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New play at Denver Center for the Performing Arts features a comedic road trip on I-25

"Cebollas" highlights Colorado and New Mexico cultural ties
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Posted at 10:16 AM, Jan 30, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-30 16:35:59-05

DENVER — Three sisters transport a dead body from Albuquerque to Denver — that’s the premise of “Cebollas,” a play making its world premiere at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

The comedy was chosen for a reading during the DCPA’s New Play Summit in 2022, and it received such positive reviews that the DCPA decided to stage a full production.

The plot surrounds sisters trying to bring the body of a man back to his wife’s home in Denver so she doesn’t learn of his affair. Playwright Leonard Madrid said the cultures of New Mexico and Southern Colorado are prominently featured.

“There’s a lot of dialect, a lot of the food is the same, and so it’s almost like a trip through New Mexico and then Denver is at the end,” Madrid said.

The set will include projections of the real drive along I-25 from Albuquerque to Denver, with references to some of the real roadside attractions, including the Ikea in Centennial. But the heart of the play is the relationship between the sisters, played by three Latina actors.

“There are a bunch of amazing Chicano and Latino plays out there, but very few of them are comedies,” Madrid said.

Cebolla means “onion” and Madrid said the title was initially inspired by things that make people cry. But he noted the play is very much a comedy, even containing a reference to the movie “Weekend at Bernie’s.”

Cebollas runs through March 10 at the Singleton Theatre

They did what? New play's road trip includes dead body

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