We are huge fans of the performance troupe Culture Clash and anything at the gorgeous Getty Villa. This February, don’t miss Culture Clash’s debut of the fully staged production of SAPO, based on Aristophanes’ The Frogs, featuring Buyepongo, an L.A.-based band that fuses cumbia, merengue, punta, jazz and funk.
Culture Clash’s riotous adaptation takes place in three epochs as it dissects three important elements inspired by Aristophanes’ original: An ancient journey on the road to Hell, recent fire storms near the 405 and an after party in the 1970s with a Latin rock band from the Bay Area also called SAPO (Frog), hoping to meet a record industry God but ending up somewhere between Malibu parties and the El Monte Swap Meet.
Photo credit: Hector Sandoval/Sandoval Media
The production will be Culture Clash’s fourth dramatic encounter with the ancient playwright at the Villa, having previously performed interpretations of Artistophanes’ Peace and The Birds, as well as last year’s workshop performance of SAPO as part of the Villa Theater Lab’s series of works-in-progress.
In 405 BCE, Aristophanes’ The Frogs won first prize at the Lenaia dramatic festival and was later staged that same year at the Dionysia festival. The comedy tells the story of the god Dionysus who, despairing of the current state of Athens’ tragedians, travels to Hades with his slave Xanthias to bring Euripides back from the dead.
In SAPO, Culture Clash precariously plays on the Aristophanic structure of gods, watery journeys, deception, damsel deities, and a chorus of frogs, while also diving deep into the matter of competing playwrights, who will smartly, fiercely, seriously, and humorously wrestle with their respective and competing bodies of work and styles.
All performances take place in the Villa Auditorium. Performance dates are Friday, February 2, 9, 16, 2018 at 8:00 p.m., Saturday, February 3, 10, 24, at 4:00 and 8:00 p.m., and Sunday, February 4, 11, 18, at 4:00 p.m. (Please note that there is no performance on Saturday, February 17.). This program contains language that may not be suitable for children under 13. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by calling 310-440-7300 or at http://www.getty.edu/museum/programs/performances/villa_premiere_presentation.html
Photo credit: Oscar R. Castillo
Culture Clash is the nation’s most prominent Chicano-Latino performance troupe, with a body of award-winning work ranging from biting satire to full- length original dramas, to adaptations of Aristophanes. For 33 years, writer-actors Richard Montoya, Ric Salinas, and Herbert Siguenza have employed the ethnographic workings of social anthropologists, digging deep into America’s margins and racialized culture to formulate their sometimes-outrageous brand of compelling site-specific theater.
The name Buyepongo translates to “cause a ruckus” which certainly describes the scene on the dance floors around the world whenever the band launches into its energetic and instantly infectious rhythms. It also describes Buyepongo’s riotous mash-up of influences, which absorbs hip-hop, punk, funk, and jazz sounds into a tropical blend of styles from across the Latin American diaspora. Like its name, the band is part hybrid, part invention, something untranslatable that nevertheless perfectly captures their uniquely vibrant spirit.
The J. Paul Getty Museum collects Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts to 1900, as well as photographs from around the world to the present day. The Museum’s mission is to display and interpret its collections, and present important loan exhibitions and publications for the enjoyment and education of visitors locally and internationally. This is supported by an active program of research, conservation, and public programs that seek to deepen our knowledge of and connection to works of art.
Visiting the Getty Villa the Getty Villa is open Wednesday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed Tuesdays, Thanksgiving, December 25 (Christmas Day), and January 1.
Admission to the Getty Villa is always free, but a ticket is required for admission. Tickets can be ordered in advance, or on the day of your visit, at www.getty.edu/visit or at (310) 440-7300. Parking is $15 per car, but reduced to $10 after 3 p.m. Groups of 15 or more must make reservations by phone. For more information, call (310) 440-7300 (English or Spanish); (310) 440-7305 (TTY line for the deaf or hearing impaired). The Getty Villa is at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, California. Same-day parking at both Museum locations (Getty Center and Getty Villa) is available for $15 through the Getty’s Pay Once, Park Twice program.
Additional information is available at www.getty.edu. Sign up for e-Getty at www.getty.edu/subscribe to receive free monthly highlights of events at the Getty Center and the Getty Villa via e-mail, or visit www.getty.edu for a complete calendar of public programs.
**** For information on Los Angeles theatre, tickets to theatre in North Hollywood’s NoHo Arts District, theatre reviews, the NoHo Event Calendar, restaurants, news and local businesses in NoHo, or anything and everything about the NoHo Arts Community, bookmark nohoartsdistrict.com. Follow us on Twitter @OfficialNoHo. On Instagram @NoHoArtsDistrict and Facebook @NoHoArtsDistrict. Culture Clash debuts “SAPO” featuring Buyepongo at the Getty Villa via in L.A.’s NoHo Arts District in North Hollywood, CA on the official NoHo Arts District Guide; www.nohoartsdistrict.com