Arizona Theatre Company premiere of “River Bride”

By SoAzNewsX

Arizona Theatre Company (David Ivers, Artistic Director; Billy Russo, Managing Director) is collaborating with Pop-Up Tucson chef extraordinaire Riley Chandler and world-class baker Don Guerra from Barrio Bread to bring a pop-up sandwich shop, Barrio Sandwiches, to the Temple of Music & Art, 333 S. Scott Ave., during the Arizona premiere of The River Bride.

Barrio Sandwiches will be open for two hours before curtain and after each show during the run of Marisela Treviño Orta’s The River Bride, from Oct. 21 through Nov. 16.  The play won Arizona Theatre Company’s 2013 National Latino Playwriting Award.

“We think the Barrio Sandwich concept is a unique collaboration of Arizona artists in the theatre and the culinary world to come together and celebrate the creative energy that is a backbone of Tucson,” said ATC Managing Director Billy Russo. “We know that Don Guerra and Riley Chandler are as creative with their culinary efforts as Arizona Theatre Company is with our performance and production efforts.”

ATC Artistic Director David Ivers said that “this collaboration is one of many initiatives that Arizona Theatre Company is undertaking this year to deepen our community connections and to work with some of its brightest and most imaginative minds.  In Riley and Don, we could not dream for better collaborators.”

The menu will feature six options, ranging from the Barrio Brownie ($5) to the SW Cubano ($8 for half-sandwich, $12 for whole) to the Chef’s Board with meats, cheeses and vegetables ($15) and The Roman salad ($10).  Beer and wine also will be available.

“What a tremendous collaborative opportunity this is to introduce a delicious culinary concept to ATC subscribers and patrons,” Chandler said.  The collaboration is Guerra’s first with a chef “and with Arizona Theatre Company as our partner, it is an incredibly unique and very exciting creative opportunity to blend the community’s talents into a single venture.”

Barrio Bread founder Guerra is a skilled artisan baker and entrepreneur who successfully developed the Community Supported Baker (CSB) model in Tucson.  His business is driven by a mission to promote the local food movement and showcase heritage grains. In addition to having taught at the University of Arizona and Tucson Village Farm, he has consulted in Mexico, Taiwan and throughout the United States.

Chandler started young in his Grandma Stancato’s kitchen, learning essential skills like making bread and pasta from scratch.  His immense passion for food led him to work under Tucson’s only James Beard award winning chef, Janos Wilder, and his executive chef, Devon Sanner and at four critically acclaimed restaurants, Janos/JBAR, Downtown Kitchen and the Carriage House.  Chandler then ran his own personal chef business and started Tucson’s only ongoing Pop-Up restaurant concept, Pop-Up Tucson. He also teaches cooking classes at the University of Arizona and Tucson Village Farm.

The River Bride, which the San Francisco Chronicle described as “myth meets everyday life with luminous grace,” is the story of two sisters in a fishing village along the Amazon struggling to find their happily-ever-after.  Helena is dreading her sister Belmira’s wedding because the groom, Duarte, should have been hers. And she knows that her sister only wants to escape their sleepy Brazilian town for an exciting new life in the city.

But three days before the wedding, fishermen pull a mysterious stranger out of the river – a man with no past who offers both sisters an alluring, possibly dangerous future in a story that blends Brazilian folklore and lyric storytelling into a heartrending tale.

Kinan Valdez, who last directed the critically acclaimed La Esquinita, USA for Arizona Theatre Company, directs The River Bride.

ATC’s 2017-18 season in Tucson is sponsored by I. Michael and Beth Kasser.

Single ticket prices range from $25 to $73 in Tucson and can be purchased at the box offices at the Temple of Music & Art, by calling (520) 622-2823 or online at



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