Saturday, April 20, 2013

Review of Augusta and Noble at Adventure Stage Chicago

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Augusta and Noble. And it was about a girl (Gabriela Mayorga) whose parents (Ivan Vega and Isabel Quintero) used to live in Mexico and her name was Gabi. She is trying to find out where she comes from; she has to ask her mom bunches of questions for school, but she learns it from her dreams. Her dreams tell her about how her mother and father got over to Chicago which was an illegal way. The story was about how the father might never come back in real life because if the police find him they will say, "hey, you are supposed to be in Mexico. What are you doing over here?" Then they will go and take the wife and then they might not even take the kids with them because they are American citizens. The play makes you think about what it is like to move to a different country. The playwright Carlos Murillo was trying to show you that people should be able to cross from country to country for a better life.

There was this story that Gabi told her younger brother, Jesus (Tommy Rivera-Vega). It was about this coyote (Miguel Nunez) and this rabbit. The coyote wanted to eat the rabbit, but the rabbit was like, "I know some tasty chickens. I'll go and get them if you will wait here." And the coyote was excited about those chickens, but then the bunny was hiding. But then he found the bunny and the bunny was like, to the coyote, "Oh I got a little distracted. I should go, but I'm holding up this mountain." And then the coyote decides to hold up the mountain because he really wants those chickens. In the end the rabbit makes a circle of fire around the coyote and then he burns up. It is a little bit gross that he has to burn up the coyote completely because I can imagine what a burned up coyote looks like, and it is not very pretty. The story is in this play because it is an interesting story about one of the themes of the play, and it is that a coyote is also a name for somebody who helps people cross the border and takes advantage of them. The story says that the coyote is a very terrible guy and that you should never trust a coyote. The rabbit is just trying to defend himself, so you can't really blame the rabbit.

Gabi has this stuffed animal which is a rabbit named conejito, which means little rabbit. I think that it is representing that Gabi is a rabbit--that she is metaphorically the rabbit in the story. She is going to be clever and fight back. In her dreams she is clever and fights back instead of just taking it and being like "I don't care. I just have to." She goes to school and she's scared about that because it is her first day of high school and she also has to take a train and a bus to get to her school. She acts like the clever rabbit because she doesn't just run away because she is scared. She goes with it and says, "Okay, I can do this."

There is also a spirit in this show and she was a Mujer Azul (Lisandra Tena) or woman in blue. She saves people from coyotes--metaphorical coyotes--and from getting caught by the police. She is an important character in the play because she helps the father and Gabi cross from Mexico to Chicago. Gabi is crossing in her dream only; the dad is actually crossing. There is a similarity between Ms. Chan and the woman in blue. They are both played by the same person and the teacher helps her the same as the woman in blue. Ms. Chan helps her in finding out who she really is and also helps her with the problem with her mom. The problem is that her mom doesn't want to tell her how they crossed because she is afraid that Gabi might tell some people about it and then they would have to be transferred back. Miss Chan says, "Ask things about her childhood and what she dreamed about when she was your age." And that works!

I thought that it was cool when the director (Tom Arvetis) chose, instead of having desks on stage, to have Gabi and Ricardo (Kieran Kredell) go into the audience and sit next to the people in the audience. I think he made that choice for two reasons: 1) because it is cheaper because you don't have to buy the desks or make the desks and 2) because then the audience gets to kind of feel like they are in the class with Gabi and Ricardo. That was so awesome.

People who would like this show are people who like Mexican culture, metaphoric coyotes and rabbits, and sitting in a theater on the street where the show takes place. People should go see this show because it is educational and makes your feelings come out. It teaches you about how people can be deported, what a metaphorical coyote is, and it teaches you some spanish language. You want the characters to stay together as a family.

Photos: Johnny Knight

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