Quique Aviles, poet and brilliant impersonator of true stories, is back. After two sold-out blockbusters at the GALA Tivoli Theatre, Aviles has returned to the 55-seat black box theater in the DCArts Center with the same show about Salvadoreans in Washington D.C.
For those who didn’t catch it last July, Los Treinta: 30 Years of the Salvadorean Presence in DC is a precious gem, not to be missed. For the August 3, DCTheatreScene.com review click here.
Aviles is far more than the artist who performs a one-man monologue about how Papusa Power becomes American. Director B. Stanley coordinates with Mark Perkins and Hugo Najera to integrate a slideshow accompaniment on the upstage screen as Aviles morphs into a host of multiple-personalities on the small DCAC stage space. Iraqi, Russian, and Central African Republican emigrees, as well as El Salvadoreans, crowd into Aviles’ monologue, backed by piped-in Cumbia music.
These are the outsiders who confront discrimination that runs deeper than their black, brown, or white skins, or language barriers. What is thought but left unsaid in public gets said. That’s what makes this hour-and-15-minute show controversial and agonizingly funny and edgy.
Why see Aviles perform? Immigrants are America’s life blood. Immigration and assimilation go two-ways. America changes immigrants. And immigrants change America. The busboys, cleaning ladies and janitors become doctors, engineers and professors. Diaspora affects us all. Middle and upper class gentrification uproots and displaces the poor and older people from settled communities. For the long-range, Professor Ana Patricia Rodriguez, PhD and her students at the University of Maryland are collaborating with Aviles on fresh interviews for written publications and hopefully a book.
As for trekking to the DC Arts Center on 18th Street in the Adams Morgan neighborhood? It’s an apt venue—the center of gentrification, a few steps away from the yuppy pub, The Leaky Faucet that displays the motto: “Our drip is worth your trip.” Here’s to Quique Aviles who is worth the trek.
Call first. Last night’s Sunday evening show was cancelled for technical reasons but the show will continue for two more weekends.
LOS TREINTA: 30 Years of the Salvadorean Presence in DC
Written and performed by Quique Aviles
Directed by B Stanley
Produced by D.C. Arts Center (DCAC)
Reviewed by Rosalind Lacy
Los Treinta continues thru October 10, 2010 at DC Arts Center, 2438 18th St NW, Washington, DC. For reservations call DCAC at 202-462-7833