Reviewed by Michael Edwards

Casa 101 Theater's production of "Corina: From Lap Dance to Sundance", is a powerful evening of rich and authentic storytelling. An autobiographical hero's journey, this play educates, entertains and enlightens all at the same time.

Written by and starring Corina Calderon, "Corina" is the life story retelling of a young east side Angelino woman coming of age in the Los Angeles Strip club scene, and her eventual focused rise to the top of her dreams of becoming a successful Hollywood film actress with a groundbreaking film appearing at the world renowned Sundance Film Festival.

As an actress, Corinna is dazzling on stage. Aware that this is her story, she offers a real presence on the stage. She is courageous. She is centered, vivacious, grounded and beautiful in both sound and visage. As a writer, Ms. Calderon is dynamic, brutally honest and funny. She teaches perseverance without mentioning the word. And her ultimate victory after so many challenges is a visceral joy for the audience to share.

The play is structured with a strong supporting cast of 12, with not a weak link in the lot. As Corina stands center stage to introduce the next and the next storypoint to her brave journey's storypoint, this strong team of support colorfully render each of these moments with a slew of characters that illustrate each of these selected moments from Ms. Calderon's life.

Outstanding performers include: A focused Sophia Arroyo; A strong Gabriella Banuelos; A brilliant and intense Leslie Montoya; an effervescent Julietta Ortiz; a powerful Johnny Ortiz; a quiet storm Alex Miramontes; a brilliant Karla Ojeda; a soft bu sweet Natalie Heredia; a stunning and focused Mair Flores (someone to watch); and a very supportive, fluid and focused Diana Cruz and Jesus Tadeo Rodriguez.

Director Emmanuel Deleage directs with efficiency, passion and color. The set design is magnificent with projection screens throughout the theater helping to tell the story in a fashion that makes the imagination dance.

"Corina: From Lap Dance to Sundance", is a rare find. Dynamic, fun, authentic truth telling theater for the community and the world. Kudos to Ms. Calderon's bravery and talent.

 CORINA:  FROM LAP DANCE TO SUNDNACE runs through December 17, 2023 (no performance December 15).   The show is presented in two acts with a total running time of 98 minutes, not including intermission.

Warning :  This play contains adult themes of a sexual nature, strong language and depictions of violence.  This play is for mature audiences only; an adult must accompany those under 17 years of age.

Tickets: Call the CASA 0101 Theater Box Office at 323-263-7684, E-mail, or buy online at

Posted By DH Magazine on December 14, 2023 01:19 pm | Permalink