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Press Contact: Angelita Moraga 

Join iconic 20th century surrealist Salvador Dalí on his journey through the afterlife in the play, “To Be Dalí”

Los Angeles, CA – June 26, 2019 -A mere 30 years ago, the iconic Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dalí left us. Or did he? 

The play “To Be Dalí” begins as Dalí takes his last breath and is then transported through space to the afterlife where he is met by two angels who are there to determine his fate. Will he rise to enlightenment, or be sent back to Earth as a lower life form?

The show will be presented at CASA 0101 Theater in Los Angeles July 19 through August 11, 2019.

Award-winning actor Salvador Benavides directs and plays his namesake in the role of Dalí. Benavides, who bears a striking resemblance in appearance to the painter, co-wrote the play with Eric Yost. 

“To Be Dalí celebrates the genius, madness, joys and sorrows of the wild and beautiful artist that was Salvador Dalí and reminds us of our shared humanity,” says Benavides.

The production explores Dalí’s complicated relationships with his family, his wife Gala, the art world, and himself. The show uses original music, dance, movement, puppetry, and song as it takes the audience on flashbacks to Dalí’s childhood, memories of fame and fortune, moments of loss and mourning, and a wild dream with images of Dali’s own artwork brought to life.

Benavides says he feels a “spiritual connection” with Dalí. The actor has appeared as the famed surrealist for art auctions and has portrayed the artist in the award-winning film shorts, “Cabeza De Coliflor” (Best Short, International Hispanic Film Festival, Palm Desert) and (Best Actor, NOSOTROS Film Festival, Los Angeles.)

Film critics have praised Benavides for his award-winning portrayal of the artist in “The Death of Salvador Dalí.”

“Salvador Benavides steals the show as the over-the-top great known as Salvador Dalí.” -FILM THREAT Eric Campos. 

“Benavides IS Dalí. A must see.” -FILM AUSTIN Angela Lee.

Through the years, Benavides has embodied Dalí in surprise appearances to the delight of overwhelmed audiences. In true Dalí form, Benavides (in full costume) crashed a sold-out party at LACMA in 2004 celebrating the 100th anniversary of the surrealist’s birth. He quickly found himself taking pictures with Roy E. Disney (there to present the animated short “Destino,” a collaboration between Dalí and Walt Disney), the Spanish Council General, and museum officials. He was even asked to cut the night’s dessert-- a melting cake! 

In early January 1989, the true Spanish artistic icon made his last public appearance before his death. In a wheelchair at a press conference in Spain, Salvador Dalí made his last public statement: 

“When you are a genius, you do not have the right to die, because we are necessary for the progress of humanity,” Dalí said.

The artist’s self-proclaimed significance in the scheme of world events has proven prophetic. Before Andy Warhol, Madonna, Lady Gaga, and The Met Gala’s CAMP fashion show, there was Dalí. His outrageous tentacles have infused all modern-day art, marketing, fashion, film and more. 

Most people may only know the “handle-bar mustache” or the “melting clocks.” But “To Be Dalí” compels us to meet the artist on the “other side,” and ride with him through an unbridled and surreal adventure through space and time. 

To Be Dalí

When: Friday, July 19 (Opening Night) @ 8 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays @ 8 p.m. Sundays @ 5 p.m. through August 11.

Where: CASA 0101 Theatre, 2102 E. 1st. St., Los Angeles, 90033

Tickets: $20-$80; $25 General Admission, $20 Student/Elder/Boyle Heights Residents

Social Media: CASA 0101 Theater: Twitter, Instagram @CASA0101, Facebook@CASA0101Theater. To Be Dalí Play: Instagram @tobedaliplay

Facebook @tobedali

CASA 0101 is dedicated to providing inspiring theater performances, art exhibits and educational programs to Boyle Heights, thereby nurturing the future storytellers of Los Angeles who will someday transform the world.

CASA 0101 was founded by Josefina Lopez, author of Real Women Have Curves, in

2000 to fulfill her vision of bringing art and live theater programs to the community. She grew up in Boyle Heights. 


November 21, 2005

PRESS CONTACT:       Angelita Moraga



CHICAGO: Big H…. Lil’ H…. Trudy… Jorge… Larry-all cast members in a teen play that takes Hamlet to the “Hood” where he must struggle to choose the right path despite the murder of his father, trouble with his girlfriend and the prospect of living with a stepfather whom he resents.

“Hamlet in the Hood” will be performed as a dinner theater on Thursday, December 8, 2005, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Alternatives, Inc. Youth Center, 4730 N. Sheridan Road. The menu includes Soul Food and Mexican entrees. Admission is free, but reservations are required by e-mail to , or by phone to 773-506-7474, ext 220, by December 1, 2005.

        “Hamlet in the Hood” is the creation of Senn High School students who participate in Alternatives, Inc.’s programs for youth. The teens wrote a successful grant proposal to the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority and received a $5,000 grant to produce the project. The Authority awards money yearly to creative youth-driven projects that promote non-violence in their community.

        “A lot of kids are going through the same things Hamlet went through,” says Alan McDuffy, 18, student director and co-writer. “Not getting along with their girlfriend, not having their fathers, death in the family, someone not liking you. The message we are intending to deliver is that dealing with these things through violence doesn’t solve the problem. It actually makes it worse.”

          “Hamlet in the Hood” is an urban rendition of Shakespeare, which sprinkles drama with hip comedy, break dancing and Hip-hop. Hamlet raps his soliloquies and asks the audience for their take on his plight. This version has two endings. The first conforms to Shakespeare’s original plot; the second is a “rewind” or “what if” take.

            “If we’re going to show non-violence we have to do it in a way the audience can relate to,” McDuffy says. “If you show it in the old form, they won’t pay attention.”

            “Hamlet in the Hood” is cast with students from area high schools, including Senn High School, Uplift Community School and Amundsen High School, as well as youth participating in Alternatives’ Juvenile Justice Diversion Program for first-time offenders.  

            Although the play is the first for the student scriptwriters, they have big plans for the production: They hope to take their “Hamlet” on the road to other high schools in Chicago and the Midwest and possibly make a movie version. Already, they have received positive feedback from community directors who have read the play and have years of experience directing Shakespeare.

          “It’s a brilliant concept and well-written play,” says Michael O’Rourke, artistic director of Scrap Mettle Soul, a community performance group in Uptown, Edgewater and Ravenswood. “I’m very impressed. This has a lot of potential.”

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