On Stage

Latin Lineup

Pablo Francisco makes an impression

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

If one were to compile a dossier on longtime comedian Pablo Francisco, bullet points would tell information-gatherers that he’s 42 years old, perfected most of his early material while working with a bunch of weirdos as a delivery driver at Domino’s Pizza, went to film school with Jamie Foxx, and has been known to visit strip clubs on occasion.

It would also likely include the fact that although his parents are from Santiago, Chile, once they moved to Tucson, Ariz. and had a son, they raised him to speak only English.

However, anyone who’s watched Francisco’s standup comedy or seen his work as the first Hispanic cast member on MADtv in the 1990s knows this restriction didn’t stop him from occasionally speaking with an accent—at least when he’s onstage. But the Spanish dialect he employs when portraying everyone from Mexican protestors to tough-talking teenage girls is just a sampling of how he brings to life the cast of characters that are part of his ever-expanding repertoire.

When Francisco headlines “Latin Lineup” performances June 10-11 at the Skagit Valley Casino Resort with opening acts Lisa Alvarado (the “Latin Queen of Comedy”) and Alex Reymundo (a comedian and actor who has won American Latin Media Awards for specials such as “Hick-Spanic and “Red-Nexican”), audiences will see just how far his range extends.

Whether Francisco is giving voice to Keanu Reeves, Mark Wahlberg, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Sinatra, Don LaFontaine (the “movie trailer voice” guy), his best friend’s mother, or his own father—“Don’t call me Jorge. It’s George!”—it’s clear that no matter what his native language his, he’s mastered the difficult art of impressions.

And, since the early days of working at Domino’s and commuting from Tucson to Tempe to perform at the Tempe Improv—where he was eventually told he wasn’t ready to become a regular, which prompted him to find other clubs that welcomed his high-energy brand of R-rated humor—he’s also become a chameleon-like, fearless performer who uses his entire body to get his points across.

At the “Latin Lineup” shows, fans will likely see material from his two popular Comedy Central specials, “They Put It Out There” and “Ouch!,” but they’ll also be able to view new material he’s working on in advance of shooting “Here We Go Again,” which will mix both cartoons and comedy.

If you’re lucky enough to be in attendance, chances are fair that Francisco will share an impression he’s been working hard to perfect of late—not of a famous Chilean, such as writer Pablo Neruda, but that of reality television star and presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

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