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Back Stage West

Jorge Gonzalez' Vieques

By Jean Schiffman

December 13, 2001
Copyright © 2001
Gale Group Inc. . All Rights Reserved.
Copyright © 2001
VNU Business Media. All Rights Reserved.

SAN FRANCISCO-- Among the Bay Area's ethnic-specific theatres, Teatro Vision in San Jose strikes a chord with its largely Latino audiences, at least judging by the responsive crowd at the opening of the West Coast premiere of Jorge Gonzalez' Vieques . The comedy, premiered at New York's Repertorio Espagnol in 2000, is set on the eponymous Puerto Rican island in the 1950s. Two families struggle with domestic problems and moral dilemmas against the backdrop of American military occupation, which threatens to usurp their cultural identity. The issues Gonzalez raises are serious, but the sitcom quality of the writing--and director Wilma Bonet's over-the-top comic approach--undermine their import. Still, it must be said that the audience, laughing at Spanish phrases I didn't understand, clearly relished every antic moment.

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