Top Ten Reasons We Love Odalys Nanin


Half of Los Angeles has a crush on Cuban lesbian playwright Odalys Nanin, founder of Macha Theatre, the country’s only Latina lesbian theater company, and the star of the wildly popular Garbo’s Cuban Lover. Why the universal praise? Of course, even when she’s not donning her dapper duds as Mercedes de Acosta, we can’t get enough of Odalys Nanin. Here’s why.

1. She’s taking on Hollywood. After adding new scenes to her production of Garbo’s Cuban Lover, Nanin is creating a screenplay of the scintillating lesbian play and insists that she’s ready for Hollywood.

2. She can channel de Acosta so well we want to throw our knickers onstage. Cuban-Spanish-American poet, playwright and socialite de Acosta bedded some of Hollywood’s most revered women, boasting lesbian affairs with Garbo, Dietrich and Isadora Duncan. No doubt Nanin could have similar experiences. “Mercedes de Acosta has many things in common with me. She was a Pisces; so am I,” Nanin says. “She was an out lesbian writer in Hollywood; so am I. … Her spiritual search for her soul mate led her to Greta Garbo. Are we not all searching for our soul mate? I certainly have not given up in finding that spiritual connection with a woman who can love without fear.”

3. She gets crushes, too. “Since the age of 10, Greta Garbo has been the woman of my dreams. Her film persona is alluring, sensual, feminine and yet so masculine as a lover. This quality has always fascinated me.”

4. She loves her job. “My obsession has always been…love of the work.”

5. She’s not really shy. Asked to describe herself, Nanin admits she’s “charming in meeting me, disarming in bed.”

6. She’s one of the most influential Latinas in the country. “Theater is a magical world where dreams can come true. For me, one of those dreams is to educate my audience that love is universal regardless of sexual orientation, race or color.”

7. She walks her talk. Nanin gives lots of stage time to Latina lesbians, in plays like The Nun and The Countess.

8. She’s the hardest working chick in theater. “I wrote, produced, directed and acted in Garbo’s Cuban Lover. Am I exhausted? When you are doing what you love, the word ‘exhausted’ is not part of your vocabulary.” When her play was set to appear just after 9-11, many thought she’d bail. “Instead, I immersed myself … and we opened to a full house and received a standing ovation. I will never forget that night as long as I live.”

9. She can work a crowd. Nanin’s live performances are infamous in Los Angeles, where Macha is based. “You see, live theater is a different animal. The connection between the actor and the audience is very palpable. There is nothing like it.”

10. She’s hot. OK, seriously, we said before that we’d give up our knickers, but it warrants repeating. Just look at this photo!

Check out our top picks for Hot Lesbian Theater.

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