Try to imagine what you can achieve with 200 theater and dance companies, 1200 performances, and 75,000 audience members. Just picture the density of creativity in the air when such a gathering happens. Anything is possible at that point, and we love New York because it’s all happening here.
Starting today, New York will host the largest multi-arts festival in North America. In its fifteenth installment, this year’s NYC Fringe Festival opens today and will last till August 28th We’re glad to report that Latin artists are well represented in the festival, and have put together everything from a groundbreaking modern dance choreography to a thoughtful comedy starring a Mexican Jewish American man struggling to come to terms with being gay. Here are some of our top picks of Latin performances worth watching this year.
colectivodoszeta / carlos a. cruz velázquez
Director: Carlos A. Cruz Velázquez
Choreographer: Carlos A. Cruz Velázquez
This piece is a tangle of stories, from laughter to sadness and from solitude and loss. “…unwanted” is an exploration into the emotions that cause one to abandon, leave or discard something, physical or metaphorical.
Straw Flower Productions
Writer: Jackie Ruggiero Jacobson
Director: Jose Aviles
“American Mud,” is about a cloned woman running for the president while a shy law student unleashes her inner feminist. Meanwhile, the ghost of Susan B. Anthony haunts them both. Quirky, creative, “American Mud” is an irreverent fable about the cost of flying without wings.
Writer: Jay Alvarez
Director: Theresa Gambacorta
The puzzling title of this play was chosen by writer Jay Alvarez to capture one of the main concerns when fleeing Cuba for the US. “Be Careful! The Sharks Will Eat You!” tells the story of Alvarez’s father who plotted and executed the escape of 28 people from the island.
No Clout Productions
Writer: Jezabel Montero
Director: Jezabel Montero Assitant Director Vince Bandille
The play, written by Jezabel Montero, stars a monogamous bisexual struggling with sexual labels and who’s surrounded by a famous Cuban soapstar mother and a homophobic sister. This combinations makes for raucous comedy that nonetheless manages to engage deep questions about sexuality and society.
Writer: Dulce Maria Solis
Director: Todd Blakesley
Chela tells the story of a woman who’s on her third marriage and is awaiting her first orgasm. Forced at one point to immigrate illegally to the US from Mexico and enter a loveless marriage, Chela is based on the story of writer Dulce Maria Solis’s mother.
The Sleepy Border Town Insomniacs
One of the more serious pieces in this year’s festival, “Crawling with Monsters” is a multimedia performance put together by 17 theatre artists from the University of Texas Pan American. Originally, they saw themselves as a children’s theatre troupe, but when they encountered the violence, mass killings, decapitated bodies, and mutilations in Northeastern Mexico, they transformed their performance into an exploration of the effects the violence has on children, their parents and their teachers. “Crawling with Monsters” is based mostly on transcripts form interviews the group conducted in Reynosa, México.
Inventing Room Productions, LLC and Jason Najjoum
Writer: Amir Levi
Director: Shauna Horn
Choreographer: Megan Sipe
“Male Matriarch” is the autobiographical tale of protagonist Amir Levi, who seeks to challenge postmodern gay identities through this loving tale of family and tradition. Amir strongly identifies with his mother and grandmother’s love stories; he share’s his Builla’s rhythm and his mother’s weakness for men with curly haired. Amir’s believes he’s destined to be the next matriarch of his Mexican Israeli Jewish American family, until his first relationship crumbles and forces him to reevaluate everything he’s thus far believed.
DiMenna & Nelson
Writer: Hunter Nelson
Director: Taylor Negron
Directed by Taylor Negron, this comic-lounge act celebrates the romantic musings of 70’s icon, Telly Savalas, who has returned from the grave to give the cynical hipsters of today a good kick in the pants.
Ok, Remezcleros: ready, set, go. The Fringe opens tonight, tickets are cheap and you have 16 days to fullfill your “culture” quota for the year.