- Title: USA: Los Angeles cathedral hosts provocative annual play
- Date: 14th December 2010
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (English) JOSE LUIS VALENZUELA, DIRECTOR OF THE LOS ANGELES THEATER COMPANY, TALKING ABOUT THEIR FIRST ATTEMPT TO MAKE THE PLAY, SAYING: "But, we didn't have the script, we didn't have anything because they had said already no. So, we flew to Mexico, got all the books, the new translations, and we wrote it and we said 'We have to do it now, because if we don't do it now they will never let us in."
- Embargoed: 29th December 2010 12:00
- Location: Usa, Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Quirky,Religion
- Reuters ID: LVABZOP28672QCQKNT2BI6GSHYJY
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Hundreds of people gathered at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels Friday (December 10) night to take part in what has become an annual tradition for a large portion of the Los Angeles Latino community.
Since 2002, the cathedral has been hosting a play depicting the story of the indigenous man, Juan Diego, and his journey to deliver a message passed on to him by an apparition of the Virgin Guadalupe. "La Virgen de Guadalupe Dios Inantzin" has a crew of over 100 people and features musical numbers as well as indigenous Mexican Aztec dance performances. The play depicts the struggle of acceptance between the Spanish conquistadors and Mexican Indigenous people, a story that resonates with many recent immigrants.
For many who take part in the annual tradition of viewing the play before honoring the Virgin Guadalupe for the catholic holiday in her honor, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, it has become a constant reminder of their cultural roots.
"He (Juan Diego) represents, like I was saying earlier, a lot of our people, who struggle in this country, who are looking for refuge, who are looking for a home and who are looking for themselves," said actor Salvador Lopez, who has been portraying Juan Diego since the performance began nine years ago. The play has been offered free of charge for the entirety of its run.
For some, the play is a reminder of their families and the traditions they continue to celebrate even after settling into a new life outside of Mexico.
"Our tradition can't end here just because we are in another country," said Jose Luis Martinez, whose daughter was an Aztec performer for the evening. "There are some that can go over there (to Mexico) and other that can't, so, this makes us feel like we are over there."
The sighting of the Virgin by Juan Diego has become one of the most iconic images throughout the city of Los Angeles, visible everywhere, from murals outside grocery stores in East and South Los Angeles, to candles of the 99 Cents Only Store. Her popularity and devotion in the U.S. Mexican community and in Mexico has surpassed the longevity of the Aztec empire.
This particular play is based on the original Aztec tale of "Nican Mopohua" ("Thus It Is Said"), one of the most prominent pieces of literature in Nahuatl.
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