Texas Comes to Orinda as Cal Shakes

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KEVIN BERNE Emilio Delgado breaks away from his well-known Sesame Street character to tackle the lead in Quixote Nuevo.

Texas Comes to Orinda as Cal Shakes Opens Its 2018 Season

By SALLY HOGARTY and
KATHRYN G. MCCARTY

Editor and Staff Writer

California Shakespeare Theater opens its 2018 season with Octavio Solis’ Quixote Nuevo, a world Premiere adaptation of Don Quixote set in the fictional modern-day border town of La Mancha, Texas. Like the original on which it is based, Quixote follows a larger-than-life knight-errant as he and his trusty sidekick search for lost love. As the community wrestles with containing Quixote’s fantasies, his family and friends discover the joys and perils of being the hero of your own story.

Considered one of the most prominent Latino playwrights in America, Solis crosses cultural and aesthetic boundaries with his ever-evolving work. In 2010, Cal Shakes premiered John Steinbeck’s The Pastures of Heaven, adapted by Solis especially for Cal Shakes.

“I’m so happy to be back at Cal Shakes and excited to bring Quixote Nuevo to Cal Shakes’ audiences,” comments Solis. “This company has not only permitted but has encouraged me to source the production in my own Texas and Chicano roots. I’m finally hearing my voice – in conversation with Cervantes’ in this play.”

Actor Emilio Delgado, well known for his 30+ years on Sesame Street, stars in Quixote Nuevo, as a man who loses himself in stories of chivalrous escapades and embarks on a quest of imagination, adventure and Tejano music. Also, in the cast is Grammy-nominated actor, DJ and emcee Juan Amador.

Solis’ work will be directed by KJ Sanchez and in performance June 13-July 1 at the Bruns Amphitheater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, in Orinda. Sanchez, a nationally-acclaimed director and documentary playmaker, makes her directing debut at Cal Shakes with Quixote Nuevo.

“I’ve been a huge admirer of Octavio’s for years, and I feel spiritually very close to the themes in Quixote Nuevo,” added Sanchez. “Aging, fighting monsters – both real and perceived – the dreamer in conflict with a community that frowns upon dreaming, making up for lost time and regrets… to name a few. I want audiences to walk away from this show thinking about their own lives, their obligations to their family, their community and what they believe in enough to fight for it.”

For more information on the Cal Shakes season and for tickets to Quixote Nuevo, visit www.calshakes.org or call the box office at 510-548-9666.