Monologos de la Vagina finds new actress to replace controversial conservative

|
(62)
Maria Conchita Alonso and Tim Donnely in his campaign ad.
Photo by Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

Following national controversy over the resignation of a politically conservative actress from the local Spanish-language production of The Vagina Monologues, producer Eliana Lopez announced yesterday that the production has found a replacement.

Actress Alba Roversi, a veteran of the Spanish language Monologos de la Vagina, will take the place of Maria Conchita Alonso, whose departure from the play had Fox News crying foul over her being “forced out” for her conservative political views. 

Any chance to needle San Francisco, right? 

Roversi starred in over 20 Spanish language soap operas, though she may not have the same name recognition in the US as Alonso, whose filmography includes Predator 2 and The Running Man (with our former Governator). Roversi is in, and Alonso is out.

Alonso stirred the pot when she backed Tea Party gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnely in an ad on YouTube that garnered just over 100,000 hits. Donnely is running a long-shot campaign to unseat the ever popular Jerry Brown this November on a core right-wing platform.

“We’re Californians, I want a gun in every Californian’s gun safe, I want the government out of our businesses and our bedrooms,” he says in the controversial ad, standing in a cowboy hat next to Alonso. 

“He has ‘big ones,’ and he is angry,” Alonso says in Spanish, by way of translation.

The ad had San Franciscans fired up, diverting attention away from a performance celebrating women to a political shouting match, Lopez told the Guardian. Threats of boycotts put Monologos de la Vagina in the crosshairs. Alonso told media outlets she stepped down from the play to protect her fellow performers.

The video in question, a campaign ad for Donnely starring Alonso and her dog Tequila. 

“The other actors don’t have to go through this,” she said to Fox News & Friends host Clayton Morris. “They don’t deserve this. It’s on me only, they can do whatever they want with me.” 

Why so pissed, San Francisco? Well, the historically Latino Mission district has good reason to not be a fan of Donnely. The Tea Party wunderkind rose to fame as a former member of the gun toting border-patrollers, the Minutemen. From the LA Weekly circa 2010

Tim Donnelly took two handguns on his first tour with the Minutemen, back in '05. His Colt .45 was photogenic, like that of an Old West gunslinger. But before heading to the Mexico border, Donnelly took it to the range and couldn't hit the target. So he bought a Model 1911c — a semiautomatic that would shoot straight, if it came to that.

The key to Donnelly's primary election victory was his pledge to introduce Arizona's immigration law here. If elected, he will be Sacramento's leading foe of illegal immigration.

Donnely was geared up to fire off his Colt by the US-Mexico border and essentially promised to bring a culture of fear to California immigrants. Is it a wonder that Eliana Lopez felt that Alonso’s endorsement of him didn’t quite jibe with the politics of San Francisco? 

“Of course she (Alonso) has a right to say whatever she wants. But we’re in the middle of the Mission. Doing what she is doing is against what we believe,” Lopez, who is also starring in the play, said in her most oft-mentioned quote in national media outlets. 

In particular, it didn’t jibe with reasons for bringing the Spanish-language Monologos de la Vagina to the Mission’s Brava Theater, a message that may be lost in the controversy surrounding Alonso’s controversial departure. 

It’s a time of increasing gentrification, when the city’s Latinos/as fear displacement and a loss of their history and esteem. She sees it through the eyes of her young son, Theo, as fewer and fewer Spanish speakers surround his daily life in San Francisco. Lopez wanted to send a clear message: our culture matters. 

Latinas are worthy of celebration.

“I’ve been working on this show for almost a year trying to raise the money, find the venue, the sponsors,” she said. “My feeling was, as Latinas we have such beautiful things to offer. We have great actors and actresses who can bring things to the Mission and feel proud of. Inside me I felt, I want to bring that here, I want to do it. We can bring attention to our culture in a beautiful way, a high quality way.” 

With a new actress in place, she’s ready to move beyond the controversy, she said. 

“How do you say in English? The show must go on.” 

Comments

has ideologically impeccable credentials than it is to pick the berst person for the job.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 5:51 pm

I beg your pardon, are you referring to Ms. Roversi as "second-rate?" Because if so, it is quite unfair and baseless. And not because Ms. Alonso has a "name" in the US, she is necessarily the best person for the job. In fact, Ms Roversi carries the show in most of the performances of Monologos. Alba Roversi holds an astounding reputation in the world of Spanish TV soaps and theater.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 7:49 pm

If she'd been the best, she would have been chosen first.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 3:04 pm

The best person for the job isn't someone who causes the whole production to go under.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 3:35 pm

and therefore the matter no longer becomes a matter of who the best artist is but who the most convenient and profitable artist.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 5:29 pm

Would you seriously maintain that the Vagina Monologues is not political?

Posted by Greg on Feb. 02, 2014 @ 11:21 am

doesn't mean that the actors' personal politics have to agree with that message.

That's why we call it acting - because the actor PRETENDS to believe something or be something that they are not!

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 7:23 am

So now it's not just White people they're telling to get out of the Mission?

Posted by Pol Potty-Mouth on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 6:42 pm

All Republican and conservative Latinos are traitors and will be dealt with appropriately after a people's trial!! LEAVE NOW!

Posted by Guest on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 9:39 pm

Aggghhhhh! Alternative viewpoints! Hide the women and children!

Just more examples of progressive "tolerance." Brought to you by the same party behind the early Eugenics movement in America.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 10:02 pm

I was listening to one of the libertarian talk show hosts the other day, and he explained it from a conservative perspective that even the right wing trolls can understand. He said that if he was an actor in a play, and the audience for the play was primarily African American, and he was going out doing commercials for David Duke, it would be entirely proper for the director of the play to let him go. His argument was that you can say whatever you want, but if what you're saying is causing the the play to be boycotted, and thus the play would lose money by having you in it, then it would be entirely rational to take you out of the production. And that's exactly what would've happened here. There would've been protests and boycotts had she stayed on. Even Alonso herself seems to be saying that she recognizes that her continued presence is going to be detrimental to the other actors.

She really should've realized this from the beginning, that she was putting Eliana in a very difficult position where she would be left with no option that wouldn't invite outrage from some quarter.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 11:24 pm

people should obey the laws of our country are now akin to David Duke.

A better analogy is Stalinists being upset having to see a play with Trotskyites in it.

Or... the People's Front of Judea having to see a play with a member of the Judean Peoples front in it.

"we are now at war with eastasia"

Posted by guest on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 1:44 pm

We think Donnelly is a moron. But we like Maria Conchita Alonso. She should not have lost her job because of her political views.

Posted by CalNews.com editor on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 7:54 am

Aside from the difficult position that she put all Eliana Lopez and all of her colleagues in with her stupid actions, one has to be a little bit curious as to what makes her so far right. Her views go beyond conservative -it's to the point where she's divorced from reality itself. This is someone who thinks Hugo Chavez was a "dictator, like Hitler." And she thinks Barack Obama is equivalent to Hugo Chavez. So does that make Barack Obama equal to Hitler? Whether you agree or disagree with Obama's policies, it's pretty clear to anyone paying attention that he's no Hugo Chavez. Hugo Chavez didn't assassinate people, spy on his citizens, or pursue imperialist wars. To say that they're equivalent is the mark of someone who really isn't all there.

Oh, and she famously got into a loud shouting match with Sean Penn in the baggage claim area of LAX. She called him a "communist asshole," but to be fair that was after he called her a pig.

But where did these views come from? Funny thing is, her family background is totally whitewashed. You get two sentences on her family, about how they left Cuba and she became a star in Venezuela. But who was her family? The best I could find was a Spanish language geneology site that was light on occupations and heavy on when they married and what they died of, and even that took *a lot* of digging. But from the history and the pictures, you definitely get the sense that she grew up in a privileged family that owned various enterprises, had money for tons of fancy clothes, and traveled freely between Cuba, Venezuela, the US, and Spain (that would be fascist Spain, ruled by the brutal dictator Francisco Franco).

In other words, her family flourished under the repression of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, left in 1962 when it was clear that the party was over, landed in Venezuela, and managed to catapult young Maria Conchita into stardom there very soon afterward. And when it was clear that Chavismo was there to stay, after the failure of the US-backed coup to overthrow democracy, she decided to become a US citizen.

Well that explains a lot.

One question though... how do you just "decide" to become a US citizen? If you're a poor Mexican, and you want to come here legally, you can't just buy a plane ticket and live in Miami. You can get in the lottery, but that takes an average of 40 years due to racist immigration quotas. So you have to pay a coyote thousands of dollars to take you across the border under dreadful conditions. If you don't die, then la migra can pick you up at any moment, lock you up in some rat-infested holding cell, incommunicado, and your family will never know where you are, let alone mount a challenge, before you're deported back.

But if you're a right wing Venezuelan, you can just buy a ticket, land in Miami, live as an "expatriate," and if you want to become a citizen later, no problem. Somehow it's never a problem for all the Venezuelan "expatriates."

This double standard isn't lost on the millions of Mexicans who risk life and limb to make a better life for their families. The rank hypocrisy of someone like Alonso, who has known nothing but privilege, has never had to go through what they go through, and then has the gall to rant and rail against "illegal immigrants"... it has to grate.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 8:46 am

inconsequential as the political views of a B-list Hollywood actress?

Greg, you missed your true calling - leading trials of anti-Bolshevik elements under Stalin. I say that because you would have been shot in the end too - and then we wouldn't be stuck listening to your wild-eyed ravings on this site.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 11:13 am

Hollywood studio spy or HUAC investigator.

Posted by guest on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 1:54 pm

her being onstage in a play? I am making a serious inquiry to you.

My biggest problem when working in the San Francisco film community was how many people's were unable to separate the art from the artists. If you are going to use an artist's life and beliefs as a benchmark to evaluate his/her work, you are pretty much always going to come up short. The work that an artist creates can be far more complex and nuanced then his/her actions and words in everyday life. A lot of what cannot be expressed in an artist's everyday life goes into creating a work; if they could just say what they mean or what their worldview is, there would be no need to create the work.

I believe a great disservice is done to artists and their work when reduced down to his/her politics, and I say this as someone who is far-left.

Posted by Guest III on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 11:24 am

As opposed to the usual trolling. The question has been answered, however. See my first post. The answer isn't even mine. It was provided by a libertarian talk show host who probably agrees with her much more than I do. Alonso really left Lopez with no good options. Had she kept her on board, the community that constitutes this play's audience would have been in an uproar. The audience would have evaporated to near zero, instantly, replaced by protests and boycotts. Lopez really didn't have much of a choice, and even Alonso herself seems to recognize that.

My second post was just background; I think it's important to understand why people are so upset, and I was just curious what makes a person hold views that are so diametrically opposed to most of her community. Turns out it's not her community.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 2:43 pm
Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2014 @ 9:50 am

Another case where our progressives pick and choose their way through the legal code and scream racism if you don't agree.

Posted by guest on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 1:34 pm

ability as actress and her being onstage in a play? I am making a serious inquiry to you, Greg.

My biggest problem when I was working in the San Francisco film community was how many people were unable to separate the art from the artists. If you are going to use an artist's life and beliefs as a benchmark to evaluate his/her work, you are pretty much always going to come up short. The work that an artist creates can be far more complex and nuanced then his/her actions and words in everyday life. A lot of what cannot be expressed in an artist's everyday life goes into creating a work; if they could just say what they mean or what their worldview is, there would be no need to create the work.

I believe a great disservice is done to artists and their work when reduced down to his/her politics, and I say this as someone who is far-left.

Posted by Guest III on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 11:39 am

were a dark splotch on America.

I would guess "liberals" who even know about it consider it a bad thing. The glee that some get out of this is a bit odd.

It's also odd that someone saying something that is well within the American framework of debate makes some so worked up. People were blacklisted, hounded and boycotted until they explained themselves for making statements well within common politics.

Posted by guest on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 1:53 pm

In the aforementioned heated argument with Sean Penn, she also managed to insult Sean Penn's father, calling him a communist as well, and insinuating that he deserved to be blacklisted. His father, Leo Penn, was blacklisted in the 50s.

So it's ironic that you're comparing this to the blacklist when Alonso seems to be supportive of the Hollywood blacklist.

What happened to Alonso is very different, however. The blacklist was *government* sponsored censorship, and it dictated conditions to everyone in the business such that it made it impossible to get *any* work if you were subject to it. Alonso recognizing that she needed to leave the play and apparently resigning *voluntarily* after massive protests from her audience, is the case of *one* employer coming to a mutual agreement with one employee, that her continued employment on that *one* project would be detrimental to the entire project, and the work of all the other actors in it. If you are a *private* employer, and you have a particular employee that causes such damage to your company, that the company would go under just by keeping them on, do you think it's reasonable to let that employee go? This is completely different from the government blacklisting certain people from any employment. In fact it's not a blacklist at all, because Lopez has absolutely nothing to say about any other/future employment that Alonso may have. She just didn't want her on that project.

It's odd how the pro-business trolls who otherwise think that employers can fire employees for any reason, suddenly became such stalwart defenders of employees. More stalwart than even the employee herself, who to her credit recognizes that her actions merit firing.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 3:04 pm

and enforced with help from private groups, such as the Bircher's and whatnot. The lists were all a private affair.

The government's thing was mostly setting the stage and having dog and pony shows in congress.

She quit by the way.

I find it more interesting that progressives act like conservatives here, they can't see a play if there is someones politics they don't agree is in it. Religious conservatives have created their own media's to avoid thinking bad thoughts.

Posted by guest on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 3:46 pm

Well, Sean Penn is a communist, and he's an asshole (ask any stripper in North Beach), but I'm not sure it's fair to call him a "communist asshole". The man has a right to his political beliefs. But I do think you have a point, Greg, Alonso did the right thing in stepping aside. When you lend your name to a divisive political figure, you need to be prepared for some consequences. Sucks, but that's reality.

What I can't figure out is, why does anyone give a damn what the chick from Predator 2 thinks about anything. If people want to protest something, they should protest the fact that there are still productions of the Vagina Monologues being put on.

Posted by Snoozers on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 9:10 pm

I'm not a fan of the Vagina Monologues, but whatever.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 9:35 pm

Greg and Eliana's socialist paradise is showing some rough spots:

"CARACAS, Venezuela — On aisle seven, among the diapers and fabric softener, the socialist dreams of the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez looked as ragged as the toilet paper display.

Employees at the Excelsior Gama supermarket had set out a load of extra-soft six-roll packs so large that it nearly blocked the aisle. To stock the shelves with it would have been pointless. Soon word spread that the long-awaited rolls had arrived, and despite a government-imposed limit of one package per person, the checkout lines stretched all the way to the decimated dairy case in the back of the store.

“This is so depressing,” said Maria Plaza, 30, a lawyer, an hour and a half into her wait. “Pathetic.”"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/at-markets-chavez-successor-falls-sh...

Posted by racer さ on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 3:50 pm
Posted by Greg on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 6:03 pm

Actually, the Venezuelan toilet paper shortage has been going on for a while, and has been extensively documented.

You're supposed to claim that the evil US is somehow blocking toilet paper shipments to Argentina, so it's all our fault.

The people of Venezuela could use newspaper as toilet paper, as they do in Cuba, and as they used to do in the Soviet Union, but Venezuela unfortunately is also suffering a severe shortage of newsprint...

Posted by racer さ on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 8:34 pm

about Venezuela reads like propaganda about the United States of the sort that you could find in the old Pravda. You can twist anything anyway you like. You could do stories on hunger and child poverty in America, you can show pictures of homeless people and devastated communities in America, etc. And all of it will be true. But you can understand that it doesn't show the whole picture when it comes to America. But for whatever reason, we take everything we read in the hateful corporate press about Venezuela at face value.

Are some products difficult to find at times? Yes. But you don't hear the reasons for it. Nor do you hear the positive things that have happened in Venezuela. There are many, and it's the reason that the government is still popular in spite of problems, and the reason why people from neighboring capitalist countries like Colombia still flock to Venezuela. But you don't hear about that.

BTW, toilet paper is not a commonly used commodity in many countries. You need to get out and travel more. I find myself packing t.p. to many places I go, because it's just not part of the culture in many places, and if it's available, the quality isn't great. Oh, and Cuba is not one of those places. Never had issues finding t.p. in Cuba.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 9:23 pm

"Oh, and Cuba is not one of those places. Never had issues finding t.p. in Cuba."

Oh, tourists in Cuba can find (and can afford) toilet paper. Ever wonder what the typical Cuban uses?

Posted by racer さ on Feb. 02, 2014 @ 7:15 am

About 70% of people in the world do not use toilet paper. They use water and they think toilet paper is disgusting. This includes many, many capitalist countries. In some of these countries, toilet paper has become available as western culture creeps in. But it's still not something that "most" people commonly use, and may even be difficult to find for tourists.

Like I said, you can twist anything you want to fit whatever agenda you're peddling. In Cuba, nobody goes hungry. While in America, 25% of children are food-insecure. The corporate press doesn't want to do a story like that because it doesn't fit their agenda. But hey, at least we don't have occasional toilet paper shortages!

And now... cue the troll's last resort: the "Oh-yeah-well-if-you-think-it's-so-great-then-why-don't-you-move-there" line.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 02, 2014 @ 8:59 am

I was amazed in visiting India that it actually was more civilized to use the spigot adjacent to the facilities to douche my booty than to scrape it with TP.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 02, 2014 @ 9:21 am

Although that probably happens a lot to you anyway.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2014 @ 9:28 am

It is amazing what ample running water and soap can do! Just be sure to eat and shake with the right hand and wipe with the left.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 02, 2014 @ 10:29 am
Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2014 @ 10:42 am

I'm just well traveled, thanks.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 02, 2014 @ 11:00 am

That doesn't mean I think it's cute to wipe my ass with my hand.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2014 @ 11:11 am

Your hand is probably filthy.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 02, 2014 @ 11:31 am

Toilet paper is a bourgeois affectation, Comrades!

Once Greg and Marcos take over the economy, you won't miss it!

Posted by racer さ on Feb. 02, 2014 @ 4:31 pm

appointed to any position of power.

So flushing toilet will remain available.

The people are not stupid and do not like walking around with shit under their fingernails.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2014 @ 8:03 pm

So you do not keep your nails trimmed either? No wonder your hand is so filthy that you don't want to contaminate your ass.

I anxiously await the inclusion into Agenda 21 of the mandate that toilet paper be banned and that suburbanites must rinse their booties with water and their grubby paws.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 02, 2014 @ 8:32 pm
Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 7:24 am

The Brava Theater, where Monologos de la Vagina is being performed, indicates on its web page that among its major funders is the City and County of San Francisco and San Francisco Grants For The Arts (funded by the SF hotel tax).

Someone should ask Ed Lee whether he thinks it's OK for a theater receiving City funds to be engaged in blatant political blacklisting of performers. (Eliana is on the board of the Brava Theater, BTW.)

Someone should also ask the big foundations who support the Brava Theater (William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation, etc.) whether they approve of their grantees engaging in blatant political blacklisting of performers.

Posted by racer さ on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 4:15 pm

I do hope someone asks Ed Lee if he thinks Lopez was wrong to nudge Alonso out for supporting the Tea Party and railing against "illegal" immigrants. Please, ask if he thinks it's appropriate to have someone who supports that kind of racism be funded by the city. I'd genuinely love to hear his take on it.

San Francisco is a sanctuary city, you know.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 6:12 pm

"San Francisco is a sanctuary city, you know."

And dissent from that is not tolerated, apparently.

It's amazing how little is required to bring out a Leftist's inner Stalin.

Just remember this next time the SFBG whines that some "progressive" is being mistreated somewhere..

Posted by racer さ on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 8:31 pm

Isn't it the credo of every conservatroll that employers should have total freedom to do whatever they want with their employees?

The argument that the theater in which the production is being staged gets some public funding is an interesting diversion, but it doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Not sure what the relationship is between the venue and the production, but the two are not one and the same. But besides, just about every private company gets some form of public subsidy. Twitter gets a big public subsidy, but surely you wouldn't want Twitter to be bound to the standards of the community, right? Oh no, we can't have that now. Well, this is an independent, private production too. It would be un-American to tell them who they can't hire and fire, right?

Truth is, if you say things that don't agree with your bosses, you're going to be fired in America. Unlike other countries, there is no job security in that respect. If you work for FAUX News, you know you don't go badmouthing Rupert Murdoch, or his interests. Or his advertisers for that matter. If Monsanto or Chevron is sponsoring your program, you don't air an investigative report about Monsanto or Chevron. Well, in this case the sponsors of the program are the Latino community in San Francisco. And Alonso recorded a commercial trashing them. All things considered, she was treated more fairly than anyone in the corporate media who dares to disagree with bosses.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 9:02 pm

And people can be fired for holding views that are not politically impeccable?

No wonder you prefer tinpot banana republics to a liberal democracy.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2014 @ 9:52 am

This isn't a witchhunt. It's not a blacklist. Enough with the hyperbole already. Somehow you have absolutely no problem at all when right wing bosses fire people for political reasons all the time, but when someone steps down because she insulted the entire community, oh cue the outrage! This is getting tedious.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 02, 2014 @ 10:34 am

candidates for no reason other than that they are more politically convenient.

If the job isn't a political job, then the politics of the person doesn't come into it. I've never been asked about my politics in any job interview. You of all people should probably be grateful for that. I doubt many employers would be interested in you after you tell them that you hate cops and asians.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2014 @ 10:44 am

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Related articles

  • Sm/Art car

    With their prototype mobile artist's workstation, Studio 1, David Szlasa and Katrina Rodabaugh are off to the races

  • “How to Cook a Frog” at CounterPulse

  • Gorgeousness unbound

    Performance takes over at the Asian Art Museum's new exhibit

  • Also from this author

  • Messed up: Did this man vandalize Alejandro Nieto's memorial?

  • San Francisco's shame and triumph: remembering the I-Hotel

  • Mayoral meltdown

    Mayor Ed Lee pushes back against ballot measures for affordable housing, transportation funding