By Andrew Coan
Arizona Summer Wildcat
Borderlands Theater Company is celebrating a milestone this year Ä their tenth anniversary. Borderlands kicks off its season with a peculiar comedy called "The True History of Coca-Cola in Mexico."
The production stars and is written by Patrick Scott and Aldo Velasco, with the latter also taking on directing responsibilities. The story concerns two documentary filmmakers who travel to Mexico to show how American pop culture has overrun the Mexican way of life. Ironically, the two filmmakers use the same tactics to make a film about the plight of the Mexican people as the corporations do to exploit the Mexican people in the first place.
The play is incredibly funny, largely for one reason: Scott and Velasco are incredibly versatile. Both actors play every part in the play, and they do it fabulously. They portray a conquistador, Poncho Villa, a blonde beach babe, a Mexican housewife, five Mexican presidents, a World War II soldier, a Coca -Cola executive, and over ten other characters you just have to see to believe.
Borderlands has a rich history of creating entertaining, informative, and provocative theater. Started in 1986, Borderlands has put out such diverse plays as the acclaimed "King of The Kosher Grocers", "La Casa de Bernarda Alba" and this year's "The True History Of Coca-Cola in Mexico." As their mission statement says, "Borderlands Theater is to present for Tucson and surrounding areas, theater which reflects and leads to an understanding of the multi-racial/multi ethnic diversity of the border region." Borderlands doesn't just want to entertain us, they also want the audience to leave with a new idea or two, or three. "The True History of Coca Cola in Mexico" is a perfect example of this kind of thinking. The play spans three centuries, the making of Mexico, the rise of the United States, and why some Mexicans feel they have to cater to U.S. tourists to survive. Through all of this how Coca-Cola is involved is never forgotten.
Scott's facial expressions are priceless, He looks like the result of a Judd Reinhold/Eric Idle breeding experiment and brings manic energy levels to every character. Aldo Velasco is no slouch in the comedic department either. While his performance isn't as manic as Scott's, he still switches characters with ease. His ability to do ten things at once on stage while still being funny, is fascinating.
"The True History of Coca-Cola in Mexico" is a good way to spend a hot Summer evening. So go see this production. All you need is your sense of humor, and an open mind.
Borderlands Theater's production of "The True History of Coca-Cola" is running through July 16th at the Pima Community College Center For the Arts Black Box Theater. For ticket information call 882-7406.
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