Following national controversy over the resignation of a politically conservative actress from the local Spanish-language production of The Vagina Monologues, producer Eliana Lopez announced last week that the production had found a replacement.
Actress Alba Roversi, a veteran of the Spanish language Monologos de la Vagina, will take the place of Maria Conchita Alonso, whose departure from the play had Fox News crying foul over her being "forced out" for her conservative political views.
Any chance to needle San Francisco, right?
Roversi starred in over 20 Spanish language soap operas, though she may not have the same name recognition in the US as Alonso, whose filmography includes Predator 2 and The Running Man (with our former Governator). Roversi is in, and Alonso is out.
Alonso stirred the pot for backing Tea Party gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly in a YouTube ad that garnered just over 100,000 hits. Donnelly, a Republican Assemblymember representing the 33rd District along the Arizona border, is running a long-shot campaign to unseat the ever-popular Jerry Brown this November on a core right-wing platform.
"We're Californians, I want a gun in every Californian's gun safe, I want the government out of our businesses and our bedrooms," he says in the controversial ad, standing in a cowboy hat next to Alonso.
"He has 'big ones,' and he is angry," Alonso says in Spanish, by way of translation.
The ad had San Franciscans fired up, diverting attention from a performance celebrating women and devolving into a political shouting match, Lopez told the Guardian. Threats of boycotts put Monologos de la Vagina in the crosshairs. Alonso told media outlets she'd stepped down from the play to protect her fellow performers.
"The other actors don't have to go through this," she said to Fox News & Friends host Clayton Morris. "They don't deserve this. It's on me only, they can do whatever they want with me."
Residents of the historically Latino Mission District have good reason to be pissed at Donnelly: The Tea Party wunderkind rose to fame as a former member of the gun toting border-patrollers, the Minutemen.
"Of course she [Alonso] has a right to say whatever she wants. But we're in the middle of the Mission. Doing what she is doing is against what we believe," Lopez, who is also starring in the play, said in her most oft-mentioned quote in national media outlets.
In particular, Alonso's endorsement didn't jibe with the intention behind bringing the Spanish-language Monologos de la Vagina to the Mission's Brava Theater, which was to celebrate the rapidly disappearing Latino/a culture of the area.
"I've been working on this show for almost a year trying to raise the money, find the venue, the sponsors," she said. "My feeling was, as Latinas we have such beautiful things to offer. We have great actors and actresses who can bring things to the Mission and feel proud of. Inside me I felt, I want to bring that here, I want to do it. We can bring attention to our culture in a beautiful way, a high quality way."
With a new actress in place, she's ready to move beyond the controversy, Lopez said. "How do you say in English? The show must go on."
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