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BWW Review: LA ESQUINITA, USA at Temple Of Music And Art

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Ruben C. Gonzalez in
Arizona Theatre Company's La Esquinita, USA.
Photo by P0CH01

It's a small town, La Esquinita, USA. One, perhaps some of us are familiar with, while others not so much, but the story of such a place is not entirely uncommon. The American border town has become a ghost of its former self. The once booming community has all been forgotten, a deterioration which began in the moment the Thompson Tire Factory - the number one employer in town - closed up shop and shipped itself overseas. After having their promises of jobs, homes, and community broken by this big business, the twelve citizens of La Esquinita, USA whom we meet find themselves in disarray as they search for what we all wish for: identity, connection, and peace.

Bringing these twelve members of the one man show is Ruben C. Gonzalez (playwright and performer). Captivating the audience with simple transformations between characters through the use of props, Gonzalez moves from character to character with a smooth ease - from the incredibly wise narrator of Lencho the custodian to the teenaged protagonist Daniel, with the beautiful movement of a hat.

But it's not just Lencho and Daniel you come to believe. There's the sweet Sunshine, the courageous Mr. Jefferson, the endearing Yolanda, Tweeker, Ravi, the fierce Animal, Wilo, the invisible Skinny Black, Sleepy, and Grace. They are all people in this abandoned town who are trying to do their best in trying times. They all have stories of which you wish you could explore more; they have stories you wish could potentially end differently, where everyone is united and happy.

Gonzalez has given us a powerful story, one that can make people aware, perhaps, of the situations around them. It is a story and these are characters that can, hopefully, help audiences who come to the Temple of Music and Art to see the love people have in each other. We need to be here for one another.

La Esquinita, USA is performed in English and contains some mature language, with an approximate total running time of 1 hour and 30 minutes, with no intermission. This production runs until February 4th in Tucson. The Arizona Theatre Company's 2016-1017 season is sponsored by I. Michael and Beth Kasser. Tickets start at $30 a piece. They can be purchased at the box office at the Temple of Music and Art (333 S. Scott Ave), online at www.arizonatheatre.org, or by calling the box office at (520) 622-2823. Discounted rates are available at all performances to seniors and active military members. Students can purchase rush tickets for $10 at all performances and half-price tickets are available for balcony seats one hour prior to curtain at the ATC box office.

Following La Esquinita, USA will be Ring of Fire (March 4 - 25); and closing the 2016-2017 season will be Jeffrey Hatcher's commissioned play by the ATC, Holmes and Watson (April 15 - May 6).


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Maria Rita Meli is an avid theatre fan and a lover of the arts who cannot think of a better way to spend an evening, (read more...)

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