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El Grande De Coca-Cola

El Grande De Coca-Cola
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Ron House, Diz White, Alan Shearman, and John Neville Andrews
Publisher: Samuel French (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 44
Pub. Date: 1973
Edition: Acting
ISBN-10: 057368068X
ISBN-13: 9780573680687
Cast Size: 2 female, 3 male

About the Play:

El Grande De Coca-Cola is a full-length comedy musical by Ron House and Alan Shearman, with Diz White and John Neville Andrews. A madcap cabaret-parody set in a nightclub in the sleazy section of Trujillo, Honduras, where Pepe Hernandez, who calls himself Senor Show Business, has persuaded his uncle, the manager of the local Coca-Cola bottling plant to give him money to rent the nightclub. A simple show that is a laugh-a-minute and ridiculously wonderful!

El Grande De Coca-Cola is an extravaganza of timeless humour, in five languages that you never knew you could speak. The action takes place in a terrible part of Trujillo, Honduras, in a nightclub, which isn't too far from terrible itself. Pepe Hernandez, the self proclaimed "Senor Show Business," has boasted in the local press that he is bringing a group of famous international cabaret stars to town. He has persuaded his uncle, manager of the local Coca-Cola bottling plant, to advance him enough money to rent the club for three nights. It is showtime for Pepe's ambitious extravaganza, "Parada de las Estrellas" (Parade of the Stars). Your audience sees the cabaret within the cabaret as it unfolds, as conjuring tricks don't work, people trip up, a blind American folk singer falls off the stage, chorus girls collide, etc. El Grande de Coca-Cola is presented mainly in easily understood Spanish, with some dialogue in French, Italian, German, as well as English. By using basic vocabulary words that translate easily, coupled with the cast's fantastic comedic timing and telltale facial expressions, the language barrier all but disappears.

El Grande De Coca-Cola premiered in 1973 at the Mercer Arts Theatre in New York City. It was an instant hit that ran off-Broadway for two and a half years and went on to launch the careers of both Jeff Goldblum and Ron Silver. It has been a micro-cult sensation ever since, proving itself and its comedy to be irrepressible, with productions cropping up all over America.

Cast: 2 female, 3 male

What people say:

"...a classic of fractured Spanish and splintered tomfoolery. A knowledge of the language – or of any language – is not necessary for one to enjoy the show. It is muy ridiculo y histerico, somewhat in the manner of Monty Python, and a great deal of the fun is physical comedy." — New York Times

"Deliriously funny ... refreshingly lunatic ... high spirited fun in the supreme American tradition that extends from burlesque to Charlie Chaplin, Ernie Kovacs, and Second City." — Women's Wear Daily

"A gaudily glistening jewel, insanely original." — Newsweek

"El Grande de Coca-Cola ... is ridiculously funny. The cast of five rarely speak a word of English, but have no fear – they quickly prove that humor is a universal language. There is also something suspiciously Anglicized about the kind of Spanish Don Pepe and his performing relatives speak." — Los Angeles Times

"El Grande de Coca-Cola is an extravaganza of timeless humor, in five languages you never knew you could speak. And trust me, even though most of this musical is performed in Spanish (more like Spanglish, really), it won't matter a bit given the brilliance of each member of the cast to act out what is being said. You will laugh yourself silly just as I did through the entire 70 minute show." — Broadway World

About the Playwright:

Ron House (1939-2016) was an actor, producer, writer and teacher. A graduate of Second City in his native Chicago, he later founded a group called Low Moan Spectacular whose members wrote, staged and starred in plays. A sensation in the London underground Theatre Company, they eventually relocated to New York. He is a co-author of El Grande de Coca-Cola, Footlight Frenzy, Bullshot Crummond, and The Scandalous Adventures of Sir Toby Trollope. All four shows continue to be performed across the US and around the world.

Alan Shearman is a film and television actor, director and script writer in Los Angeles. He came to the US over 35 years ago with Low Moan Spectacular, the British comedy group founded by Ron House, with whom he created several the Off-Broadway hits. He has been directing comedies, musicals, musical comedies and comedies-with-music for over 20 years and along the way has collected six "Best Director" awards.

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