Teatro Paraguas will present the one-act play Lola’s Last Dance, by the late Ernesto Antonio “Tony” Mares of Albuquerque, for seven performances beginning Friday, August 12, 2022. A staged reading of his long epic poem Astonishing Light— Conversations I Never Had with Patrociño Barela, will also be presented.
Inspired by several retired prostitutes whom Mares knew who lived in Old Town during his youth in the 1940’s, Lola’s Last Dance was commissioned by La Companía de Teatro de Albuquerque and premiered in 1979. Lola, a retired prostitute in Albuquerque’s Old Town, has always lived life to the fullest. "I always needed to be free," she says, "free to walk out into the sun. Free to dance whenever I wanted and with whomever I wanted." Her dreams are now filled with many lively ghosts whom she recognizes from her glorious past, such as the Banker, the Senator, and the Rag-and-Bone Man. But there is one veiled figure whom she does not recognize…
Astonishing Light is a series of imaginary conversations between Tony Mares and
Patrociño Barela, New Mexico’s famous self-taught woodcarver whose masterpieces attracted national attention in the 1940’s and 50’s. Tony and Pat discuss life, love, artistic creation, and Pablo Neruda’s pink pigs of dawn in this lyrical and epic tribute.
Lola’s Last Dance is directed by Paola Vengoechea Martini, and the cast includes Corinna MacNeice, JoJo Sena de Tarnoff, Alex Streeper, Noah Simpson, Lynette Gonzales, Rudy “Froggy Fernandez, Desaili Gomez, Carlos de la Torre, and Argos MacCallum.
Astonishing Light is directed by Argos MacCallum, and features Marcos Maez as Patrociño and Jonathan Harrell as Tony Mares.
Born in 1938 in Old Town in Albuquerque, Ernesto Antonio “Tony” Mares was a poet, actor, playwright, historian, professor, translator and activist. After completing a doctorate in European history at UNM in 1973, Mares taught history, Spanish, creative writing, and American literature at Colorado College, the University of New Mexico, the University of Arkansas, New Mexico Highlands University, the University of North Texas, and elsewhere. He died on January 30, 2015.
His other plays include: Padre Antonio José Martinez de Taos (1983), El Corrido de Joaquin Murieta (1984), Santa Fe Spirit (1989), and Shepard de Pan Duro (1989).
His books includeThe Unicorn Poem & Flowers and Songs of Sorrow (West End Press 1992), With the Eyes of a Raptor (Wings Press 2004); and Almost All the Music (translations of poems by Ángel González), (Wings Press, 2007). Río del Corazón, his last book of poetry, was launched at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque April 1, 2011.
Performances are August 12-21, 2022, with performances Thursday (7/18 only), Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $25 general admission, and $12 limited income. Reservations may be made at 505-424-1601. Teatro Paraguas is located at 3205 Calle Marie in Santa Fe.