The life of Lucha Reyes, "The tragic anti-heroine", in an exceptional production

The life of Lucha Reyes, “The tragic anti-heroine”, in an exceptional production

the tequilera is a play based on the life of Lucha Reyes, it is in its last weekend of performances and as the “Empress of Mexican song” became known, this work pays tribute to a woman who faced glory and darkness in parallel.

About it, The Economist had the opportunity to talk with its author, Ximena Escalanteshe says that the play is the initiative of the actress and executive producer Daniela Schmidt“The idea that she proposed to me was to talk about the life of Lucha Reyes, when I read the biography that Alma Velazco made, I realized that it was a well-documented and sustained writing”, that allowed the writer to immediately connect with character.

He explains that there is a kind of “cursed legend” to the story of fight kings, “and I have an attraction towards these dark, demonic or cornered personalities, of how characters who at the time were successful and at the same time, a tremendous fall, very hard, difficult failures, and in the case of Lucha con a strong addiction This tragic course makes her a truly fascinating ‘tragic anti-heroine.’

After reading the novel, delving into her music, and other documents, Escalante realized that even so, not enough had been said about her, which motivated her even more to tell this story. “That’s how I wrote this play in which I tried to narrate the course of his life focusing on what for me is the core of his life, heartbreak.” She was not loved by her mother, she could not have children and she bought a girl and when she did, she did not know how to love her, in exchange for that she had many dogs and she also abandoned them, but worst of all, she abandoned her own talent.

Despite being born with a star and a treasure bestowed on his talent, he did not know how to love it”.

The author explains that this is a kind of tragic metaphor for how we are all born with a gift, but what do we do with it? it will depend on us, “Lucha she did not know how to do it, by not recognizing it, by not valuing herself. But how to do it if no one has valued you since you were a child. She was abandoned and mistreated by her mother, then by men, by her representatives and even by her public, who loved her but at the time she turned her back on him. That makes her a fascinating woman and I think it is a story that should be known more, because paradoxically she is our great legend of Mexican music.”

“La Tequilera”, a play inspired by the novel “They call me the Tequilera”. Photo EE: Courtesy

Today Escalante is more than satisfied with this project “it has been a long time since I had an artistic satisfaction of this impact, it has been a process of working side by side with Tono Serranoan extraordinary stage and film director, very rigorous and demanding, his work is visible and for that I am very proud”, his only regret is that the season has been so short, hence the invitation to live this experience in its last weekend is open to the public.

A different scenic proposal

The staging is in charge of Antonio Serrano, it is a clinical and practically scientific work so that it could be achieved. The work in this work is a kind of “clockwork” that makes it unique, explains Escalante.

She says that when Serrano read the work, he was emphatic in explaining that this story could not be told narratively and nothing more, that a distance had to be given so that the story could be understood in depth.

From there came the idea of ​​simulating a set where the Lucha Reyes movie is being filmed, so you have the opportunity to see the play and watch the movie. What would you rather see? In this sense, the writer of the work invites the public to see it twice and she can enjoy both versions, since they become two stories.

It is also interesting how through a screen you have the possibility of understanding a story that is completely different when seen on stage, with the actors in front of you. “It is a show that is not like what we normally see, it is very ambitious as an idea, but also in its making, all of us who are there have worked exhaustively, especially actors and directors”.

Against all odds

This work was carried out through the fiscal stimulus of EFIARTES, it is a path that gives artists the possibility to bring these productions to reality, however, according to Escalante, it is a very long and meticulous one, with a amount of work and exhaustive process, “it’s a matter of delving into all that clinical elaboration (…) EFIARTES is a kind of filter of quality and artistic rigor that is worth it, but it is also a great challenge.”

About the genesis of this project Josafat Aguilar Rodríguez, interdisciplinary artist, producer and illuminator of the work, tells this medium that the work was staged five years ago at Teatro UNAM, finished a season of 20 performances and then fiscal stimulus was sought through of the call for EFIARTES, “it was tried several times but it was not achieved until before the pandemic.” During the pandemic period, several problems arose, including the cancellation of spaces, since this work is designed for a large theater such as the Juan Ruiz de Alarcón, Foro de las Artes, Julio Castillo, considered large-format.

The support was almost due and that would have implied returning the capital and interest generated to the SAT, for this reason they sought to give new life to the project, already past the most serious period of the pandemic. At that time, people like Aguilar Rodríguez joined the project. “Everything had to be done very quickly, something that would normally take three months, we did it in six weeks.”

For this new stage, although the road had already been traveled, it was about finding a theater, gathering the team, since the production (props, costumes) was watered down, the budget was tight, there were cases of Covid, adapting to severe protocols, in short, the pieces had to be put together, reassembled and also adapted to new spaces, in this case the Luisa Josefina Hernández Orientation Theater.

This is how this season came to fruition, with a high degree of difficulty, since only for the video part, there are more than 1,000 cuts, also using a compressor with maximum precision that was integrated into phones that achieved an optimal transmission network. to work in real time, also movements of partitions that the same actors and actresses are accommodating according to the scene, in a theater much smaller than expected, “make everything fit, build an extra set in the relief part of the theater to putting part of what was required, we took that theater to the maximum of its capacity like never before”, details Aguilar Rodríguez, “all of that was very interesting and we have experience left to continue with new projects of equal or greater complexity”.

Details of the work La Tequilera

  • It is presented at the Centro Cultural del Bosque (CCB) – Teatro Orientación, Luisa Josefina Hernández, Paseo de la Reforma and Campo Marte s/n, Paseo de la Reforma, 11560 Mexico City, CDMX.
  • Friday, 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday, 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
  • The cost is 150 pesos.
  • Tickets at the box office or through:

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