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“La Posarela” musical: a Christmas celebration made in the Mission

“La Posarela” musical: a Christmas celebration made in the Mission

Lil' Devil Camila Ascencio (center) and Diablote Calos Barón (right) get splashed by holy water by the angels, making them sizzle away from the main stage during the 2012 La Posarela. Photo Clarivel Fong/El Tecolote Archives
Lil’ Devil Camila Ascencio (center) and Diablote Calos Barón (right) get splashed by holy water by the angels, making them sizzle away from the main stage during the 2012 La Posarela. Photo Clarivel Fong/El Tecolote Archives

Now in its ninth year, community members are invited to a very special Christmas musical, “La Posarela,” that will be performed at the Brava Theater Center in the Mission District on Dec. 4 and 5.

The show, set in both English and Spanish, is an annual production of the San Francisco Community Music Center, the first La Posarela having made its debut in 2007.

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“La Posarela” combines the Mexican traditions of “Las Posadas” neighborhood celebrations and “Las Pastorelas” theater production of the nativity scene. The show offers a modern twist on the story of the birth of Jesus, while also addressing San Francisco’s issues of immigration and gentrification.

As the story goes, Maria and Joseph are in search of shelter (posada) as they make their way to Bethlehem, where Maria will give birth to Jesus. Meanwhile, a devil and his minions try to prevent the couple from finding such a shelter, prompting a band of angels to fight the battle between good and evil.

Those who attend the show (which runs once on Friday and twice on Saturday) will be treated to a lively theatrical performance by talented cast members, as well as a rich musical experience provided by both adults and children.

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Posarela performance in 2012. Photo Clarivel Fong/El Tecolote Archives
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“’La Posarela’ is important because it speaks to people of all ages,” said Martha Rodriguez-Salazar, a teacher at the San Francisco Community Music Center (CMC) who directed La Posarela. “Entire families come to see the show to experience a refreshing take on the traditions of posadas and pastorelas and to see their friends and families perform. It’s a pleasure being able to share the rich culture of my country here in the San Francisco Mission District and to bring so many people together.”

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The cast, composed of more than 70 performers, also includes members of the Community Music Center’s Latin Vocal Workshop, the CMC’s Mission District Young Musicians Program, Coro del Pueblo, the CMC’s Children’s Chorus, Older Adult Choirs and other guest performers.

A fiesta will follow each performance, accompanied with tamales, atole, and a piñata.

Advanced tickets for the show are $8 and $12 at the door. The Brava Theater Center is located at 2781 24th Street. The Friday, Dec. 4 show is at 7 p.m., with the two Saturday, Dec. 5 shows at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Story by: Anh Lê

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