Meet Luisina Quarleri, who plays Gabriela, the Argentine concert cellist around whom The Abuelas centers. Luisina is fluent in Spanish, Italian, an English and though she does not actually play the cello, someone in her family does!
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Argentina and lived there till I was 3, then moved to Italy and lived there till about 9, and then moved to New York.
How did you get into theater?
My parents are both artists so I grew up going to the theater. I started working in plays with them at age 4 in Italy, at L’Arena di Verona. We would all go to work together and it was amazing.
What is one of your beloved family traditions?
We celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, as all Argentines do, and have a big family dinner and then open presents at midnight. I could never wait until Christmas morning to open presents!
Do you have a food/dish you are known for making really well?
I make a really great eggplant parmesan.
Symphonic concerts: love or snoozefest?
Love! Classical music was always playing in my house growing up and I’d often go to concerts to hear my father play.
If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Must feed frequently.
What is the best birthday present you have ever received?
My dad and I have the same birthday, and a few years back I cut my honeymoon short to fly to NY to surprise him on our birthday. We hadn’t spent it together in 5 years, so being with him that year was extra special.
Do you wear your heart on your sleeve or keep your emotions hidden?
Definitely wear my heart on my sleeve. If something’s wrong you’ll see it on my face. I’m not good at hiding my feelings!!
If your life were a TV show, what genre would it be?
Probably a dark humor dramedy from BBC.
Do you play a musical instrument? If no, is there one you would like to play?
I sing, but my brother got the instrument talent gene. If I had to choose, I’d absolutely love to play the cello because that’s what my father plays and it’s such a beautiful instrument.
What words do you live by?
“Every passing minute is a chance to turn it all around”. It’s from the movie Vanilla Sky. It was my senior quote and I still believe it.
What’s your go-to Starbucks order?
I don’t really go to Starbucks, but if I’m there I’ll get a chai latte with almond milk or a caramel macchiato if I feel like having something sweet.
Pajamas or sleep in your clothes?
Both?! I have old clothes I designate as pjs.
Is a hot dog a sandwich?
Most definitely not. A hot dog is a hot dog.
Do you have a green thumb or do plants have no hope under your care?
I wish I did! I love plants and have many in my apartment, but my husband is the one who keeps them alive.
We acknowledge the Gabrielino-Tongva peoples as the traditional caretakers of the land in the Los Angeles basin where Antaeus is located. We pay our respect to the Ancestors, Elders, and Relations — past, present, and emerging.