Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-06-24
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Hope: Part II of a Mexican Trilogy
by Sarah Katherine Bowden
2019-10-02

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Play By: Evelina Fernandez

At: The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets: 773-697-3830 or TheDenTheatre.com; $25-$35. Runs through: Oct. 27

Nostalgia and harsh reality vie for dominance in Teatro Vista's Midwest premiere of Hope: Part II of A Mexican Trilogy, now playing as part of Destinos, the Third Annual Chicago International Latino Theater Festival.

Set during the Cuban Missile Crisis and leading into the last day of Kennedy's presidency, the play follows the Morales family as the members croon sweet love songs of the era while preparing for possible nuclear war and the more personal destruction of their nuclear family.

Gina ( Ayssette Munoz ) is the cynical eldest daughter of hard-working Elena ( Cruz Gonzalez-Cadel ) and shiftless, unfaithful Charlie ( Eddie Martinez ). While younger sister Betty ( Janyce Caraballo ) daydreams about romantic phone conversations with JFK, and her brothers Johnny ( Nick Mayes ) and Bobby ( Joaquin Rodarte ) fight over who between them is the bigger man, Gina puts all her energy into keeping a clear head and steering clear of Rudy ( Tommy Rivera-Vega ), a newly enlisted soldier who wants to build a life with her. Elena tries to make ends meet while Charlie skips out on bills and family responsibilities while his brother, Enrique ( Victor Marana ), lends a supportive ear and potentially more.

Fernandez's script has the ring of real-life relationship conflicts, particularly when the siblings fight amongst themselves. Flights of fancy and bursts of torch songs fill out the world of the play, and co-directors Ricardo Gutierrez and Cheryl Lynn Bruce keep the energy high, calling on the actors to fully embrace the musical half of the show, which conflicts with Erin Peake's apocalyptic projection footage of 1960s duck-and-cover drills. During such moments of contrast, the production calls to mind flashpoints of cultural and political transformation.

However, the production loses steam in longer scenes when the characters have confrontations about faithfulness and pragmatism. Fernandez has a good ear for squabbling, but struggles to lift the dialogue beyond its first level when ultimatums are delivered and the stakes are supposed to raise. Gonzalez-Cadel and Marana are tender together, almost as sweet as Muñoz and Rivera-Vega are, but the cast's sincerity cannot generate enough tension to motivate an audience to worry about what might happen next during this turbulent time. The audience I attended with deeply enjoyed themselves, and as a white woman, I am certain to be missing cultural context and lived experiences specific to this Mexican-American family. But the breeziness onstage, coupled with a lack of surprise, may undermine Teatro Vista's boisterous telling of a conflicted moment.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Director David Zak steps down from post after community outcry 2020-07-03 - Pride Films & Plays (PFP) Executive Director David Zak stepped down from his longtime post July 3 after numerous members of Chicago's theater ...


Gay News

Broadway suspends shows through 2020 2020-06-30 - The Broadway League announced June 29 that Broadway performances in New York City will be suspended through the remainder of 2020 due to ...


Gay News

'Magic Parlour at Home' during July 2020-06-28 - Magician Dennis Watkins is taking his experience The Magic Parlour online for a completely new virtual offering dubbed "The Magic Parlour at Home." ...


Gay News

CHF talk to feature Abby McEnany and Samantha Irby 2020-06-24 - Actor Abby McEnany and writer Samantha Irby will have a conversation in a Chicago Humanities Festival digital program that will take place Thursday, ...


Gay News

THEATER Despite everything, there are shows for Pride Week 2020-06-24 - It's almost impossible to write about the indelible events of 2020 ( which is still not quite half over ) without diminishing them. ...


Gay News

Raven Theatre names new managing director 2020-06-24 - Following a nationwide search, Raven Theatre's board of directors announced Markie Gray as the company's new managing director, effective July 1. Originally from ...


Gay News

47th Non-Equity Jeff Awards announces honorees 2020-06-22 - June 22, 2020 — Chicago — As part of the annual recognition of theater excellence, the 47th Non-Equity Jeff Awards has announced honorees ...


Gay News

'That's Queer, Grandma' June 22-July 6 2020-06-17 - PlayMakers Laboratory ( PML ) celebrates Pride Month virtually with a free presentation of That's Queer, Grandma—a romp through student-written stories that at ...


Gay News

COVID-19 Mercury Theater permanently closing 2020-06-17 - Executive Director L. Walter Stearns and partner, business manager Eugene Dizon, announced the permanent closure of Mercury Theater Chicago after 10 years and ...


Gay News

The Last Sunday in June online live reading June 28 2020-06-16 - Chicago, IL - Jonathan Tolins' look at gay life in the 1990s - THE LAST SUNDAY IN JUNE — will be performed via ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.