Puerto Rican history and culture celebrated with new TdA play, plus more events this week


  • Jonathan Andujar

Puerto Rican Nocturne

March 13, 7:30 p.m., weekends through March 29, All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, 730 N. Tejon St., $15, theatredart.org

On July 25, 1978, pro-independence activists Carlos Enrique Soto Arriví, 18, and Arnaldo Darío Rosado Torres, 24, were killed by Puerto Rican police on Cerro Maravilla Mountain in Puerto Rico. Government officials framed the incident as an act of self-defense, a heroic police action to combat terrorism, as both young men had traveled to the mountaintop to sabotage the island’s communication towers. Puerto Rican citizens, however, were unsatisfied with the story. There were numerous inconsistencies in the reports provided by the officers and witness testimony directly contradicted the official version.

In the years that followed the deaths of the two young men, a new investigation revealed that they were accompanied up the mountain by an undercover police officer and ambushed by heavily armed officers when they reached the top. Subsequently, the incident was reframed as an extrajudicial execution and many of the involved parties were convicted of various crimes for their involvement in what is referred to today as the “Cerro Maravilla massacre”.

Written by Puerto Rican playwright Jon Marcantoni and presented by THEATREdART, Puerto Rican Nocturne tells the story of the aftermath of this tragic time in Puerto Rican history through the perspectives of Gonzo, a fervently patriotic undercover officer and Adria, the mother of one of the murdered boys. Nocturne follows Gonzo as he loses control of his carefully constructed narrative of the events while simultaneously accompanying Adria on her journey to come to terms with her profound grief at the loss of her son and her search for a way to move forward. It also explores the complex social and political actions of the time, including the problematic role that the United States government played in the cover-up of the incident.
For THEATREdART president Jonathan Andujar, there are other nuances to the performance that make it a meaningful production.

“I selected to produce Puerto Rican Nocturne because it was the first time that I felt my culture was presented in a realistic, relatable way. It recounts a piece of Puerto Rican history that is devoid of stereotypes and appropriation of Puerto Rican culture,” says Andujar.

While the play has deep cultural significance for those who have ties to Puerto Rico and its independence, Andujar says its overarching themes are relatable to all individuals. It addresses the complex issues of injustice, power, tyranny, conspiracy and complicity that are relevant today, right here in the United States.

“Audiences should attend this play because the themes of misguided patriotism, grief, and moving past a tragedy are themes everyone can connect to,” says Andujar. “It’s for everyone, not just for a niche culture. This play has a lot of support in the Latinx community. It’s a community event, not just another play.”

Puerto Rican Nocturne runs on weekends through March 29. It will be performed in English and accompanied by Spanish subtitles.

Bikes Brews Learn

March 5, 6-9 p.m., Lulu’s Downstairs, 107 Manitou Ave., free, colobikelaw.com

Despite the intermittent snow squalls and bitterly cold winds rocking the city as of late, spring is indeed returning to Colorado. Longer days and warmer temps mean that more bikes will be on the road soon and it’s important for motorists and cyclists alike to know the laws in order for everyone to stay safe and share the road. Brad Tucker of ColoBikeLaw.com will share everything you need to know about Colorado’s bike laws, as well as safety tips and updates about cycling advocacy. Bring your most pressing cycling questions and a little beer money.
  • Heather McKinnon

The Mighty Mandala

Opening reception, March 6, 5-9 p.m., Art 111 Gallery & Art Supply, 111 E. Bijou St., free, artgallerycoloradosprings.com

The mandala has endured in art, architecture and religion for centuries. The creation of a truly beautiful mandala requires a keen awareness of space, placement, geometry and design and the results of the time and effort required are breathtaking. Heather McKinnon’s mandala art is an intricate, vibrant and engrossing example of such efforts. She uses small rows of brilliantly colored dots to create geometric shapes and hypnotizing patterns, a feat that is made more impressive by the fact that she does her work freehand with no set plan for how the pattern will evolve. The complex detail makes each piece eye-catching and engaging while the liberal use of color — and even glitter on some pieces — adds a touch of whimsy and joy.

Hindsight 2020

March 6, 5-8 p.m., Alvarez Gallery and Art School, 218 W. Colorado Ave., free, facebook.com/calvart

The beauty of the human body is celebrated in the arts, but there is one particular part that reigns supreme in its universal appreciation. Inspiring Renaissance artists and rappers alike, the gluteus maximus — butt, bottom, booty — has had a powerful influence on arts and culture, inspiring songs, poetry, paintings and films. It also happens to be the theme of Alvarez Gallery and Art School’s first group show of the year. Hindsight 2020 will feature art that celebrates the posterior in a variety of mediums. It’s an exhibit that all derriere aficionados can truly get behind.

  • Courtesy Taste of Pikes Peak

2020 Taste of Pikes Peak

March 8, noon to 3 p.m., The Broadmoor, Hall B, 15 Lake Circle, $45, tasteofpikespeak.com

Buckle in to your most elegant stretchy pants and prepare yourself for an afternoon of culinary decadence. More than 80 local restaurants and vendors will pack the Broadmoor Banquet Hall, each offering sumptuous samples of their signature dishes. The portions are generous, plentiful and all-you-can-eat, so come prepared with an empty stomach and an adventurous spirit. Between bouts of scarfing down tasty eats, you will also be able to check out a craft cocktail competition, a chef competition and a silent auction. Drop an extra $20 for VIP access and you’ll be able to get in an hour earlier — hello brunch!

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