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El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom: A Superhero Play

A Superhero Play by Matt Barbot
Directed by José Zayas

 

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#adultingishard

In Sunset Park, Brooklyn, a masked figure has been spotted: the Puerto Rican superhero, El Coquí Espectacular. In reality, it is out-of-work comic book artist, Alex, who has been secretly dressing up as his favorite creation. As Alex learns that fighting crime is harder than it looks, his older brother Joe wants Alex to join him at his advertising agency, selling sugary soda to Latino consumers. Can El Coquí defeat his own self-doubt and be a hero for his neighborhood?

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CRITICAL ACCLAIM

Smart, warm, inventive, vibrant, and simply a great deal of fun

THE STAR LEDGER

Spectacular because of the amount of hope, emotion, growth, optimism and love

TWO RIVER TIMES

As entertaining as it is important–colorful and action-packed

SCENE ON STAGE

The five member cast are exceptional in their roles

BROADWAY WORLD

A comic book adventure filled with bam, pow and zap

OUT IN JERSEY

MEET THE ARTISTS

THE CAST

Gabriel Diego Hernández

Gabriel Diego Hernández is a voiceover artist, burlesque performer, and member of Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater’s acting and music ensemble. Recent NYC credits include La Canción (Repertorio Español), El Bolero Was My Downfall (Pregones), Ajax (Theater of War), The Marchers (PRTT), and two-time Drama Desk Award nominee CasablancaBox (HERE Arts Center). Gabriel hails from Hoboken, NJ and holds two degrees from Yale University, where he met his wife Rachel, with whom he makes nostalgic ’90s hip hop and curates their eight-month-old son’s Instagram account.

Olivia Negrón

Olivia Negrón is thrilled to return Two River, where she previously appeared as Olga in Mariela in the Desert (Crossing Borders Festival, 2011). She made her professional debut as Juliet at the Walnut Street Theatre, her Broadway debut in the arms of Robert De Niro in Cuba and His Teddy Bear and her second Broadway appearance in Serious Money by Caryl Churchill that same year. Other NY credits include performances at Circle Rep, La MaMa, Henry Street Settlement, Raw Space, HB Playwrights Foundation, and Women’s Interart, where she directed Womantalk, and was awarded a Mayoral Citation for Excellence. Regionally she appeared at Boise Contemporary, Portland Center Stage, Atlanta’s Alliance, Coconut Grove, Mark Taper Forum, Merrimack Rep, Philadelphia Theatre Co, and South Coast Rep. Film, TV, Media credits: Everything Relative (Sundance Film Festival), The Rock (series regular), Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, Grand Theft Auto V (Patricia), Girls, Devious Maids, Tinderellas, Without a Trace, Brand New Old Love and The Devil’s Whisper (now in theatres and streaming). She co-created the television pilot Weally Wealthy Women, a half-hour comedy, now in development, and is Executive Producer on the current HBO documentary, ATOMIC HOMEFRONT. Olivia is the granddaughter of the Puerto Rican-born poet Delis Negrón.

Flor De Liz Perez

Flor De Liz Perez International: The Motherf**ker with the Hat (National Theatre, London). Off-Broadway: Dolphins and Sharks (Labyrinth Theater); Seven Spots on the Sun (Rattlestick Theater/The Sol Project); Comedy of Errors, Pericles (The Public); Sense and Sensibility (Bedlam); Los Monólogos de la Vagina (Westside Theatre); In the Time of the Butterflies (Repertorio Español). Selected Regional: Good Men Wanted (NY Stage & Film/Vassar College); The House that will not Stand (Berkeley Rep/Yale Rep); A Christmas Carol (Hartford Stage); Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England (Two River Theater); In the Continuum, Pride and Prejudice, Nicholas Nickleby (PlayMakers Rep). Film: Big Exit (in post-production), The House That Jack Built. TV: Blue Bloods, Madam Secretary, The Good Wife, Elementary (CBS). www.flordelizperez.com.

Cesar J. Rosado

Cesar J. Rosado is a Bronx native and a founding member and Co-Artistic Director of the Middle Voice at Rattlestick. Cesar is an alumnus of the Atlantic Theater Company Conservatory and received his BFA at Mason Gross School of the Arts, at Rutgers University. His latest works include: The Workshop dir. Knud Adams (Soft Focus/HB Playwrights Theatre); Red Emma & The Mad Monk dir. Katie Lindsay (Ars Nova’s AntFest); Seven Spots on the Sun dir. Weyni Mengesha (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater); Dolphins and Sharks dir. Charlotte Brathwaite (Labyrinth Theater Company); The Orchard dir. Sean B. Leo (Strange Sun Theater Co.); Dolphins and Sharks dir. Nelson Eusebio (Berkshire Playwrights Lab at the Mahaiwe Theater); The Invincible Ones dir. Jenna Worsham (Columbia University MFA Playwrights showcase at Signature Theatre); Lights Over Philo dir. Lee Sunday Evans (Rutgers Theater Company); Exposure dir. Victor Cervantes (Middle Voice at Rattlestick); Henry V dir. Michael Sexton (Rutgers Theater Company); Henry V dir. Tim Walker (The London Shakespeare’s Globe Education); and An Evening of Odets dir. Moritz von Stuelpnagel (Rutgers Theater Company). Cesar also plays the role of Jonathan in the pilot Guap by Chris Myers.

Bradley James Tejeda

Bradley James Tejeda recently appeared in Two River Theatre’s production of El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom as Alex/El Coquí. From San Antonio, TX, he obtained a B.A. in Theatre Arts from the University of the Incarnate Word in 2013, then recently graduated from the Yale School of Drama in 2016. Bradley will be playing Ralph in a stage adaptation of Lord of the Flies at Nebraska Repertory Theatre in Lincoln, Nebraska in April.
The power of Love itself doesn’t happen accidentally, but it does desperately desire to become intention. Be patient, the power of loving yourself and another profoundly with an undying purpose to master the tight-rope walk of love itself—connecting the lands of the living and the dead—is primary. To love, is to live. To live with. That is primary. Before we can live for another, we must learn to love. Profoundly, courageously, faithfully. Convivir! Conjunto! Con el Mundo!

THE CREATIVES

Playwright

Matt Barbot
Matt Barbot

MATT BARBOT is a Nuyorican writer from Brooklyn, NY.  His play EL COQUÍ ESPECTÁCULAR AND THE BOTTLE OF DOOM (Kennedy Center Darrel Ayers Award, Kennedy Center Latinidad Award) received its world premiere at Two River Theater in January of 2018. The short piece “Spray Cap,” Matt’s contribution to Lynn Nottage and Miranda Haymon’s THE WATERING HOLE at Signature Theatre featuring Liza Colon-Zayas, received special praise from The New Yorker and The New York Times. His piece FRIJOLES, starring Raul Esparza, is available to view on YouTube. Matt recently workshopped his new plays THE BEAUTIFUL LAND I SEEK (LA LINDA TIERRA QUE BUSCO YO) at Fault Line Theatre, and TRILOGY, a commission for Two River Theater, both with director José Zayas. PRINCESS CLARA OF LOISAIDA and SAINTS GO MARCHING were featured on Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater Company’s “The Mix” list. His short play “A List of Some Shit I’ve Killed” was published as part of the Red Bull Theater’s anthology Red Bull Shorts Volume III. Matt’s first play for young audiences, STOO’S FAMOUS MARTIAN AMERICAN GUMBO, was commissioned by Peppercorn Theatre. Roundabout Theatre Company awarded THE VENETIANS the 2019 Columbia@Roundabout prize. Additionally, Matt has worked with comic book creator Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez as an editor and co-writer for Darryl Makes Comics’ DMC, as well as Somos Arte’s La Borinqueña. Matt is a New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Fellow and has an MFA in playwriting from Columbia University.

Director

José Zayas
José Zayas

José Zayas (he/him/his) is an award-winning director. He has directed over 100 productions in New York, regionally, and internationally. Credits include: El Perro del Hortelano (Gala Theatre), Fandango for Butterflies (and Coyotes) (En Garde Arts), The Queen of Basel (Studio Theatre, DC), Exquisita Agonía (Repertorio Español), The Magnetic Fields: 50 Song Memoir (BAM, MASS MoCA, US & European Tours), A Nonesuch Celebration (BAM), Washed Up on the Potomac (San Francisco Playhouse, The Flea Theater), Undocumented (Joe’s Pub), Pinkolandia and El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom (Two River Theater), The House of the Spirits (Teatro Espressivo, Gala Theatre, Denver Center, ACE, HOLA, and Ovation Awards for Best Production and Direction), Your Name Will Follow You Home, La Nena Se Casa, Love in the Time of Cholera, In the Time of the Butterflies, In The Name of Salome, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, Burundanga (Repertorio Español, ACE and HOLA Awards for Best Production and Direction for the latter two), Corazon Eterno, (Mixed Blood), Southern Promises and Strom Thurmond is Not a Racist (PS 122, The Brick), Useless (IRT), Father of Lies and Vengeance Can Wait (PS 122); P.S. Jones and the Frozen City, Feeder: A Love Story (TerraNOVA Collective); Privilege, Okay, Mrs. Jones and the Man From Dixieland (EST), The Idea of Me (Cherry Lane Theatre), The Queen Bees (Queens Theatre in the Park), Manuel Vs. The Statue of Liberty and Children of Salt (NYMF), Cancun, Chronicle of a Death Foretold (Gala Theatre, DC), Wedding Dress, The Island of Lonely Men (Teatro Espressivo, Costa Rica). José has premiered works by Stephin Merritt, Hilary Bettis, Nilo Cruz, Caridad Svich, Robert Askins, Thomas Bradshaw, Duncan Sheik, Steven Sater, Taylor Mac, Marco Antonio Rodriguez, Lynn Rosen, Saviana Stanescu, Carlos Murillo, Rob Urbinati, Kristina Poe, Catherine Filloux, James Carter, Gerardo Cardenas, Matt Barbot, Susan Kim, and Jordi Galceran. ​Notable fellowships and affiliations include: a Drama League Fellowship, Lincoln Center Theater’s Directors Lab, Soho Repertory Theater’s Writer/Director Lab, and the NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Directors. He is a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST) and he was the Resident Director at Repertorio Español from 2008-2018. José was born in Puerto Rico. He holds a BA from Harvard University and an MFA in Directing from Carnegie Mellon University. https://www.josezayasdirector.com/

Scenic Designer

Arnulfo Maldonado
Arnulfo Maldonado

Arnulfo Maldonado is a New York City-based set and costume designer. Previously at Two River: The Women of Padilla by Tony Meneses and Madeleine George’s Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England, both with director Ken Rus Schmoll. Notable New York credits include: School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play and Charm (MCC Theater); Bull in a China Shop (Lincoln Theater Center); Twelfth Night (The Public); Kingdom Come (Roundabout); Duat and generations (Soho Rep); Caught (Play Co); Men on Boats, Iowa (Playwrights Horizons); Iphigenia in Aulis (CSC). Regional: Berkeley Rep, Center Stage, Central City Opera, Guthrie Theater, Old Globe, Olney Theatre Center, Opera Theatre of St Louis, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival. Tour: Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower (Under the Radar Festival, NYUAD Arts Center, Abu Dhabi US Tour); The Magnetic Fields: 50 Song Memoir (BAM Next Wave/International tour). Mr. Maldonado is a Clubbed Thumb Affiliated Artist, a recipient of a Princess Grace Fabergé Theater Award, and a multiple-Henry Hewes Design nominee. MFA: NYU Tisch. www.arnulfomaldonado.com

Costume Designer

Ásta Bennie Hostetter
Ásta Bennie Hostetter

Ásta Bennie Hostetter NYC: The Wolves (Lincoln Center), The Rape of the Sabine Women… (Playwrights Realm), Fulfillment Center (MTC), Smokefall (MCC), John (Signature), Men on Boats (Playwrights Horizons), The Terrifying (Abrons Arts Center), Porto (Bushwick Starr), Picnic/Come Back, Little Sheba (Transport Group), Coriolanus (Red Bull Theater), 10 Out of 12, Generations (Soho Rep). Regional: Mystery of Love & Sex (Signature Theatre), 4000 Miles and After The Revolution (Baltimore Center Stage).

Lighting Designer

Zach Blane
Zach Blane

Zach Blane Selected Off-Broadway: Too Much, Too Much, Too Many and Suicide, Incorporated (Roundabout Theatre Company); Would You Still Love Me If (New World Stages, dir. Kathleen Turner); Charles Busch’s Cleopatra (TFANC); Wringer (City Center); The Siblings Play (Cherry Lane); Suitcase Under the Bed (Mint Theater Company, Theatre Row); Bulldozer: The Ballad of Robert Moses (St. Clements); The Crusade of Connor Stephens (Jerry Orbach); The Eternal Space (Theatre Row); Soul Doctor (Actors Temple); The Good Girl (59E59); The Dork Knight (Abingdon); Sommerfugl; Holiday House (4th Street, NYTW). National Tour: Crane: On Earth, In Sky (Heather Henson). Regional: Barrington Stage Company, Two River Theater, Olney Theatre Center, Bucks County Playhouse, Dorset Theatre Festival, Cape Playhouse, Fiddlehead Theatre Company, Shubert Theatre, Adirondack Theatre Company, City Theatre, Engeman Theater, Will Rogers Center. Norwegian Cruise Lines (Fleet-wide Lighting Designer). Named “Designer to Watch” by Live Design Magazine, 2011. www.ZachBlane.com. Instagram: @zachblane.

Sound Designer

Jane Shaw
Jane Shaw

Jane Shaw previously designed El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom, The Women of Padilla, Lives of Reason, Guadalupe in the Guest Room and Pinkolandia at Two River Theater. New York credits include I Was Most Alive with You (Playwrights Horizons); Actually (MTC, Williamstown Theatre Festival); Measure for Measure (Theatre for a New Audience); Ironbound (Rattlestick/Women’s Project); En el tiempo de las Mariposas (Repertorio Español) and 30 productions with the Mint. Regional credits include The Royale  (Cleveland Play House); Caroline, or Change (Tantrum Theater); Rear Window, Breath and Imagination (Hartford Stage); They Promised Her the Moon (Old Globe) and productions at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Mark Taper Forum, ACT, and with the Shakespeare Theatre Company. Next: Annie Get Your Gun at Bay Street, Into the Breeches at Cleveland Play House. Recognition: Bessie Award, Henry Award, Drama Desk, Premios ACE 2012, two Connecticut Critics Circle Awards, Meet the Composer grant, Theatre Communications Group’s Career Development Program, and nominations for three Lortels, Henry Hewes and Elliot Norton Awards. She was born in Kansas and lives in Brooklyn.

Projections/ Animation Designer

Alex Basco Koch
Alex Basco Koch

Alex Basco Koch Broadway: Be More Chill, Irena’s Vow. Off-Broadway: Buyer & Cellar (North American Tour; Menier Chocolate Factory; Barrow Street; Rattlestick); Fireflies (Atlantic); I Was Most Alive With You (Playwrights Horizons); The Liquid Plain (Signature; Oregon Shakespeare Festival); GOODBAR (The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival). Regional: El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom, Pinkolandia (Two River Theater); Indecent (The Guthrie); The Who’s Tommy (Denver Center); Approval Junkie, Tiger Style (Alliance; Huntington Theatre Company); Pride & Prejudice, Marley (Baltimore Center Stage); Invisible Man (Court Theatre, Chicago; Studio Theatre, Washington DC; Huntington Theatre Company); ReEntry (Baltimore Center Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Roundhouse Theatre). Concert: The Magnetic Fields 50 Song Memoir.

Fight Direction

UnkleDave’s Fight-House
UnkleDave’s Fight-House

UnkleDave’s Fight-House UnkleDave’s Fight-House is a Drama Desk Award-nominated company of fight directors founded by Dave Anzuelo. The core members of the team are Jesse Geguzis, Gerry Rodriguez, Sean Fletcher and Aldo Uribe. Two River Theater credits: El Coqui Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom, Be More Chill, Seven Guitars, A Raisin in the Sun. Broadway credits: Escape to Margaritaville (Marquis), Tuck Everlasting (Broadhurst), An American in Paris (Palace), Disgraced (Lyceum). Off-Broadway: Girl from the North Country; Mother of the Maid and Oedipus El Rey (Public Theater), Downtown Race Riot (New Group). Regional: Oklahoma! (Goodspeed). National Tour: An American in Paris. London: Buried Child.

Casting

Jack Doulin + Sharky
Jack Doulin + Sharky

Jack Doulin + Sharky Jack has been the Casting Director at New York Theatre Workshop since 2000. Productions there include: Peter and the StarcatcherHomebody/Kabul, Far AwayA NumberHedda GablerThe Misanthrope, and The Little Foxes. Other NYC highlights include two notable productions of Uncle Vanya: André Gregory’s production with Julianne Moore and Wallace Shawn (filmed by Louis Malle as Vanya on 42nd Street), and Annie Baker’s adaptation with Reed Birney, Maria Dizzia, and Michael Shannon directed by Sam Gold. For SoHo Rep: BlastedA Public Reading…DisneyMarie Antoinette. Film: New Orleans, Mon Amour directed by Michael Almereyda and Jonathan Demme’s A Master Builder and What the Night Can Do. Sharky, also known as Taylor Williams, serves as the Casting Associate at New York Theatre Workshop. Together they have cast:  Love and Information (NYTW), Oklahoma(Bard SummerScape), Scenes from a Marriage (NYTW), You Got Older (P73), City of Conversation  (Arena Stage), An Octoroon (Soho Rep and TFANA), Red Speedo (NTYW), Hadestown  (NYTW), Othello (NYTW) directed by Sam Gold, Mary Jane (NYTW) written by Amy Herzog and upcoming The Winter’s Tale (TFANA) and Adrienne Kennedy’s new play He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box (TFANA).

Production Stage Manager

Terri K. Kohler
Terri K. Kohler

Terri K. Kohler Two River: As You Like It. New York: In the BloodThe Death of the Last Black Man…, Chéri (Signature Theatre); Can You Forgive Her?, Indecent (Vineyard Theatre); Red Speedo, Scenes from a Marriage, Belleville, The Black Eyed (New York Theatre Workshop); Mother Courage, Doctor Faustus, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, The School for Lies, The Forest (CSC); Futurity (Soho Rep/Ars Nova); WasheteriaWe Are Proud…., Orange, Hat & Grace (Soho Rep); Pretty Filthy, In the Footprint, Paris Commune, The Great Immensity (Civilians); The Designated Mourner, In Darfur (Public Theater); Garden of Earthly DelightsAngel Reapers (conceived by Martha Clarke). Select regional: Parable of the Sower (ArtsEmerson); Good Men Wanted (NY Stage and Film); Wild Swans (ART/ Young Vic); Oedipus, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, La Dispute, The Sound of a Voice (ART). Usual Suspect (NYTW), Associate Artist, The Civilians.

PHOTOS

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