The Arts

Fronteras Americanas

Fronteras Americanas featured image

Reviewed by Paula Citron

Fronteras Americanas
Soulpepper
Written and performed by Guillermo Verdecchia
Directed by Jim Warren
Young Centre
Run began May 6, 2011, and continues in repertoire

Guillermo Verdecchia’s one-man show, Fronteras Americanas, was a hit in 1992. Soulpepper is featuring a revival with original director Jim Warren.

Verdecchia has done clever updating of cultural references, and uses new projection technology, but the play remains the same.

It is about the immigrant experience, but more, it takes a satiric punch at stereotyping, mythology, and conventional wisdom. In fact, the first act is a nonstop parade of provocative ideas that fly fast and furiously out of the writer/actor’s mouth.

I actually reacted to the play the same way I did in 1992. The first act is a gem, filled with laugh-out-loud lines about serious matters. Verdecchia is perfect in delivery, and between him and Warren, pauses and doubletakes are key.

Unfortunately, the second act, where Verdecchia riffs into unfunny and obscure philosophical musings, so very different from the humour of first act, is misplaced. Fronteras Americanas would still work better as a shorter, one-act play.

Fronteras Americanas continues in repertoire at the Young Centre.

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