Between You, Me And The Lampshade

By Raul Castillobetween-you-me-7599

Directed by Ricardo Gutierrez

Produced by Teatro Vista

At Victory Gardens Christiansen Theater, Chicago

Consequences of secrets fuels world premier drama

Teatro Vista presents a world primer drama, Between You, Me And The Lampshade by Raul Castrillo now playing at Victory Gardens upstairs theater. Set in rural Texas near the Mexican border, Lampshade is the story of Jessie (fine performance by Sandra Marquez) as the single mother struggling to raise her teenage son Woody (Tommy Rivera-Vega) in a trailer park in a rural Texas.

One night a wounded wet-back illegal breaks into Jessie’s place. This undocumented immigrant women, Amparo (Ayssette Munoz) instantly evokes empathy from Jessie who takes on her cause as she hides the wounded girl from her son and her boyfriend Max ( James D. Farruggio), who is a federal agent. As Jessie tries hard to hide Amparo, the girl has dream about her husband Meme (Steve Casillas) that are spoken in English as the two tell about why they are entering the USA.

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Once Woody meets Amparo, the two share communication problems since Woody only speaks a little Spanish. Much of the humor in this drama comes from language barriers. These are cleverly used by playwright Castillo.

We see how Woody, the shy and lonely teen turns to online games for amusement. He meets a gamer, Kristen (Bryce Gangel) who is aggressively assertive¬† as she quickly becomes interested in the shy Texas ‘cowboy.’ She vows she’ll visit Woody in Texas. Woody give her his address believing that she’ll never visit.

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Meanwhile, Jessie and Woody argue about how and why Jessie is aiding Amparo especially after word is out about an illegal getting¬† murdered recently. After Kristen arrives, we see how a shy Texas boy and an aggressive LA girl can get over their difference through ‘chemical enhancements.’ These mating scenes are hilarious.

Without giving away more, let me say that this drama has loads of humor with a strong suspenseful mystery attached. This play cleverly and searingly examines the consequences of secrets and lies. The resolution here is plausible as the best intentions and strong wills struggle to do the right thing. While the play could use a trimming, it is a well plotted and nicely written world premier. Sandra Marquez and Tommy Rivera-Vega lead a fine cast. This promising play is worth a look.

Recommended

Tom Williams

Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: April 16, 2015

For more info checkout the Between You, Me And The Lampshade page at theatreinchicago.com

At Victory Gardens Richart Christiansen Theatre, 2433 N. Lincoln, Chicago, IL, call 773-871-3000, www.teatrovista.org, tickets $25-$30, Thursday thru Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3 pm with an additional  3pm matinee on Saturday, May 9, running time is 105 minutes without an intermission, through May 10, 2015