserving, A Weekend with Pablo Picasso, The Giver, Heartbreak House, Two Things You Don’t Talk About at Dinner, The Liar, Superior Donuts, The Catch, The House of the Spirits,and Grace, or the Art of Climbing, as well as An Act of God for DCPA Cabaret and The Snowy Day and Other Stories by Ezra Jack Keats for DCPA Theatre for Young Audiences. Ms. Ducat’s other credits include Twelfth Night, Treasure Island, and Richard III (Colorado Shakespeare Festival), Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Jersey Boys, Wicked, and Dirty Dancing (national tours), and productions at Curious Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Cleveland Play House, and Hope Summer Repertory Theatre. She has a B.A. in Theatre Production from University of Delaware.

Amanda Salmons (Assistant Stage Manager) has previously worked at The Old Globe on The Importance of Being Earnest; Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!; Benny & Joon; King Richard II; The Blameless; October Sky; Macbeth; Rain; The Metromaniacs; Kiss Me, Kate; The White Snake; The Two Gentlemen of Verona; Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike; The Last Goodbye; Globe for All (2014–2015); the Summer Shakespeare Festival (2011–2013); Somewhere; Lost in Yonkers; I Do! I Do!; and The Price.Her other credits include Blueprints to Freedom: An Ode to Bayard Rustin (La Jolla Playhouse), Kiss Me, Kate (Hartford Stage), The Foreigner, miXtape, See How They Run, The Music Man,and The Rivalry (Lamb’s Players Theatre), The Gondoliers, The Pirates of Penzance, Candide, and Trial by Jury (Lyric Opera San Diego), and SummerFest (La Jolla Music Society).

Denver Center for the Performing Arts (Co-Producer)  Under the leadership of Artistic Director Chris Coleman and Managing Director Charles Varin, the 40-year-old DCPA Theatre Company produces a season of classic and contemporary plays, musicals, and world premieres. Through its mainstage productions, innovative Off-Center shows, and new play development program, DCPA Theatre Company offers more than 500 performances annually, helping to place Colorado top in the nation in per capita theatre attendance. The Theatre Company is one component of the DCPA, which, along with Broadway and Cabaret, is the largest not-for-profit theatre organization in the U.S., entertaining nearly 610,000 guests at 49 productions year-round.

Fernando Guadalupe Zárate Hernandez
Tom Tinoco
Erick Jimenez
Ruben Marín


“A vibrant ode to music and memory!”—The San Diego Union-Tribune

“Mariachi is all about 'familia, amor and tradición' and so is American Mariachi. What we come away with, after moments of laughter and even tears, is a warm feeling of familia and a greater appreciation of Mexican American pride, culture, music—and powerful, resilient Chicanas.”—Times of San Diego

“Tender and funny! It's that rare show that brings tears and laughter, while using musical tradition to deal with modern issues. ”—CBS Denver

“A big-hearted musical play, gorgeously executed! A warm family saga – a story at once personal and universal.  As the young women in the band each find their way to a universal style, the spirit is contagious!”—The Denver Post



Upcoming Events

Monday, April 2, 2018 at 7pm: Mariachi: History and Women's Role

Dr. Perez will present the history of the male mariachi world, mariachi instruments and the traditional suit worn by mariachi musicians.  She will also present the history and challenges of mariachi women from 1903 to today. FREE; no reservations necessary. Located in Hattox Hall.

Dr. Perez  is a leading proponent and preservationist of women’s mariachi history. As a scholar, she travels the world giving lectures on this topic. She is the curator of the lobby exhibit for American Mariachi, and as a mariachi musician herself, she launched the annual Mariachi Women’s Festival in Los Angeles in 2014, which features all-female mariachi groups from around the world. Dr. Perez is also the author of the seminal essay, "Transgressing theTaboo:  A Chicana's Voice in the Mariachi World."

Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 7pm: Music and Memory

Kristen Cusato of the San Diego/Imperial Chapter of the national Alzheimer's Association joins audiences for a pre-show talk about music as a caretaking tool for patients with Alzheimer's. She will also offer a general introduction to Alzheimer's, warning signs of the disease, and resources for local patients and caregivers. FREE; no reservations necessary. Located in Hattox Hall.


Vicki and Carl Zeiger Insights Seminars

This series provides Old Globe patrons with an opportunity to closely connect with productions both onstage and backstage. A panel selected from the artistic company of each show (playwrights, actors, directors, designers, and/or technicians) engages patrons in an informal and illuminating presentation of ideas and insights to enhance the theatre going experience. Each Insights Seminar takes place 90 minutes before curtain time on the Tuesday after performances begin, and includes an informal reception 30 minutes before the start. FREE; no reservations necessary.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.


Post-Show Forums

Join us after the show for an informal and enlightening question-and-answer session with cast members. Get the "inside story" on creating a character and putting together a professional production. Post-show forums are scheduled after select Tuesday and Wednesday evening performances. FREE; no reservations necessary.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


Subject Matters

Elizabeth Terrazas, Program and Education Manager for the San Diego/Imperial chapter of the Alzheimer's Association will join us to talk about Alzheimer's and American Mariachi's exploration of the relationship between music and memory.

Saturday, April 7, 2018