Rubén Martinez is known primarily as a writer. But the Silver Lake native, who now resides in Mount Washington, is also a musician. His grandparents were cancioneros who performed in variedades, variety shows staged in Los Angeles from the 1920s through the 1950s. This Sunday, Martinez will combine his literary and musical interests by hosting “Variedades,” the first in a series of monthly “performance salons” at the Echoplex in Echo Park.
“Variedades is something I’ve thought about for many years — it’s a family story,” Martinez said by email. “As a writer, most of work is done in isolation and I’ve always craved collaboration, community. Plus, I’m a musician AND a writer, and I’ve always wanted to see those things married on stage.”
Martinez, who lived in his grandparents’ Silver Lake house before moving his family to Mount Washington, said he approached Liz Garo, who books shows for Echoplex and The Echo, about his variety show idea. It turns out that Garo was looking for a cabaret type event or show for the Echo Park club.
Variedades will premiere with “The Road to Los Angeles” – inspired by the title of a book by John Fante – that is focused on tales of immigration and stories of arrival in a new city. Road to Los Angeles will be performed on Sunday, March 27 at 7 p.m. Admission is $7
Save the Date for other events
In other upcoming Eastside events, Avenue 50 Studio in Highland Park will host a Thursday night Art/Happy Hour at; the public is invited to join architects, planners and developers for a seminar on housing development in Atwater; and a casino-night fundraiser will be held for East L.A. Cityhood. Details and more events in Save the Date