Category Archive for: ‘Gaetana Caldwell-Smith’


“What is the Scandal?” – Victoria Theatre

“What is the Scandal?/Cual es el Escandalo?” is a solo piece performed by Eliana López, written and directed by Alfonso López (her brother), at the Victoria Theatre on 16th Street off Mission, in San Francisco.

Ms. López, a popular Venezuelan film, TV, and theatre actress is the wife of San Francisco’s much maligned Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. In her one woman show, “Cual es el Scandalo?” (or “What is the Scandal?”), she gives us a candid look into the incident leading up to her husband’s arrest for domestic violence and subsequent events such as the threats to their family.

Her show is as much autobiographical as well as revelatory in that she takes the audience from when she and her husband  met at an environmental conference in Venezuela, her relocation to San Francisco, marriage, his run and subsequent election for Sheriff, the incident that resulted in his arrest, to a happy ending.

Her smooth, upbeat, engaging performance is aided by English and Spanish supertitles above a screen on which family photos are sometimes projected. (Ms. López delivers most of her monologue in Spanish).  Wearing a simple charcoal-black, silk, sleeveless jumpsuit and stack-heel sandals, she takes the stage in front of a set illustrating her home in Venezuela, props depicting her life there and in San Francisco with their six-year -old son, Theo (a child’s chair and toys scattered about).   Using a deft change of hairstyle, or a hat, glasses, and a mustache she adeptly plays herself, her parents, her son, husband, and Mayor Ed Lee, also her well-meaning neighbor who had Mirkarimi arrested. Ms. López expresses an honest range of emotions from sublime happiness to absolute despair, not a false note among them.  Nor does she pander for sympathy.

San Franciscans who follow local politics know of the incident that blew up into the scandal and I felt that we were the majority in the audience. However, others may have shown up out of curiosity. Regardless, you get the entire story and its ramifications.

“What is the Scandal?/ Cual es el Scandalo” runs through September 6. Don’t miss it.