RADICAL or Are You Gonna Miss Me?
Reviewed by Amalisha HuEck
Are two sisters finding the way to each other by navigating through different levels of expectations, through two realities or by breaking through powerful characters focusing on getting away from each other? Is love the driving force here or dark, twisted thoughts of escape? How do we know when love is real? Is it real when it hurts? What is the cost of love? This intense conflict between Belinda (Elizabeth Ramos) and her older sister Rosalie (Anna LaMadrid), is full of passion, conviction, risks, deprogramming and questions.
A World premiere of 'Radical or, are you gonna miss me?' a new play at IAMA Theatre Company is set in El Paso, on the Mexican-American border, where the issues and beliefs of two sisters are driven in totally two different directions. In hope to find the way to each other under very stressful circumstances, they make up things and hide their true intentions. The responsibility of older sister Rosalie who put her house as a bond to bail her younger sister Belinda out of jail, who is homebound by the sound detector, is extremely challenging. Belinda's new friend Erica (Kim Griffin) is acting as a subconscious mind and has a strong influence on Belinda in making choices between love for her sister and desire to be different.
Written by Isaac Gómez and directed by Jess McLeod the play explores the political sides of different parties by pulling two sisters apart. The violent confrontation of views and feelings appear to be the main reason for their passionate and argumentative resistance. Unfortunately, the friction and tension intensifies towards the end, to the point of hurting each other with a weapon and with the words.
Writer Isaac Gómez says, 'How do you begin the process of seeing yourself with the same complexity and beauty that others see in you? I titled this play Radical because of its relationship with the themes of radicalization, in a social and political context. What I'm learning with time, with space, with the wisdom of watching the seasons change and me with it - the truly Radical act in this play is love. I yearn for these characters in the way I yearn for myself.'
RADICAL runs for 90 minutes, without intermission at Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90039. The play was originally commissioned by IAMA theatre Company under the Artistic Director (Stefanie Black) and Executive Director (Cara Greene Epstein). It opened on Thursday, Nov. 16 at 8 p.m., with performances thereafter on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays at 8 p.m., and on Sundays at 2 p.m. through Dec. 11 (dark Monday Nov. 20 and Friday, Nov. 25). All tickets are $40, except previews, which are $25.
The matinee on Sunday, Nov. 19 will be followed by a live panel discussion with artists, activists and politicians about the issues addressed in the play.
For reservations and information, call (323) 380-8843 or go to iamatheatre.com
*** 'Founded in 2007, IAMA is a Los Angeles-based ensemble of artists committed to cultivating new voices and creating new works that push boundaries and take risks, while fostering an inclusive community that inspires theater-makers of future generations. IAMA is invested in challenging audiences with an authentic experience that reflects our complex modern world.'