Friday, April 27, 2012

'Rebirth of a Queen'

"Congratulations on being an honoree! We look forward to celebrating your fierceness and powerful way of being in the world; reading the kind and wonderful words that your nominator sent us has filled us with hope that our community will continue to persevere because of womyn like you!" -- Carmen Mojica, program director, Casa Atabex Ache - The House of Womyn's Power, the Bronx

Tomorrow I will proudly be among the honorees at this event that celebrates women who are empowering communities and overcoming obstacles in their personal and professional life. It is appropriately titled the "Rebirth of a Queen."

The event is Casa Atabex Ache's 7th Annual Womyn Warriors Awards Ceremony & Celebration, and it will be from 6 to 10 p.m. tomorrow at Casabe Houses, 150 East 121 Street, East Harlem. 

If you want to attend, contact Monique De La Oz at for tickets, which are $25 in advance, $35 at the door.

UPDATE: Here is a link to the photos from this event:

Friday, April 13, 2012

From Menudo to Evita, Ricky Martin Shines

By Rita J. Egan

I was in the sixth grade when friends and I prepared a skit around the music of the Broadway play Evita. I'm not quite sure how we came up with the idea, but I do remember the commercials and how badly I wanted to go to New York City and see the play.
I never did get a chance to see the original, and grew up to be a teenager who was a huge fan of the group Menudo. Through the years, I also became a great admirer of Ricky Martin.

Imagine how excited I was when rumors began circulating in 2010 that Martin was up for the part of Che in the Broadway revival. I waited in anticipation for the day I would finally see Evita.
Finally on March 24, my friend Silvia and I had the opportunity to catch one of the preview performances. It was the matinee and unfortunately Elena Roger (Eva Peron) doesn't perform Saturday matinees, but the show was a good one just the same. The scenery was breathtaking, and the ensemble numbers were exhilarating.
Christina DeCicco did a nice job as Evita, but it was Rachel Potter, Juan Peron's mistress, who left me teary-eyed after she sang "Another Suitcase in Another Hall." There's sweetness in her voice that I'm sure will touch many theater-goers as well as leave many lasting impressions. Michael Cerveris’s portrayal of Peron was perfectly understated relaying the message of how this powerful man was overshadowed by his charismatic wife.
And then of course, there was Martin. The character Che serves as a narrator of the story as well as Eva Peron's conscience of sorts. Many times Che observes the scenes from the sidelines. You would think a star such as Martin would be a distraction, but somehow he moves seamlessly along the edges when needed. And when it's time for Che to take center stage, Martin moves gracefully from observer to star. It seems the role was made for him, incorporating his talents for singing and dancing. During the number "High Flying Adored," where he sings of Eva achieving success at such a young age, Martin seemed to easily relate to the lyrics.
Martin also cleverly delivers Che's lines. He seemed to handle them with an ease that had the audience catching the sarcasm and chuckling with him.
With it being a preview, it seemed that there were a few kinks that needed to be worked out, but I'm sure nothing that the talented actors haven't already handled. As for Martin’s fans, they have all of 2012 to catch their favorite performer shining on Broadway as Che.
Rita Egan is a contributing writer to PRSUN. A freelance writer, check out Rita's columns in the Smithtown Patch at Rita’s email is

Evita is playing on Broadway. For more information, visit
(Photo of Rita Egan posing in front of the poster of Ricky Martin (Che) outside the Marquis Theatre.)

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Puerto Rican Culinary Arts

Featured community event

Do you love your rice and beans? Are you passionate about your Puerto Rican food? Check out this event that puts a spotlight on Puerto Rican Culinary Arts.

“El amor entra por la cocina: Cooking and Cultural Identity amongst Puerto Rican Women Living in New York”
A multi-media presentation based on a research project about culinary traditions of the Puerto Rican Diaspora conducted by Dr. Nilsa Rodríguez-Jaca in 2010. She interviewed over twenty senior women of our community who have lived in New York City for at least two decades and recovered their stories about food consumption and sharing, and also how this has helped them to maintain a sense of community and cultural identity for over sixty years. Guests Deborah Quiñones (the Coquito Contessa) and Chef Julio Rodríguez will also share their culinary experiences. FREE

Puerto Rican Culinary Arts
Thursday, April 4th – 6-8:00 p.m.
Hunter College, 68th & Lexington Avenue
Centro Conference Room 1442
East Building, 14th Floor
If you have any questions or wish to RSVP contact Evelyn Collazo at or call 212-396-6545.