Laughter, Love and Dancing in the San Fernando Valley

Gilbert Esquivel and company make it better on a Friday night

By Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: February 2, 2010

Laughter, Love and Dancing in the San Fernando Valley

What can I say? I keep thinking that our economy is getting better‘«™and then I watch the Monday morning news to find out I'm wrong.

More rain heading towards the Land of 1000 Dances. More flash floods and mudslides, more cold days ahead.

Less traffic, but only because less people are driving their gas-saving Toyotas, now that they've been recalled as unsafe‘«™.and there was millions of them babies on the road, too!

Besides raising your auto registration fees (while laying off or cutting back on DMV employees), new cameras at traffic stops will start busting people running yellow lights or a even just 1 mile over the speed limit , and you will be mailed an undisputable traffic ticket with a high traffic fine that the State of California expects to make up to $400 million a year off the already broke or getting broke population .

More job losses, more home foreclosures, higher fees for Little League & Pop Warner football, and there's no more 99 cent Jumbo Jacks or Whoppers!!

‘«™What's my world coming to?...your World?...our World?...

Well, besides listening to good music to sooth our souls and mellow our urge to road rage the next idiot that cuts us off, we need to love a little more, and laugh a lot more! ...hmm‘«™music, love, and laughter‘«™where and to whom do we turn?

In answer to that, my Lady & I were lucky enough last Friday to join the large crowd of over 700 good people who were lucky enough to attend the sold out, standing room only EAST SIDE COMEDY & OLD SCHOOL DANCE Show hosted by the one & only GILBERT ESQUIVEL, where the right combination of all 3 of the above was just what we all needed.

Old School DJ Music mixes & singing provided by Bobby Arias and Steve Rivera , was just what the Dr. ordered on a cool & clear night at the luxurious Odyssey Grand Ballroom in Granada Hills, overlooking the sparkling San Fernando Valley at night.

That good looking and classy older crowd from San Fernando , Pacoima, and Sylmar are always tight and friendly. Everybody seems to know everybody or somebody who does‘«™and there's a lot of love and respect in the air as we all enjoy a cool drink and some gourmet tacos in the spacious lounge or at our tables, while socializing. Youngsters could learn a thing or two about comfort & class here. I always meet somebody new here, or my Lady runs into an old school mate. Little reunions happening all over the place. Nice place to be on a Friday night as we're all here to forget our troubles for just night.

We're all settling in , anticipating the star of the night, a local guy who done good straight out of the 'hood, the West Coast Prince of Chicano Comedy, Mr. GILBERT ESQUIVEL.

Be-bopping in to loud applause and bumping funk music, Gilbert takes the stage in his trademark hat & suit, looking clean while smiling, dancing, and giving the back to the crowd the love they have bestowed upon him.

As always, his opening monologue is hilarious, breaking out the laughter from the first joke. He has the knack of hitting everybody's familiar funny bone, as we all laugh at our own life's experiences through Gilbert's comedy perspective..

Next, Gilbert introduced comedian Charles Sanchez, another great Latino comedian who can make us all laugh at the follies of human behavior through the Brown eyes of the not too distant reality, if you know what I mean‘«™.we all know SOMEBODY who's been there, if not feeling a little of ourselves.

Next came comedian Darren "The Rooster" Carter. I have seen this guy on TV and at comedy shows in Hollywood, but something about this white guy coming to the 'hood brings out some hidden Latino in him, as he knew how to hit all the funny corners of the mostly Latino crowd, busted some guts with laughter, and made him a lot of new fans and friends. Hell‘«™he can even sing like a Mariachi !

Last but not least, Gilbert brought out DJ Cooch to close out the show, and man, this guy made us laugh so hard, I wasn't ready for the show to end, 'cause I hadn't laughed so hard in a long time, and I had completely forgotten the things I had stressed & worried about all week long.

Besides 2 full service bars, a gourmet taco bar was also in place, so we were all well fed and watered by the end of the comedy show, and were in the mood for some music & dancing‘«™and in perfect timing, the DJ's kicked it into high gear, a full dance floor came to be, and the party was on till after midnight!

Socializing with friends and fans afterwards, Gilbert & all the comedians were available for pictures, autographs, souvenirs, and just plain old chit chat as the place seemed like a big family get together. Everybody laughing, drinking, eating, and dancing‘«™life should be like this everywhere, I thought to myself.

"I love to sing, I love to laugh and make people laugh, and I enjoy living", Gilbert tells LatinoLA afterwards , "Look at all these people! Ain't nobody hostile or complaining, everybody smiling, everybody having a good time and getting along‘«™I could do this forever‘«™or at least until I die", he jokes.

I can tell, he has a long time before he dies, as his life as a comedian and entertainer seems to make him younger every time I see him in action.


NOTE: Gilbert Esquivel brings his renown EAST SIDE COMEDY & OLD SCHOOL MUSIC REVUE DANCE SHOW to the famous Whittier Radisson Hotel in early March 2010.

For more info and advance tickets: www.jegrp.com or e-mail: gnrentertainment@aol.com

About Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor:
Frankie Firme is the Al Capone of the microphone & the Hitman of west coast Chicano Soul heard coast to coast & around the World, daily on Internet radio
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