EL COQUÍ ESPECTACULAR AND THE BOTTLE OF DOOM: A SUPERHERO PLAY
by Matt Barbot
directed by José Zayas
WHEN: Saturday, January 6 - Sunday, February 4, 2018; Opening: Friday, January 12, 2018 at 7pm
WHERE: Two River’s Marion Huber Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank
TICKETS: range from $40 to $70, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $20 tickets are available for every performance; $20 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $20 and include the best available seats at every performance.
Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or www.tworivertheater.org
Employing deft use of the superhero/comic book genre, El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom explores questions of individual and national identity—including what it means to be “Latino” or “not Latino enough”—in contemporary America. The play tells the story of Alex, an unemployed young comic book artist still wrestling with the death of his father, a policeman, in the line of duty. Adrift in his career and his life, he decides to see what it’s like to be a superhero, and begins to dress up as his creation El Coquí Espectacular (a Puerto Rican superhero who gets his power from a vejigante carnival mask and his name from a tree frog) and fight crime in his neighborhood of Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Meanwhile, his responsible older brother Joe is encouraging Alex to join him at his advertising agency, where Joe works selling sugary soda to Latino consumers. When Joe is fired from a project, the two, with the help of a young photographer named Yesica, hatch a plan: to debut El Coquí at the Puerto Rican Day Parade and prove themselves to the world.
El Coquí Espectácular and the Bottle of Doom was a finalist in the 2014 Repertorio Español Nuestras Voces competition, and won the Kennedy Center’s Darrel Ayers Award for Outstanding Student-Written Play for Young Audiences, as well as the Kennedy Center’s Latinidad Award for Outstanding Play Written by a Student of Latino/Hispanic Heritage. It was also a finalist in Repertorio Español's 2013 Nuestras Voces competition.
The cast of El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom includes Gabriel Diego Hernández (El Chupacabra/Junior), Olivia Negrón (Patricia), Flor De Liz Perez (Yesica), Cesar J. Rosado (Joe), and Bradley Tejeda (Alex).
The creative team includes scenic designer Arnulfo Maldonado, costume designer Ásta Bennie Hostetter, lighting designer Zach Blane, sound designer Jane Shaw, and projections/animation designer Alex Koch. The fight direction is by UnkleDave’s Fight-House, the casting is by Jack Doulin + Sharky, and the stage manager is Terri K. Kohler.
El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom was introduced to Red Bank audiences when it was read as part of the theater’s 2016 Crossing Borders (Cruzando Fronteras) festival of new Latino plays.
Inside Two River
Inside Two River is a series of events specially curated for each Two River Theater production. For more information or to reserve seats, patrons should visit www.tworivertheater.org or call 732.345.1400.
El Coquí Mobile
Getting there is half the fun! Hop around town to Red Bank’s many restaurants, bars and shops in the El Coqui Mobile! This luxury scooter, fully equipped for the winter with heated seats and weather-proof flaps, will be seen throughout Red Bank with our show’s artwork and hashtag #SpotTheFrog starting mid-December through February 4. Ready to scoot when you are, just text the Scooter Dudes at 732.784.3011 with your name, Red Bank location, number of riders, pickup time and destination and your ride will be ready in 10-15 minutes.
Book Club: The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
WHEN: Monday, January 29 at 6:30pm
WHERE: Victoria J. Mastrobuono Library, 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank
In this celebrated 2007 novel, an overweight Dominican boy living in New Jersey is obsessed with sci-fi, fantasy, falling in love, and the curse that has plagued his family for generations. In connection with El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom, the Two River Book Club will discuss the experiences of immigrants in America who feel caught between two cultures, and don’t fully fit in with either. This event is free and open to the public. To reserve a spot, interested patrons should call 732.345.1400 or visit www.tworivertheater.org.
- Before Play and Lobby Display
Audiences will learn about El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom in Two River’s Before Play lecture series, which takes place 45 minutes prior to every performance, and Lobby Display.
- Post-Play Conversations
Discussions with the cast and a member of Two River’s Artistic staff will take place on Wednesday, January 17 at 1pm; Sunday, January 21 at 3pm; and Wednesday, January 24 at 7pm.
Working with Google, Two River has created and launched a virtual tour of its facility, which lives on Google Maps and www.tworivertheater.org. This virtual tour provides an additional level of support and benefit for patrons who use wheelchairs or require other assistance by allowing them to virtually come through the theater’s front doors and view the space in detail in advance of their visit.
An audio-described performance is scheduled for Wednesday, January 21 at 1pm, and an open-captioned performance is scheduled for Saturday, February 3 at 3pm. Tickets are available at a discounted rate of $25 for patrons using these services. To reserve wheelchair-accessible seating or tickets to a performance listed above, patrons should call 732.345.1400 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Saturday, January 6 at 8pm
- Sunday, January 7 at 3pm
- Wednesday, January 10 at 1 pm and 7pm
- Thursday, January 11 at 8pm
- Friday, January 12 at 7pm (Opening Night)
- Saturday, January 13 at 3pm and 8pm
- Sunday, January 14 at 3pm
- Wednesday, January 17 at 1pm and 7pm
- Thursday, January 18 at 10am (student matinee) and 8pm
- Friday, January 19 at 8pm
- Saturday, January 20 at 3pm and 8pm
- Sunday, January 21 at 3pm
- Wednesday, January 24 at 1pm and 7pm
- Thursday, January 25 at 10am (student matinee) and 8pm
- Friday, January 26 at 8pm
- Saturday, January 27 at 3pm and 8pm
- Sunday, January 28 at 3pm
- Wednesday, January 31 at 1pm and 7pm
- Thursday, February 1 at 10am (student matinee) and 8pm
- Friday, February 2 at 8pm
- Saturday, February 3 at 3pm and 8pm
- Sunday, February 4 at 3pm