When East Austinite Adam L. Chapa Sr. was shot in his driveway in 1998 by a teen gang member, his family’s life forever changed. But Teatro Vivo’s latest production “Sangre de un Ángel” (Blood of an Angel) now aims to encourage young adults with Chapa’s story.
The play by Roxanne Schroeder-Arce of “Mariachi Girl” is directed by Chapa’s cousin Si Mon’ Emmett. The free performances June 1-3 at 8 p.m. with an additional 4 p.m. performance June 2 will be at the Hillside Theatre at the A.B. Cantu Pan American Recreation Center (2100 E. Third St, Austin, Texas), near Chapa’s home.
Sangre de un Ángel tells the story of a rebellious teenager who seeks the approval of his troubled friends. But when his auto mechanics teacher gives him the opportunity to rebuild a classic 1957 Chevy, he’s encouraged to go back to school. Just as he’s looking forward to a hopeful future, trouble follows him home.
“Teenagers, teenagers of color most importantly, don’t often see themselves represented in professional theater in a way where we can see the multiple elements of their lives influencing their decisions,” Emmett says. “Their stories are important.”
The holiday commemorates the Battle of Puebla in 1862 when a scrappy Mexican army defeated Napoleon III’s powerful French troops. Although now a minor holiday in Mexico, Americans over the decades have embraced its cultural significance. Some scholars believe had Mexicans not won that battle that the French could have backed the Confederacy in America’s Civil War, perhaps resulting in a very different United States.
Texans can take pride in knowing that the Mexican forces were led by Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin, a native Texan born in present day Goliad.
Check out a sampling of shows honoring the holiday:
Rancho Alegre Conjunto Festival with Flaco Jimenez: The annual free celebration of accordion-driven music runs May 4-6 at various locations including Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater, Stubb’s Graceland Grocery in Oak Hill, and One-2-One Bar. On Cinco de Mayo, the fest will attempt to set an official Guinness World Record for the number of accordionists playing the polka “Viva Seguin” at the same time. The family-friendly festival, which will feature more than 20 different bands from across Texas, will be headlined by legendary musician Flaco Jimenez. More info: ranchoalegretexas.com.
Cinco de Mayo with Tequila Rock Revolution & Boca Abajo at One-2-One Bar: When metal meets mariachi, you get Tequila Rock Revolution. The music salutes mariachi roots and infuses it with modern metal and electronica. The result makes for a must-see show that features a 10-piece supergroup donning Mexican sugar skull face paint. Join them as they celebrate their latest single release. Rockers Boca Abajo round out the bill. Showtime starts at 10:30 p.m. More info: one2onebar.com
Tacos & Tequila with Grupo Fantasma at Belmont: Latin funk masters Grupo Fantasma will lead the Cinco de Mayo bash that’ll have a special margarita menu and free tacos. Doors open at 7 p.m and tickets cost $25 in advance $35 at the door. More info: tacosandtequilaatx.com
Bidi Bidi Banda, Tiarra Girls, Este Vato at Mohawk outdoor: Austin’s first all-star Selena tribute band headlines the celebration in honor of the Queen of Tejano music. Teenage alternative rock trio and sisters Tiarra Girls also make up the lineup along with the eight-piece Latin fusion outfit Este Vato. Tickets range from $15-20. Doors open at 8 p.m. More info: eventbrite.com/q/mohawk/events/33132
Cinco de Mayo 2018 at Fiesta Gardens: The 26th annual free accordion festival features food booths and acts such as Johnny Degollado y Su Conjunto, Los Pinkys and Ruben Garza. Lawnchairs permitted. More info: cincodemayoaustin.com
La Voz Latina at Cactus Cafe: Local artists will honor Latin American female singers with a special tribute concert at 7 p.m. at the Cactus Cafe. Leti Garza, Stephanie Bergara, Suzanna Choffel, Ley Line and Vanessa Lively are among the featured performers. Tickets cost $12 in advance and $15 at the door. More info: cactuscafe.org,
Cinco de Mayo Cumbia Night with El Tule, Plan Sonidero, DJ Megabass at Hotel Vegas: After receiving a city proclamation declaring April 26 “El Tule” Day, the music veterans who have been making our hips shake for the past 15 years will be leading the party. Cumbia masters Plan Sonidero and DJ Megabass are also among the high-energy lineup. More info: texashotelvegas.com