The past few weeks have been quite active in the country’s political environment, ahead of the date to officially submit the filing of candidacies, as established by the Electoral Code. The barrage of announcements, which some anticipate primary processes, have sent the members of Gamma Rays.
This legendary political satire group, made up of actors and comedians Emmanuel “Sunshine” Logrono, Jacob Morales and Silverio Perezadmits that the script for his show “Political Party” has been the most challenging they have done so far, -with the exception of their presentation with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra– for the constant revisions they have had to do.
“I have had to rewrite, rewrite, and rewrite the script, discard things, incorporate others. I think it has been the script that has represented the most challenge. “This one in terms of changing and changing, and moving things, has been the most,” said Perez about the show they will offer. from November 30 to December 3, 2023 in the Cafe Teatro Monero of the Caguas Fine Arts Center.
“It’s super up-to-date; So much so that we threaten that on Sunday’s show at 4:00 pm, we will have something from what Jenniffer announces at noon, that day.”, she added about the possible announcement of the candidate who will be accompanying her on the ballot as resident commissioner in Washington. However, given this panorama, Morales highlighted the capacity of his friend and colleague. “This man has a natural speed that is amazing”he stressed.
Both Morales, Logrono and Perez agree that no one is safe in the show, where the audience must also be willing to be challenged to break paradigms, to recognize that a voice is coming out of the stage that interprets their desires.
“No one is saved from the stage of Los Gamma. No matter how close we may be with certain ideas, that audience that is there and those of us on stage, that does not exempt those ideas from being satisfied as well.”Perez stressed, while highlighting that the augmentative of the word “parrandazo” in the title also carries a message and has a purpose, by using the combination of “parranda” and “cantazo.”
“Let people know that they are going to feel Christmas music and are going to get involved with the rhythm of the songs, but behind it there is a dig at the politicians and what is happening in the country, that people feel the need for someone to say what they want.” They would like to say it and they don’t have the opportunity to be on a platform to say it. We become spokespersons for the people. That’s why people go and enjoy it so much, because they feel that their voice is coming out from the stage,” said the writer and musician.
“We have heard that there will be primaries between the Three Wise Men!”Logrono said, for his part.
Laughter and reflection in moments of intolerance
For Morales, the “Parrandazo Politico” will be a different way to celebrate Christmas, combining Puerto Rican politics with the festive spirit, ideal for people to “contemplate or make their decisions for the new year,” regarding politics. In the long run, what they seek in unison is laughter embraced by reflection.
The 89-year-old filmmaker also highlights that in times where intolerance prevails so much, they have had moments of tolerance that are memorable and magnificent experiences. They come to the memory of this group, which represents a milestone in the history of local political satire, moments in which they appeared in La Fortaleza to sing their repertoire without any type of alterations to the former governors of Puerto Rico, such as Luis A. Ferre, Rafael Hernandez and Carlos Romero Barcelo, in their respective mandates.
“We have had those types of experiences and it seems to me that people need to understand that we can have different ideas, but we can also have fun together,” Perez said. “Bringing laughter to people has always been our purpose and I bring that from the founder of Los Gamma, Eddie Lopez, journalist and excellent writer, and also from the teachings of Jacobo, and what we do, laughter has to lead to reflection. If it is laughter for the sake of laughter, we are not interested. “It is laughter as a preamble to reflection.”.
“Every day I think with more zeal, determination and vehemence that we may have different points of view, but the human sense and the sense of enjoying the miracle of life, my God, corresponds to everyone. This political division cannot be more and what is happening in the world has crushed me,” Morales added.
Back to the magic of Cafe Teatro
In the show, which lasts approximately an hour and a half, with a booklet of over 60 pages, they will carry out the delivery of the special prizes of the year and the gifts that Uncle Sunshine will distribute in complicity with Santa Claus.
There is no doubt that the Christmas Party is going to affect all politicians. However, on this occasion, unlike other shows, Los Rayos Gamma will follow the public’s recommendations through a survey they conducted to find out who they want to criticize more intensely.
“The result was interesting. The four personalities whom people asked us to hit harder were, being in fourth place Eliezer Molina -It totally surprised me-, Jennifer Gonzalez Third, the doctor Cesar Vazquez and obviously, Pedro Pierluisi has the honorable first place”said Perez.
And about the most recent alliance between the Puerto Rican Independence Party and Victoria Ciudadana?, we asked him. “It is interesting because those who participated do not seem to see in the alliance this need to unload against them, yet. But the alliance does not exempt us from making various parodies, making fun of various aspects. We will do a parody that remembers a program that Sylvia De Grasse had, about ‘Los Mamitos’. The song has to do with ‘Los Mamitos’, because Juan Dalmau and Manuel Natal “They are two personalities who have very strong female support, and we love that too.”they added.
Performing again at the Monero Theater, as they did last March with the show “Original Recipe”, takes them back to those times where they started in the theater. However, since it is a theater cafe, it further accentuates this contact with the public and allows them certain freedoms.
“The good thing about cafe theater, which happens more than in the theater, is like a complicity because we see each other’s faces. So there is greater involvement of the public, one incorporates them and at the same time we are more relaxed because there is a greater tolerance for improvisation and error, which can be made. We are exposed there and we love that environment,” Perez mentioned.
“At that moment I almost lost the rhythm,” Morales joked, to which Perez responded: “Sunshine is the one who has to suffer, it’s your turn to enter and you do whatever you want.”
There is something that happens with Los Rayos Gamma constantly, and that is that, although the public enjoys and has fun, for this trio of comedians it also represents a very special moment to have that direct contact with the public.
“Beyond our own differences, for example, in the same show we make satire and criticism of things that we support, but the commitment to people goes beyond that. In the same way that we cannot blame things too much on those people with whom we do not agree, but there are a vast number of people who do agree with them. With that internal and external balance you earn people’s respect.”Perez pointed out.
Closer to the new generations
To the surprise of these three artists, who have dedicated themselves to political satire for more than 50 years, the audience of Los Rayos Gamma has been evolving, with the number of young people who are attending their show.
Last time in March, we were surprised that if an age survey was taken of the people present, the average age would be much lower than in previous Gamma events in theater.
“It seems that there are grandparents who bring grandchildren, parents who bring children and young people who have heard of Los Gamma, who say that I can’t miss them because this is something historic. To our surprise, we saw a large number of young people at the last presentation,” said Perez.
This is what they have already seen in some scenarios and activities, a tendency among young people to practice satire. In fact, they shared their feeling that if Los Gamma disappear, satire would not be orphaned.
“There are many young people who are doing extraordinary things. A very simple example, who was with us at a certain time, is Juanpi (Juan Pablo Diaz Carrasquillo), which does extraordinary things. The people from De La Nada, a girl who makes animated videos, and the Teatro Breve people too, for example. We feel that the need to continue doing satire has been captured by young people and they are doing it”said Perez.