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'Que Pasa, USA' watch-a-thon comes to AD Barnes Park in Miami

Staff Writer
.@WPBT2 presents a marathon of @quepasa_usa at A.D. Barnes Park Sept. 24.

Oye, the Peñas are back!

WPBT-Ch. 2 is cohosting a "¿Que Pasa, USA?" "watch-a-thon" from 7 to 10 p.m. Sept. 24 at A.D. (Doug) Barnes Park in Miami.

Haven't heard of the show? It was a groundbreaking 1970s bilingual sitcom that chronicled the adventures of a multi-generation family as they straddled American and Cuban cultures in Little Havana.

Five of the show's more popular episodes will be screened outside at the park along with free Cuban coffee, food and mojitos. Barbara Ann Martin, who played American friend Sharon on the sitcom, will help host the marathon.

The event is part of the new Ludlam Fall Events Series, which will have monthly events like yoga activities, movie nights and food truck gatherings. The Ludlam Trail is a 6.2 mile trail that runs through the Miami-Dade park.

Created at Channel 2 in 1976, the show is said to be the first bilingual sitcom on American television. The series followed the humorous culture clashes of the fictional Peña family: father Pepe, mother Juana, teenage children Joe and Carmen, and grandparents Antonio and Adela. Regular characters included Carmen's friends Sharon and Violeta.

The show's topics revolved around the Cuban community. Some episodes focused on santeria, a Cuban funeral, dating non-Cubans, the tradition of chaperoned dates for young women and the popularity of telenovelas.

Although it ran for 39 episodes until 1980, the program lived on in reruns drawing new generations of fans. The show also helped launched the careers of Steven Bauer who played hunky Joe, as well as Andy Garcia, who had a small part playing Carmen's boyfriend.

The "¿Que Pasa, USA? "watch-a-thon" is from 7 to 10 p.m. Sept. 24 at A.D. (Doug) Barnes Park in Miami, 3401 SW 72nd Ave. The event is free but RSVP at EventBrite.com (search Que Pasa).

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