Artistic director Ann Filmer (who directs Pinkolandia) and the 16th Street Theater stay in stride in this multilayered, culturally significant, fictional retelling of a refugee family from Chile assimilating into 1982 Wisconsin.
At the heart of the story are twelve-year-old Beny (Maritza Cervantes) and her eight-year-old sister Gaby (Hannah Gomez). Beny has been in the states since she was three, when her parents Tomas (Carlos Diaz) and Camila Rodriguez (Stephanie Diaz) were forced to leave Chile after a military coup d’etat in 1973.
There are several revealing story lines: an “uncle” (Miguel Nunez) comes back to the family, reigniting the revolutionary spirit; the children are having problems assimilating into the Wisconsin neighborhood; and the youngest daughter is repeatedly ignored to the point of a total withdrawal. In all, this is a play about estrangement and a family trying to forgive themselves and their countrymen in their past, while trying to cobble together a better future. But does this desire for a better life come at too much sacrifice and guilt?
This modern American tale walks many interesting paths, tells a wonderful story with passion and raises even more questions.
Read Mark Eleveld’s entire review on New City Stage