In the 1930’s, a young Cuban woman named Alicia Parlá gained international fame dancing a style of music she called rumba (but was actually closer to the Cuban son).  She performed it, first in New York and then Europe, even taught it to the likes of the Prince of Wales and Josephine Baker, and for a brief period reigned as the international Queen of the Rumba – all before turning 21.

It was a short lived reign, and Parlá married and settled in Havana, eventually joining the Cuban exile community in Miami after the Cuban revolution, earning her living as a typist. She died of cancer there in 1998.

Parlá’s true story is the inspiration behind “Queen of the Rumba,” a new play with dance by Josefina López that opens Friday at Casa 0101. Directed and choreographed by Corky Domínguez, the world premiere production will have a five-week run at the Boyle Heights playhouse through Oct. 22.

The production stars two actresses, Paloma Morales and Angel Juarez, who play Parlá at different stages of the dancer’s life. Other featured members of the cast include Kenia Romero Mauricio Marte, Lolita Lozcano, Adam Jacobo, Peter Laboy, Vivian Marie Lamolli, Sammy Montero, Maricella Ibarra, Victoria Tamez and Melvin Ward.

The new production will be presented on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm, and on Sundays at 3:00 pm. at CASA 0101 Theater, 2102 East First Street (at St. Louis Street) in Boyle Heights. 

Tickets are $25.00 per person for General Admission; $22.00 per person for Boyle Heights residents and Groups of 20 of more; $20.00 per person for Students and Seniors 60+.

This show is recommended for all audiences.  Advance reservations are highly recommended.  For tickets, please call the CASA 0101 Theater Box Office at 323-263-7684, E-mail, or buy online at 

Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community newspaper produced by its youth "por y para la comunidad". The newspaper and its sister website serve an immigrant neighborhood in East Los Angeles of just under...

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