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November 29, 2007


Thaddeus Phillips Offers Laughter, Commentary With Telanovela Spoof ĦEl Conquistador!

Film Poster

The perennially inventive theater artist Thaddeus Phillips will bring ¡El Conquistador!, a comedic solo performance augmented by videotaped contributions from some of Latin America's biggest television stars, to Bryn Mawr's Goodhart Hall for four performances, Friday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

¡El Conquistador!, which won kudos off-Broadway, comes to Bryn Mawr direct from a 10-city tour in Spain. It tells the tale of Polonio, a Colombian peasant who leaves his village for the bright lights of Bogota hoping to become a star in one of his beloved soap operas, or telenovelas.

Instead he has to settle for the drudgery of a job as the doorman of a posh high-rise.

Polonio's life quickly resembles a television melodrama as the high-rise's eccentric and difficult residents, portrayed by actual Colombian telenovela stars, interact with him via the building's video intercom system. They turn out to be involved in drugs, murder and mayhem.

Combining live performance with boundary-stretching multimedia, Phillips and co-creators Tatiana Mallarino and Victor Mallarino have fashioned an experience that seems simultaneously a one-man play, a foreign film and a telenovela, as well as a trenchant commentary on politics and class in Latin America.

¡El Conquistador! was nominated for a 2007 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Off Broadway Solo Show and Phillips was nominated for a New York Drama League Award for his portrayal of Polonio.

"The show is consistently clever and a marvelous showcase for Mr. Phillips, who moves back and forth between his on-screen self and his live onstage self with comical protean ease,"says The New York Times.

Phillips is artistic director of The Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental and has designed and created Red-Eye to Havre de Grace, The Tempest (in a kiddie pool), PlanetLear (King Lear performed on a putt-putt golf course), Lost Soles (a solo tap adventure about Wyoming and Cuba) and The Earth's Sharp Edge (a travelogue through Morocco, 1970s hijackings and Newark's "Liberty" Airport). His latest work, the sequel to ¡El Conquistador!, is Flamingo/Winnebago, which premiered at the 2007 Philadelphia Live Arts Festival.

Single tickets to the performance are $18; senior tickets $15; student tickets $10; children 12 and under $5. It is free for Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Swarthmore students, faculty and staff.

Subscription packages offer discounts, mix-and-match ticket flexibility and priority seating. For tickets and season information, call the Office for the Arts at 610-526-5210 or visit

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