“Forever Flamenco” at the Fountain Remains Hot-Hot-Hot

By Ernest Kearney  —  As I’ve been proclaiming for as long as I’ve been reviewing theatre in L.A., the hottest ticket in this town, as well as one of its best-kept secrets, are the monthly Juergas overseen and promoted by Deborah Culver at Hollywood’s Fountain Theatre since 1990.  Culver, with James Bennett as producer, is still opening the Fountain to these parties, under the series title of Forever Flamenco.

Part of the joy of attending these productions is in being allowed to witness the evolution of individual members who regularly perform as part of the cuadro, or troupe.

The spectacular talents within this troupe were well-represented on the night of the February performance.

Bailaora Fanny Ara won over the monthly audiences at the Fountain with her first appearance, entrancing them with the garra, the force of her dancing, overpowering them with a choreography that emphasizes one of flamenco’s hallmarks coraje.  Courage.

So the February 24th performance was of great interest, because Ara would not only be dancing, but would be directing the entire evening’s presentation.

She did not disappoint.

Opening with Marina Elana and Reyes Barrios, the other two women dancing that evening, (both of whom are tiene tablas **  writer's hand**), Ara started the evening off on a high note.

Singer Antonio De Jerez, percussionist Gerardo Morales and guitarist Gabriel Osuna were given the task of assuring the evening didn’t dip or falter from that height, which they accomplished handily.

Together, Ara, Elana and Barrios exemplified one of the features most surprising to those being introduced to flamenco for the first time. That unlike nearly every other dance discipline from ballet to hip-hop there is no specific body type or age associated with it.

Short or tall, willowy or zaftig, youthful or mature doesn’t limit the flamenco performer; all that’s demanded is passion.

Guitarist Gabriel Osuna, “Forever Flamenco” / Courtesy of The Fountain Theatre

The second half of the evening opened with a guitar solo by the superb Osuna, one of the stars of the cuadro.

Only after this did Ara, herself, dance, enticing the audience along as she raised the intensity of performance in a torsión y convlusión until she all but entered into a state bordering on the ecstatic.

The evening closed with a solo by Timo Nuñez, the lone male dancer on the bill, which was followed by Fin de Fiesta engaging the whole troupe.

I’ve never attended a performance of Forever Flamenco that did not conclude with the audience literally jumping to their feet.

Sunday, February 24th proved no exception.

If you want to see for yourself whether these evenings are indeed L.A.’s hottest ticket, the next opportunity to do so will be Sunday, March 24th, with Gerardo Morales directing.


You’ll need to call for reservations if you’re interested in attending because these evenings nearly always play to full houses.

And without a seat, how can you be blown out of it?


** writer's hand ** Experienced performers

♦     ♦     ♦

Forever Flamenco


Sunday, March 24 at 8 p.m.


The Fountain Theatre

5060 Fountain Ave.

Los Angeles CA 90029

(Fountain at Normandie)


(323) 663-1525



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An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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