What Really Goes On Behind The Scenes
Fade at Victory Garden Theater is one of those plays that you either get it or you don't get but it's definitely a play that will get your attention. This in your face drama about a Mexican-born female (Lucia) was brought in to write for a television show in Los Angeles, however, she faces an uphill battle dealing with racism and the fact that she has never written a plot for television borders on radical to real. Nonetheless, it hits the point on what minorities face on a daily basis.
On her first day on the job, Lucia (Sari Sanchez) meets a down in his luck Mexican-American named Abel (Eddie Martinez) who is one of the custodial workers in the building. Born in California, but true to his ethnic roots, he doesn't seem to understand Lucia; a low self-esteem individual with incredibly high energy, a ditzy personality with an agonizing whiny voice.
With his Semper Fi tattoo, (the official Marine tattoo that means "Always Faithful."). Abel tells Lucia about his time and prison due to domestic problems with his daughter's mother. He knows that things happen but he is determined to make life better if only to be a good father to his daughter
Both of them have dealt with internal and external racism and stereotypes that there initial conversation with each other is very arduous to the point where it almost ended in an ethnic battle itself. Lucia tries to ease the tone and the direction in which their friendship is going by trying to start over, however, the night of miscommunication and awkward comments ends in frustration.
As the days go by Lucia and Abel gradually find a common ground and forge a friendship bonding together via their issues regarding culture and race. Lucia tells Abel she is just a diversity hire that her boss brought in for the job which Abel replies, "Most Mexicans would be happy to get a job since the majority of them are not hired because they are Mexicans."
Lucia discovers that Abel has a very interesting and real-life perspective that could help her become the writer her white peers never felt she was capable of being but her ambitious to prove them wrong caused a rift when she makes a decision to use Abel's life as one of the main characters without his knowledge or permission.
Playwright Tanya Saracho opens the doors about what others say and thinks about our differences within America. She makes us understand that the attitude shared about majorities is a systemic issue we need to overcome.
Director Sandra Marquez is an acclaimed member of Teatro Vista and the Jeff Award for her performance in A View from the Bridge is just what this play needs; a director who is not afraid to push the bar when it comes to discussing injustice minorities' face.
As one writer wrote, "The strengths of the play are the rapport between Lucia and Abel," however; it falls a little short on what I believe could have been an impressive educational play on the plight of racism and discrimination from the viewpoints of Mexican-Americans.
"Fade" runs about 100 minutes without an intermission, so make sure you go to the bathroom.
We somewhat recommend this play, it has a lot of profanity which to us dampers the performance and the ending lack imagination and seem to feel like someone just said "The hell with it," but, it's still a treat.
The cast Include:
Eddie Martinez (Abel)
Sari Sanchez (Lucia)
Victory Gardens Theater Presents
By Victory Gardens Theatre Ensemble Playwright Tanya Saracho
Directed by Teatro Vista Ensemble Member Sandra Marquez
November 4 – December 23, 2017
Filed under: ChicagoNow