The Ricardo Montalban Theatre is the embodiment of Ricardo Montalban’s dream to provide young people, most particularly in the Hispanic community, with a place to learn and practice the skills necessary for a successful career in the performing arts.
He believed that the live stage provided the optimal platform for educational and employment opportunities for aspiring artists, and in 1999, the Ricardo Montalban Foundation was formed to advance his vision by purchasing the theatre property, thus providing a home to stage productions with Latino themes, performers, writers and directors.
The Theatre is one of the few remaining mid-sized and fully-equipped proscenium theatres in Los Angeles and is known for its excellent sightlines and acoustics. The Theatre and the Foundation are partnered with community performing arts groups such as the Harmony Project, the Lula Washington Dance Company, the Tierra Blanca Arts Center and the UDLA We are proud that we have been able to give them main stage space on a gratis basis and to present their performances free of charge to the public. Continuing and expanding our leadership role in community outreach efforts is key to our viability and growth.
On a more commercial level, nearly all of our presentations in the early days had Latino themes and participants, but over the last several years we have become a magnet for an eclectic variety of professional productions including Selena, Culture Clash’s Zorro in Hell, The Who’s Tommy, Jesus Christ Superstar (with the original cast), A Night Without Monty Python (with Eric Idle and other stars), a closed-circuit broadcast of the World Cup, an evening with comedian Billy Connolly, and most recently a two-week run of John Leguizamo’s Ghetto Klown. This broadening of our programming is consistent with Ricardo’s conviction that at the end of the day the playing field needs to be level not just for Hispanics but for everyone by embracing the community-at-large and attaining excellence on a broader and higher-profile scale.
-The Ricardo Montalbán Theatre-