Caridad De La Luz

The poet, actor and performer known as La Bruja prepares to debut her one-woman adult comedy cabaret, The Bru-Ha-Ha, at the The Clemente, El Flamboyán Theater in Manhattan on March 15, 16 and 17.

Caridad De La Luz

Caridad De La Luz has a lot to live up to. The poet, actor and performer known as La Bruja has been called "a Juggernaut" by the New York Times. The Bronx Borough President named her a "Bronx Living Legend" at least two generations before the age most legends qualify for the title. Since her debut performance at the famed Nuyorican Poets Café, she's been called "one of the Top 20 Puerto Rican Women Everyone Should Know," and honored with the Puerto Rican Women Legacy Award, and The Edgar Allan Poe Award for excellence in writing from The Bronx Historical Society.

This multi-hyphenate talent has appeared off-Broadway (I Like It Like That), on film (Bamboozled, Down to the Bone), performed cross-over Latin hip-hop (Brujalicious, For Witch It Stands), and gained national attention for her compelling performance on Russell Simmons' HBO Def Poetry Jam.

Her latest project brings together her wealth of performing experience and creates something totally new. She will be starring in her one-woman show, The Bru-Ha-Ha Adult Comedy Cabaret, which makes its debut at The Clemente, El Flamboyán Theater (107 Suffolk Street, New York, NY) for three performances on March 15, 16 and 17.

Tickets can be purchased at www.eventcombo.com/o/the-bru-ha-ha-32180.

The Bru-Ha-Ha is semi-autobiographical, breaking personal boundaries with comedic confessional storytelling. Bringing to life the hilarious stories of her religious yet racist grandmother who was a devout Catholic that practiced Santeria on the side, and her sexually fluid father who took over her radio podcast to talk about his most homosexual moment, Caridad reveals the funniest moments of her formative years. Her colorful cast of characters paint portraits, showing how Caridad's alter ego "La Bruja" (the witch) was born, all in a scandalous and comedic context forming the ultimate Bru-Ha-Ha. Sprinkled throughout are outrageous insights, ridiculous exaggerations and bold-faced lies; taking the audience on a ride of wonder, laughter and surprise.

We asked La Bruja to share more about the background of the show and what attendees should expect. Plus, we got the secret for her famous Coquito!

You're best known for your poetry and have acted and sung, but I don't see much comedy in your credits. Are you branching out into something new?

Comedy is nothing new to me though I am known for other things, humor has always been layered into my work. I was in the movie "El Vacilon," a spanish comedy based on the radio show created by Luis Jimenez (the Howard Stern of Latin Morning Radio) in 2010, now I am a co-host on his bilingual radio network for the "Say It with Sixto Ramos Show."

Sixto Ramos is a great actor/comedian and the director of The Bru-Ha-Ha. He also happens to be Rosie Perez's cousin and my friend of many years. I co-wrote and did voices for a cartoon called "Lugar Heights," playing the character of Roxy. My album "Brujalicious" (iTunes and Spotify) has comedic interludes and funny hip hop punchlines. My first one-woman show, "Boogie Rican Blvd.," was comedic though it touched on very serious topics such as teen pregnancy, homophobia, drug abuse and abandonment. This time though, I am diving full on into comedy and people will see a side of me they probably didn't know existed.

How did the idea for The Bru-Ha-Ha develop, and how long have you been working on putting it together?

The concept for The Bru-Ha-Ha has been brewing for over 10 years, but the collection of jokes and personal stories featured in it are an amalgamation of the best funnies I've written and actual occurrences I have experienced in my entire lifetime. Over the years, I may have shared some of what is featured, but never have I performed them altogether in this way. There are definitely funny jokes that came out of improvisations performed on "The Sixto Ramos Show" within the last year, so this is going to be a mix of what I consider the best laughs I have to offer.

Will The Bru-Ha-Ha be like a traditional cabaret? It almost looks like it'll be a cross between Broadway and a variety show.

The difference here with The Bru-Ha-Ha is that I have created an ambience of classic cabaret, including the delicious food and beverages a cafe or restaurant would have. The music is there, the comedy is there, the sensual aura and the live music including a grand piano is there. The pre-show does consist of a variety of great talent, as well as the talent I've given birth to. Both my children will also be singing and I'm very proud of that. My daughter is 17, my son is 20, and I'm only 19... I don't know how that happened.

Your poetry is strongly associated with the Bronx, the Nuyorican experience and Puerto Rican activism. Are those same themes running through The Bru-Ha-Ha, or is this a different side of La Bruja?

The show is semi-autobiographical, so the themes of Puerto RIcan/Nuyorican culture are present, but the jokes are relatable, hilarious and out of the box. This is definitely a different side than I have shown before and explains a lot about my formative years and how I became the person known today as La Bruja. It is bilingual, the jokes are mostly in English with Spanglish mixed into it as it is naturally spoken by Nuyoricans, so is the music.

Anyone who purchases a full VIP table gets a bottle of your Cocotaso Coquito. Care to share the secret of what makes a really great Coquito?

My Coquito is a family recipe handed down by my mother and what makes it delicious to me is that it is light, not thick and a perfect blend of coconut, Puerto Rican rum and eggnog. I have given an added magical twist for all my fellow Cannabis lovers out there, creating what I call Cocotaso, which means "a hit on the head" in Spanish. Obviously I can't serve the full-blown Cocotaso at the event, but anyone interested should Speakeasy.

When people leave after the event, what are you hoping they'll feel? An an artist, what makes the shows a success for you?

After the show, I hope that people leave The Bru-Ha-Ha wanting more, telling all of their loved ones, feeling high off of the laughter and good vibrations. As an artist, I want people to be blown away by the talent, the content, the work... I want people to be surprised, receiving an experience way beyond their expectations and looking for ways to expand the experience so that everyone gets to feel it too.

I believe the show will have legs, it will run the comedy circuit, become a comedy special on TV and create a platform for more comedy to be created. I am ready to laugh and make the world laugh with me.

Purchase tickets to The Bru-Ha-Ha here.

Watch the promo video for The Bru-Ha-Ha:

Watch a compilation of performances and productions by Caridad De La Luz:

Matt Mrowicki

Matt Mrowicki founded Chorus and Verse in 2001. He is a rock star designer and technologist, Internet professional, content creator, and entrepreneur specializing in web development, IT consulting, branding, social media and online marketing. www.imprtech.com

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