Texas Border Business
PHARR, Texas – Written in 1972, as one of Bradbury’s first plays, The Wonderful Ice cream Suit, is set in a Mexican American community in the 1970’s and centers around five male friends on a quest to change their luck.
Gomez, played by Gabriel Arriaga from Edinburg, is the self-imposed leader of the group. He’s a redeemed conman of sorts and plans to buy a beautiful white suit that’s been hanging inside the storefront window of downtown’s Shumway Suits. The problem is that he only has $10 and needs a total of $50, the sale price of the garment. After he measures himself and his four pals, who happen to be about the same size, he gets each one to pitch-in $10, to buy the suit, offering them a turn to wear it.
“I’ve been a fan of the story for quite some time,” said Arriaga, “I like the magical element to the whole thing and how one suit convinces these guys that it’s gonna completely change their lives, It’s an entertaining play with a good group of actors.”
The men also believe the suit will help improve their lives including dating fine women. But when it’s Vamenos’ turn to wear it, the vagrant of the group, played by Ray Perez from McAllen, they all fear the worst, knowing that his sloppy mannerisms will put the clean white suit in jeopardy, but he’s got the extra $10 they need, leaving them with no choice but to take a chance with him.
“I’m having a blast playing Vamenos. The part is well written as a comical character, and the story is an all-around good time. It’s funny and an opportunity for the audience to see so many talented people from our region playing these parts in a way they’ve never seen them played before,” said Perez
Although the plays’ characters are male dominated there are a few lady characters as well. Dorothy Mendiola, from Edinburg, plays Ruby Escuadrillo and Leslie Delgado, from Mission, plays Celia Obregon.
“Celia Obregon is a beautiful woman who unfortunately doesn’t see clearly what is standing right in front of her, but she will find out sooner or later, said Delgado. “This theatre company has given me the opportunity to get back to what I enjoy the most, acting. Thanks to them, I get to escape the real world, and jump into a new world with each scene.”
The rest of the RGV cast include Ruben Valencia, from Rio Grande, as Villanazul, Humberto Moreno, from La Feria, as Martinez, Roy Alex Gomez, from La Feria, as Dominguez, Ulises Wilkenson, from McAllen, as Mr. Shumway, Aaron Matthew Barrera, from McAllen, as Leo, Joseph R. Soto, from Mercedes, as Toro and Brena Chay, from Pharr, as a pretty girl.
The play is being directed by Seres Jaime Magaña; The Stage Manager is Karla Gastel; Sergio Luna, Robert Flores, Damien Duque, Aaron Matthew Barrera and Ruby Gomez are the Design team; Robert Longoria is IT Support; Mario Alberto Leal is Marketing & Ad Sales Director; Arnoldo Mata is Budget & Payroll Manager; Cecilio Muñoz is Production Assistant and Pedro Garcia is the Producer for PCT.
Ray Douglas Bradbury was an American author and screenwriter. One of the most celebrated 20th-century American writers, he worked in a variety of modes, including fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery, and realistic fiction. Bradbury wrote The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451 that earned him the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation. In 1998 Bradbury adapted the play for a film that starred Edward James Olmos, Joe Mantegna & Esai Morales.
The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit, a one-act play, in English runs from June 30 through July 9 (six shows) Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m., at Pharr Community Theater, 213 W Newcombe Ave. (Park) Pharr. Tickets are $8 in advance and/or $12 at the door, upon availability. (Seating is limited to 55 persons per show) The play is equivalent to a PG-13 movie. For advance tickets and more details please visit www.pharrcommunitytheater.com or text 956-655-9308.
The play is produced by special arrangement with The Dramatic Publishing Co. of Woodstock Illinois.