Well, who saw this coming? Venezuelan-born actress Eliana Lopez, who remains married to Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi and is the mother of his child, is now putting on a play, in Spanish, titled "Cuál Es el Escándalo?" or "What Is the Scandal?" that will premiere at the Mission Cultural Center on May 29. As KQED reports, it is a one-woman show, starring Lopez, and centers on the 2012 domestic violence scandal that dominated headlines and almost ended the career of her husband. And it is a comedy.
Everyone who was here at the time and read SFist surely can't forget the Mirkarimi saga, which kicked off on New Year's Eve 2011 and made for HIGH DRAMA at City Hall. For newcomers, or all those who simply ignored the Inside Baseball aspects of it all, you had a situation involving a husband with a temper; a wife he had visibly man-handled and bruised (on her arm); a neighbor who didn't particularly like the husband who made a video of the wife and her bruise after she had run out of the house that day; a Mayor and a centrist wing of the Board of Supervisors who had their own bones to pick with the husband, who was a former progressive Supervisor himself; the husband getting suspended without pay after a misdemeanor charge; two ex-girlfriends of the husband who came forward to allege similar moments of violence; a progressive media and politico faction who rallied behind the husband in order to support his progressive politics and protect the traditionally progressive seat of sheriff; a legion of anti-domestic violence activists who rallied to get the husband fired; a debate among progressives about why they were defending this guy; a subsequent "you have it all wrong" letter from the actress wife who was temporarily exiled to Venezuela along with her young son, hilariously calling the whole thing a "coup d'etat"; and, after much, much angry rhetoric on both sides, a subsequent close vote by the Board of Supervisors that allowed the husband, Mirkarimi, to keep his job.
Now here we are three years on, and Lopez tells KQED that it took her some time to process the whole thing, as an artist, and then to begin writing about it. And of course what she came up with is a one-woman show, which she will perform in her native Spanish. Here's how she explains it.
The idea is to reflect on my experience, the person that was living that situation, the person [who] everybody was talking about, and acting [on] behalf of but never heard me. And it’s a comedy, also. It’s like, we are going to be laughing about a painful experience. We are going to be reflecting the ironies and the big contradictions that I felt in that moment.
Eliana's filmmaker brother, Alfonso Lopez, helped her write the play and will direct. And you can expect Eliana, who plays multiple characters throughout, to trot out her best impression of friend-turned-enemy Ivory Madison, the meddling neighbor mentioned above. (Lopez, who allowed herself to be videotaped and said in the video that she wanted to document her bruises in the event that she ever wanted to seek sole custody of her then two-year-old son Theo. Madison then called police about the video without her permission, and the video file was ultimately obtained via search warrant.)
So, there's your answer if you've been wondering what the always colorful Lopez has been up to all this time. It's unclear how long the show will run, or where you get tickets, but SFist is on the case.
And since SFGate decided to repost the infamous video, we will too.
In related news, Mirkarimi is up for reelection this November, and he'll be challenged by Vicki Hennessy, the woman who served as acting sheriff during his 2012 suspension.