Reviews of shows from the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts and other local venues published by the Los Cerritos Community News. The writer and paper are in their twentieth year of covering these events.

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Location: Fear City, Ca., United States

"My name is Addison DeWitt. My native habitat is the theater. In it I toil not, neither do I spin. I am a critic and commentator. I am essential to the theatre - as ants to a picnic, as the boll weevil to a cotton field." George Sanders in "All About Eve"

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Paco Pena: Flamenco Vivo February 15, 2012

Paco Pena Brings Flamenco Vivo! to Cerritos

                                                    By Glen Creason

     You would assume that since Paco Pena is widely considered the greatest traditional flamenco guitarist in the land that his show “Flamenco Vivo” would be pure Paco with a little help from his friends. Yet, the “Flamenco Vivo” concert before a packed house at the Performing Arts Center was very much an ensemble piece with the humble Don Pena providing a powerful but ego-less center to an extremely fine evening of this fascinating, centuries-old Spanish art form.  The troupe provided a thoroughly authentic and thrillingly passionate performance with everyone playing together to create something truly special and memorable in this rather rare night of Andalusian fantasy. The stage was spare and the feeling was intimate like a gathering in a courtyard or around a campfire as three guitarists, a percussionist, two singers and three dancers enthralled the very receptive house for near two hours.
     Of course, most people came to see Maestro Pena play his guitar or see the flying feet of the dancers but on this night, the soulful, Middle-Eastern influenced vocals also provided a perfect spice to the instruments and dancing.  The show began with Paco Pena leading with the exquisite Charo Espino and Daniela Tugues warming the stage with their expressive hands and rhythmic feet along with the achingly expressive singing of Jesus Corbacho and Cristina Pareja immediately turning Cerritos into Cordoba.  The following solo by the great guitarist was one of the most masterful since the last Sonny Rollins concert here.  Yet, all of this was merely a warm up for the dozen more pieces that followed, each adding to the enchantment.  Charo Espino used castanets and a shawl to punctuate stories in song and handsome Angel Munoz defied the laws of stamina with his dancing. Daniela Tugues was a vision in perfect synchronicity with the lush streams of flamenco music.  Singers Corbacho and Pareja showed the Arabic influence in their intense singing that somehow seemed to come from the same well as American blues.  At the end it was summed up perfectly in a rousing encore when they all joined on stage playfully with a guitarist singing his song and the rest laughing. The obvious joy in the artists on stage made the performance feel like part of an evening with friends, a very sweet moment indeed. 


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