Pursuit to land “Suit” complete

Courtesy photo Joseph A. Wasson Jr., center, stars as Gomez in a National Hispanic Cultural Center performance of “The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit.” The show will be presented free Friday night at Marshall Auditorium.

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

In Ray Bradbury’s “The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit,” six men see something they want and find a way to get it.

It’s a similar situation for Clovis Community College. Its cultural arts program wanted the show, and landed it for 7 p.m. Friday.

Marshall Auditorium hosts the free show.

Christy Mendoza, CCC’s cultural arts program director, said she’s always loved the Ray Bradbury story and sought a performance when she found out friends Micheal Blum and Joseph A. Wasson Jr. were working on one with the National Hispanic Culture Center.

“When I found out Michael was directing a version of ‘The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit’ and Joseph was in it,” Mendoza said. “I asked what we had to do to get it to come here.”

Wasson said the National Hispanic Culture Center in Albuquerque wanted to find ways to serve the state, and funds from the National Endowment for the Arts is helping the cast and crew come to both Clovis and Raton for free performances.

“This is one of very few shows that’s a true family-oriented show,” said Wasson. “The idea of this play is creating friendships and realizing that friendships and people are more important than anything else in this world.”

Wasson plays Gomez, a middle-aged con man who has sights on a luminescent suit that reminds people of vanilla ice cream. Gomez does not have enough money to buy the suit, but finds five men who will pool in so they can all wear the suit.

Gomez intends to skip town when he gets the suit, but events stop him from doing so. Each man sees the suit as a way to get political power or the attention of an attractive woman.

“They’re kind of down and out on their luck, and they feel by going in on (this), their aspirations and dreams will come true,” Wasson said. “The suit could be a metaphor for a lot of things.”

Both Wasson and Mendoza tout the story’s universal appeal and positive Hispanic characters.
“I want (the audience) to come and be enchanted by theater,” Mendoza said. “I think our audiences are really going to get into the story and the characters and get into the plight of these characters.”