Photo by Don Kellogg

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tell Hector I Miss Him

This is a slice through and through of one small ally in Puerto Rico but represents so much more.  An entire ethnic cast with a uniquely ethnic subject.  The bowels of Puerto Rico - old San Juan it says, but frankly it could be the corner of 118th and Lexington too. A finer casting of purely ethnic actors is rare to be found.  At home in their accents and culture, these actors are free to explore the dialogue and the emotions translated from Playwright Paola Lazaro's head to the page and back onto the stage.  And a remarkable job they do.

Done in vignettes, the play has a large cast and many story lines some of which overlap, others do not.  Ideas of hope and despair, escape and entrapment, and love and family vs abandonment and homelessness abound.

The fine cast includes Victor Almanzar (Jeison), Sean Carvajal (Palito), Alexander Flores (Tono), Yadira Guevara-Prip (Isis), Juan Carlos Hernandez (Mostro), Selenis Leyva (Samira), Talene Monahon (La Gata), Flaco Navaja (Hugo), Dascha Polanco (Malena), Lisa Ramirez (Mami), Luis Vega (El Mago), Analisa Velez (Tati).  

Be warned this play leaves no topic un-touched.  when a play opens up with two people having sex - you know you're in for a bumpy ride - just how bumpy and who these two people are I will leave un-spoken in this review.  Plenty of smoking.  Drugs and alcohol abound.  There's even a gun.  Life on the bottom rung is a tough one and these fine actors do their best to show you just how tough it is to live here and even more so to leave.