The Second Austin Latino Comedy Fiesta: A Long Way

Local Arts Reviews

The Second Austin Latino Comedy Fiesta: A Long Way

Paramount Theatre,

August 12

Teatro Humanidad has come a long way since Rodney Garza started the Latino theatre group six years ago. Back then, the company was happy if it could fill the Santa Cruz Center in East Austin. Now, it has its own annual comedy festival and, with its brainchild the Latino Comedy Project, sells out the Paramount. For the second annual Austin Latino Comedy Fiesta, the mostly Latino audience turned out in full force to show its loud and boisterous support for its own and in the process formed a bond with the performers that was intense. It seemed that all that airplay on radio station Club 92.5FM finally reached a segment of Austin that Teatro had been after for a long time.

The first act featured routines by California stand-up comedians Gabriel Iglesias and Carlos Oscar. Iglesias served as emcee for the evening, and this amazing, talented kid -- who just won an award for his Nickelodeon show All That! -- is a master of dozens of character voices, sound effects, and celebrity impressions. Poking fun at his large "fluffy" size, he took the audience along on a hilarious roller coaster ride with him and another fat character he does, El Godzilla. Of course, they don't make the loop and guess where they end up? Iglesias brought a surprise guest, stand-up comedian Felipe Esparza from L.A. and host of Que Locos on Galavision. This guy immediately drew a lot of laughs with his routine that also focused on being fat. I quickly identified with his funny descriptions of the many uses his mama had for mantequa; some things are the same everywhere.

The second act was taken up by the Latino Comedy Project doing some of the best sketches from their previous shows. I remember watching the LCP the first time they performed; it was at UT and Patricia Arredondo stole the show in a brilliant sketch, "The Pendejo Self-Defense Kit," written by Adrian Villegas. Arredondo demonstrated a kit that women can use against assholes hitting up on them. I loved it then and loved it in the updated version performed at the Fiesta. This time Mike Trejo drew the biggest laugh of the night as the immigrant pendejo in his cowboy boots and hat.

Confidential to J.C. Shakespeare: At the fiesta, LCP member Nick Walker played the suave pendejo in "The Pendejo Self-Defense Kit" and sang "We'll always be Latino" along with the rest of the cast in the last sketch of the night, Greaser, a parody of the musical Grease. So what was that question in last week's Chronicle about him always playing the gringo?

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Second Annual Austin Latino Comedy Fiesta, Teatro Humanidad, Rodney Garza, Latino Comedy Project, Gabriel Iglesias, Carlos Oscar, All That!, Patricia Arredondo, Adrian Villegas, Nick Walker, Mike Trejo, Felipe Esparza

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