The center houses the Latin Quarter Grand Orchestra directed by Omar Torres, as well as a gallery, which currently features a 40-year retrospective by photographer Asela focusing on plays, concerts, and performances that filled the Miami-Dade County Auditorium. In addition the space offers theatergoers an eclectic variety of Spanish-language plays, opening with the aforementioned Esperando a Godot, directed by Rolando Moreno and performed by Mario Martin, Carlos Cruz, Jorge Hernandez, and Olga Flora. If theatergoers missed its first run, the tragicomedy will reappear as a matinee when the stage reopens on January 11.
Debuting too will be three short pieces called Tres en Uno or Three in One. First up is Yo Prefiero a Caballero (I Prefer Caballero), a short play by Christie Sanchez, which takes place in the day room of a Little Havana activity center as two lifelong friends plan their funerals. Will it be Caballero or Rivero funeral home? As the discussion progresses, the friendship begins to unravel into a comic farce of stories, secrets, and misperceptions. Julio O'Farrill's comedy Esto No Tiene Nombre (This Defies Description) revolves around a conversation between a bossy, loudmouthed Cuban wife and her henpecked husband, who remains anonymous behind the sports page. Closing the trilogy is writer/composer/actor Jorge Hernandez's Canciones Que Rompen La Rutina (Songs that Break the Routine), a medley of Cuban standards from son to bolero that incorporates poetry, humor, and narrative.
After an intense opening play, it's not surprising that center honchos chose a lighthearted trio of works for the new year. As executive producer Vivian Ruiz explains: "2002 was tough on many levels. We want to start out 2003 with something that will make people laugh."