Cultura en Austin: Teatro Vivo presents bilingual comedy ‘Aye, No!’

Documentary featuring Little Joe Hernandez in the works; Women and Fair Trade Festival offers Latin American gifts

In the small west Texas town of Balmorhea, where playwright Liz Coronado Castillo grew up, she often sat around the kitchen table soaking up the funny stories her grandmother and aunts would swap over coffee.

“It’s how I learned to be storyteller,” says Coronado Castillo, a resident playwright at Sul Ross University in Alpine. “We take for granted our conversations around the table at Christmas time, birthday parties or baptisms sometimes.”

Coronado Castillo’s bilingual comedy “Aye, No!,” which will be presented by Teatro Vivo starting Thursday at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, reaches beyond the laughs to shine a light on sexual identity in a culturally relevant and entertaining way.

“Aye, No!” brings to life the story of Alicia, a college student from a small border town, who decides to bring a friend home from college to meet her traditional Mexican family. While Alicia’s well-intentioned grandmother and two nosey aunts expect a boyfriend to walk in the room, instead they meet Alicia’s girlfriend Cathy.

“I view theater as a social and political platform,” says Coronado Castillo, 36, who is also a stand-up comic. “And we can say a lot more and get a lot more people to listen and come together through humor.”

Coronado Castillo’s characters often reflect amplified versions of real people, she says. In the play, Alicia turns to the guidance of her three fairy drag queen friends — characters inspired by friendships Coronado Castillo forged with drag queens in Lubbock.

While attending graduate school at Texas Tech, Coronado Castillo periodically performed her stand-up act in gay bars where she was embraced by the drag queen community.

Coronado Castillo, who identifies herself as a gay Chicana theater artist and educator, says she’s wanted to incorporate drag queens into her plays ever since. “Here I was from a small community, and then I’m suddenly surrounded by drag queens,” she says. “It was crazy, and felt like I was having a movie moment.”

Coronado Castillo says she wanted to find a way to humanize drag queens in her work, and so far audiences have been intrigued. “People can’t get enough of those old ladies who clash with the drag queens,” she says. “Comedy is a universal language.”

Catch “Aye, No!” at 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 p.m.Sundays, from Thursday through Nov. 23. Tickets, which are $14-$20, are available at

Women and Fair Trade Festival

Vibrant colors, intricate designs and centuries worth of history always draw me to the textiles of Latin America, which I’ve collected throughout my travels. From the molas of Panama to the huipiles of Mexico, I’ve learned so much about the diverse indigenous communities of the world through the artisanal work of each country.

As you begin holiday shopping next month, go off-the-beaten path and venture to the Women and Fair Trade Festival on Nov. 22-23 at the Old School (1604 E. 11th St.). The marketplace, which is sponsored by the nonprofit Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera (Austin So Close to the Border), brings eight artisan producers from women’s cooperatives ranging from Palestine to Guatemala.

Shoppers will find gifts from vintage Indian saris to Central American pottery from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The festive atmosphere also includes live music and poetry. Visit for the list of vendors and music lineup.

Little Joe Hernandez movie

Whether you’ve danced to his music at one of his performances or played his songs at a family pachanga, chances are that most Tejano music fans have many memories tied to the noted discography of the legendary Little Joe y La Familia.

At 74, Little Joe Hernandez has been entertaining audiences for decades and blazed a trail for Tex-Mex music in the process, earning him the nickname “King of the Brown Sound.”

Hernandez, who has done everything from squash musical and cultural barriers to energize the Chicano movement, will soon be the subject of a 2015 documentary. The filmmakers have spent about two years conducting interviews and collecting archival material that dates back to Hernandez’s early music days in the 1950s. Making appearances in the documentary are musician Ray Benson and comedian and actor Cheech Marin.

“From a modest beginning in Temple (Texas) to an iconic entertainer … everybody loves Joe,” says Una Jean McGinnis, the executive director of “Recuerdos: The Life & Music of Little Joe.” McGinnis also grew up in Temple and says she’s always been drawn to the hometown hero’s history, which includes a humble family life picking cotton and the tragic death of his younger brother.

Check for updates on the Little Joe y La Familia Facebook page.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Austin360

15 tips for floating the river in Central Texas
15 tips for floating the river in Central Texas

Summer is officially here, which means it’s time to float down one of Central Texas’ many waterways in a tube and soak up some sun. If you’ve never been tubing or floating the river, here are some things to remember for your trip. 1. Figure out the best place for your group. Different rivers (and different areas of each river) often...
GIVEAWAY: Win a 4-pack of tickets to ‘Jaws’ on the Water
GIVEAWAY: Win a 4-pack of tickets to ‘Jaws’ on the Water

You’ve probably heard by now that you’ve got the opportunity to catch the classic film “Jaws” while floating in an inner tube on Lake Travis.  The annual “Jaws on the Water” event hosted by Alamo Drafthouse is back again every Friday and Saturday night through Aug. 4, and we’re giving away a...
‘Barton Springs Eternal’ video is a musical blast from Austin’s past
‘Barton Springs Eternal’ video is a musical blast from Austin’s past

[youtube=] Here’s a Throwback Thursday for ya. Let’s travel in time to the spring of 1992, when Austin environmental activists launched the Save Our Springs Alliance to address concerns about the future of Barton Springs. Among the activists were many Austin musicians...
Sixth Street pizza shop closing its doors after 25 years
Sixth Street pizza shop closing its doors after 25 years

Sixth Street revelers will have one less post-drinks pizza option after this weekend. The pizza parlor Hoeks Death Metal Pizza is closing its doors Sunday after 25 years in business.   According to its website, the pizza joint opened on Sixth Street in 1993. Known for its soundtrack of heavy metal music, Hoeks serves up small and large...
Exclusive: Mediterranean fast-casual Cava opens first Austin location next week
Exclusive: Mediterranean fast-casual Cava opens first Austin location next week

Capitalizing on the modern trend of healthy, fast-casual-style dining and the group’s success in states across the country, Cava will officially open in the Austin market on Tuesday. Cava is a Washington D.C.-based Mediterranean fast-casual concept. (Contributed) The location at...
More Stories