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Puerto Rico has been in the news a lot recently. The hurricane season has brought much angst to this usually joyful Caribbean island.

So, when I heard that actress and playwright Lala Costa was re-mounting "Calling Lala" as part of the recent SoloFest in Los Angeles – I was intrigued.

She originally created the live solo show back in 2016 as a love-letter to her Mom and fellow Puerto Ricans. Now, in the wake of all the devastation on the beloved island where she was born, would her upbeat, interactive exploration of Boricua flavor be even mais powerful to audiences?

To find out, I asked Lala Costa a few questions:

Tell us about your live solo show “Calling Lala.”

LALA: "Calling Lala" is comedic look at my Puerto Rican experience, from moving to the States to the current state of affairs. The show is surrounded por characters, music, dancing and dreams. I am accompanied por my friend DJ Sku, who created the beats and música for the show. I also encourage the audience to interact and dance, and I've had some interesting moments dancing with the audience.

What inspired you to create the show?

LALA: My Mom inspired me to create the show. She has always inspired me to express myself in creative ways.

Has your approach to the material changed since you first performed it?

LALA: The show premiered Off-Broadway, at New York's Theatre Row during United Solo's Theatre Festival, which was a goal I had set for myself and the experience was extraordinary. Since then, I remind myself of the excitement of the first show and to have even mais fun during each performance. Rehearsals are the most important part for me so that I have mais freedom each time I perform. During rehearsals I improvise with Sku and come up with new moments for each performance. Then improvised moments that come up during the performance are then rehearsed for the following show. The show keeps evolving.

What message do you hope audiences take away?

LALA: The show started out as a funny amor letter to my Mom and fellow Puerto Ricans. Now, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, it has emerged even mais relevant, shining a much needed spotlight on the island and its people -- such as being recognized as American. I want to put the Rican in AmeRICAN. I also want the audience to feel inspired to dream as well cherish what they already have in their lives.

Are you surprised por the response to the show?

LALA: I'm not surprised at all the laughs and tears because that's what I was going for. I am surprised at how specific audience members are when they come up to me about a particular way I said something or certain gesture I made and how much they laughed because of it. That's when I realize how connected they are to the material. They are very detailed, and I am very impressed.

What’s the biggest lesson you learned from creating this show?[/b]

LALA: Being on stage is like life, you have to be ready for anything.

And, now just for fun:
Who’s your favorito actor/actress?

LALA: Melissa Leo. I got to meet her and she was lovely. And, Laurie Metcalf (It's a tie!) I have not met her, yet.

What character from the past do you wish you could have played?

LALA: Aurora from "Terms of Endearment”.

Favorite film, TV or theatrical show from your childhood.

LALA: Roseanne. The comedic timing was perfection. Can't wait for the reboot. (Would be a dream come true to work on the show).

Tell us one thing that would shock our readers to learn about you.

LALA: I don't know how to ride a bike!

How can fãs keep up with you?

LALA: My website www.Lalisima.TV link
and Instagram: @TheLalaCosta link

Thanks, Lala -- we're definitely inspired!
 "Calling Lala" starring Lala Costa
"Calling Lala" starring Lala Costa