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Originally from Tucson, AZ, Marlene Montes is an actor/singer/dancer with over 25 years of experience performing professionally in the arts, working on both coasts and many cities in between. Her most recent notable credits include playing Soyla in Arizona Theatre Company’s production of American Mariachi (the best-selling play in ATC’s history), reprising the role in South Coast Repertory's production of American Mariachi; In the Heights (as Daniela, Moonlight Stage Productions, 2017 Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Resident Musical); Legally Blonde (as Paulette, New Village Arts Theatre, nominated for Best Actress in a Musical by Broadway World). Other regional credits include: She Loves Me (South Coast Repertory), In the Heights (Performance Riverside); GypsyCabaret (Cygnet Theatre); The World Goes ‘RoundSouth Pacific, Tommy (Moonlight Stage Productions); The 1940’s Radio Hour, The Return to the Forbidden Planet, The Full Monty (New Village Arts); The Marvelous Wonderettes (The Music and Theatre Company); 8-Track: The Sounds of the 70s (Derby Dinner Playhouse), and The Pajama Game (Starlight Theatre), to name a few. Marlene received her BFA in Musical Theatre from The University of Arizona and is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association.



In the World of Virtual Readings...

Marlene has been staying busy working in the world of online virtual readings, which includes performing in South Coast Repertory Theatre's Community series which included The Gardens of Aztlan by Luis Alfaro and Tejuino by Amilcar Juaregui. 


Marlene was recently featured in The New York Times on August 26, 2020, representing Latinx voices for San Diego Repertory Theatre's Latinx New Play Festival. Read the article HERE. Marlene received rave reviews for her performance in the role of Valentina in Makasha Copeland's Extreme Home Makeover.


"Both funny and heart-rending, “Extreme Makeover” didn’t even feel like a reading, so in-the-moment and committed was its cast. Marlene Montes as a widowed mother desperate for help to rebuild her family’s life and Catalina Maynard as a skeptical grandmother gave performances that transcended the forced distance of Zoom theater." ~ David L. Coddon, San Diego Union Tribune


Read the full review HERE.




“Another gem is Marlene Montes as Soyla, the stylish, bombastic hairdresser who joins the band because “Why not?” She’s hilarious, independent and full of sisterly advice, which matures from light-hearted and silly to tear-jerking and soulful when she advises Isabel about her splintering love life.

Although Soyla doesn’t get much stage time, she shines enough to leave a mark as bright as her crimson suits.”~ Downtown

“...alluring and uninhibited.”~ Broadway



"Marlene Montes is quirky and funny as Paulette, the heart-of-gold hairstylist who builds Elle’s confidence."~ The San Diego Union Tribune

"Marlene Montes is memorable as the wisecracking, but issued Paulette."~ San Diego CityBeat

"Marlene Montes is a delight as the hopeful and helpful Irish-loving hairdresser, Paulette.”~ Times of San Diego 


"Big-voiced Marlene Montes amuses as gossipy hairdresser Daniela." ~ The San Diego Tribune

"Savor the comic timing of Marlene Montes as Daniela the hairdresser."~ San Diego Story

"Marlene Montes is red hot, let me tell you."~ Village News

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Marlene Montes "is spirited and endearing with impressive pipes!"~ The San Diego Union Tribune

"Powerful!"~ The San Diego Reader

"Marlene Montes is a hoot!"~ San Diego Jewish World

"Sultry-voiced Marlene Montes does a hilariously sexy turn on a commercial for Eskimo pies, as well as her knockout number, “Blues in the Night…”~ Pat Launer, KSDS



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