Bigger venue needed to meet demand for Catholic play in Los Angeles area

It wasn’t mentioned in the newspapers or reviewed by the critics, but a Catholic play is creating quite a stir in Los Angeles.

The play, “Viva Cristo Rey,” is the story of fugitive priest Fr. Miguel Pro and his struggle to save the faith in 1920s Mexico, a period during which Mexico entered a dark period of religious persecution known as the Cristero War. During the persecution, 40 priests were killed and hundreds of others fled the country. 

Among the Cristero martyrs was Bl. Miguel Pro, a Jesuit priest executed by firing squad on Nov. 23, 1927. Just before he was shot dead, the 37-year-old priest shouted Viva Cristo Rey! (“Long live Christ the King!”).

The G.K. Chesterton Theatre Company production played to sold out houses in Santa Monica (99 seats) and Long Beach (300 seats). Some people have seen the show twice or more, others have been turned away at the box office.

To meet demand, the play is now being moved to the 1400-seat San Gabriel Playhouse. Two performances have been scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 18. Show times are 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Only two performances are scheduled.

The theatre company describes its mission as to bring plays to families “that explore issues of conscience, faith and heroism with a special emphasis on the men and women who stood against the current tide of their time. Great plays can shape character in positive ways; our Company feels a special obligation to produce inspiring works, based on true stories.”

Catholic radio and talk show host Jesse Romero had this to say about the play: “Although I have read the story of Fr. Miguel Pro and his martyrdom, no book compares with watching the play performed by the G.K. Chesterton Theatre Co. Absolutely riveting. I was on the edge of my seat. When it was all said and done, my faith was renewed, revived and taken to another level. This play transported me back in time and I felt like I was there.”

Ticket prices range from $10 to $35. To order tickets online, Click Here.

For group sales, call Mark Padilla at (323) 742-2990.

The San Gabriel Playhouse is located at 320 S. Mission Drive in San Gabriel, telephone (626) 308-2865.


Posted Wednesday, February 01, 2012 7:11 AM By Catherine
Blessed Miguel Pro was pro-God and pro-Eternal life! Blessed Miguel Pro is an example of holy courage! Viva Christo Rey! We have had two other examples of priests with holy courage on CCD. Father Michael Rodriguez and Fr. Illo. In the cases of these two fine priests, it is our own Catholic bishops who are suing and persecuting the priests who not only preach the true gospel, but with example, actually live the call, “Viva Cristo Rey!”

Posted Wednesday, February 01, 2012 9:07 AM By Traditional Angelo
Catherine, The Mexican Federal Government’s persecution of Christians was an abomination. I agree it is extremely worse for todays persecution of Christians faithful to God and the Church being carried out by those who should be defending us. I thank God this is now coming to light. I wonder if the Holy Father knows that this persecution has been going on for 45 years. I sincerely hope Pope Benedict XVl knows that we are in union with him and that this is part of the reform of the reforms on the part of the laity. Sure wish I could see this play. Viva Cristo Rey, Viva la Emperatrix de las Americas, Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe!

Posted Wednesday, February 01, 2012 10:09 AM By Philippe
How many know that much of the Mexican government’s impetus and support for its persecution came from the American ambassador of the day as a top mason with the “blessing” of the American administration in Washington?

Posted Wednesday, February 01, 2012 6:18 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
Phillipe, 10:09 AM, You are correct, but why didn’t you mention the fact that our The 33rd Degree Mason, President Wilson, actually illegally sent the U.S. Fleet to Vera Cruz Harbor to block the supplies to the Cristeros who were at that time winning. This illegal action, action that was even condemned by ex-President Theodore Roosevelt in the New York Times, turned the tide for the Calles Regime. Teddy was also a Mason but that did not stop him from condemning Wilson’s actions. This is all covered in the great book, “No God Next Door”. God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Wednesday, February 01, 2012 10:21 PM By Fr.Michael Perea
I saw this play at Holy Innocents Catholic Church in Long Beach and I was impressed with the professional skill of the actors, the pace and movement of the drama,but above all with the way that the play objectively explained itself and struggle between the Catholic Church and the Mexican government in the 1920’s. It really tries to fairly present both sides of the story which in the end is the best defense for the Church but which still leaves the other side a way to save face and to repent with dignity. It is well done. I recommend it highly. The truth never crushes or humiliates rather it sets you free…even the persecutors.

Posted Thursday, February 02, 2012 9:08 AM By Life Lady
How wonderful that a company of actors is out there seeking to uplift spirits, and to be honest story tellers about events that seemingly seek to pull us all down. I am going to get tickets, if I can, and see this play. I have always had a yearning to know more about this priest, and his great sacrifice. And, if these events mirror in any way what is happening now, as it appears that they are, perhaps it will help us all to continue our efforts to pray for our priests, bishops and the Holy Father, that Christ may truly triumph where it truly counts, in the hearts of everyone on the planet. We all truly need that Love That Knows No End.

Posted Thursday, February 02, 2012 5:12 PM By philippe
It needs a promoter and producer with more than one cast to “take this show on the road”. Wish I had the werewithal. I’m sure it would go gangbusters all over the country. Obamarule notwithstanding, I think the country is ready for it.

Posted Thursday, February 02, 2012 11:54 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
Life Lady, 9:08 AM You will not regret going to see this Play, and yes, you will see a strong resemblance with those times and our own today. As a matter of fact I made that same comment to the Producer when I went to see it. “Cristo Rey” would make a great movie! God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher