Arts & Life

Spellbinding drama: ‘Our Dear Dead Drug Lord’ enchants audiences

Exploring a tapestry of witchcraft, childhood trauma, loss and homosexuality, “Our Dear Dead Drug Lord” embarks audiences on a journey delving into the intertwined lives of four teenage girls, collectively known as the Dead Leaders Club (DLC), as they navigate the realms of black magic and beyond.

The narrative unfolds as the girls communicate with the spirit of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar through a Ouija board in an abandoned treehouse in Miami, Florida.

The production was a collaboration between Long Beach State’s Theatre Arts Department and the California Repertory Company.

Directed by Alana Dietze and starring Emily Quintero as Pipe, Tiara Estupinian as Kit, Jordan Gelotte as Squeeze and Nicole Santiago as Zoom.

Set in 2008, The quartet of teenage witches grapple with personal demons, including the untimely death of Pipe’s younger sister, which takes place before the events of the show.

The performance opens with a cocaine-fueled ritual, which is the first DLC meeting after Kit joins the group. After an apparent encounter with Escobar’s spirit, the remaining three girls become convinced that Kit is the secret daughter of the “King of Cocaine” himself.

“Throughout the whole play the story kept me on my toes,” audience member Andrew Dominguez said. “I had no idea what was going to happen next.”

Pipe is the leader of the group and the other girls follow her direction throughout the play, using the loss of her sister as a driving force for the narrative.

Kit, the newest DLC member, had a growing relationship with Pipe and the two bonded over their personal losses and shared outlook on life.

The character Squeeze deals with both the loss of her father and typical teenage drama.

However, it is Squeeze’s relationship with Zoom that shines throughout the play, with the two serving as a nice contrast to one another by getting into arguments over things like boys and pregnancy scares.

Zoom, the sharp-tongued sophomore, is as naive as they come.

Her evolution from paranormal skeptic to full-on believer is one of the more drastic character changes in the play.

“The last part of the show shifted into something scarier,” attendee Javier Ruvalcava said. “There was a lot more drama, which is a good thing. I also really liked the extra twist at the end.”

It was the third act where all four main cast members were able to shine, with the plots and running jokes converging in one climactic final ritual.

There are plenty of twists and turns throughout the story, but the most captivating twist awaits at the conclusion.

“Our Dear Dead Drug Lord” captivated audiences with its exploration of teenage angst, black magic and personal demons.

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