An Intriguing Production of Brad Erickson’s “American Dream”
An Intriguing Production of “American Dream”.
The New Conservatory Theatre Center is presenting the world premiere of Brad Erickson’s “American Dream, El sueno del otro lado”. The drama is entrenched in the character’s passionate journey that also has such hot topics as same-sex marriages and illegal immigration. The two hour drama is a passionate liberalized view of these topics.
Brad Erickson new motivated drama is excellently directed by Dennis Lickeig with a strong cast headed by William Giammona, Ulises A. Toledo and Dana Zook. The playwright has a flair for natural informal dialogue including some droll remarks by the characters. There are powerful battle of words between William Giammona and Dana Zook especially in the second act.
The opening acting takes place in San Diego, California. Forty two year old Architect Tom (William Giammona) who was married for twenty years and has a sixteen year old daughter Julie (Katherine Robbins) has recognize that he is gay. There is still a strong bond between Tom and his ex-wife even though Cara (Dana Zook) is now married to a conservative attorney Richard (Jeffrey Hoffman). Even Cara has accepted her ex-husband minimal homosexual behavior but wants to keep her family unit together.
Tom heads down to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico to study Spanish. He meets his 25 year old instructor Salvador (Ulises A. Toledo) and falls in love with the young man. Now Tom has to find a way to get his new young lover legally across the broader.
As the saying goes “Easier said than done” . Even though Cara is now married to the attorney she still has strong feelings for ex-husband Tom even though he is gay. Cara is against the same sex marriage passionately since she firmly believes that the new young man will break the bond between her and her daughter. Politically shrewd attorney Richard who for his own personal reason devises a situation for Dan and Salvador to go to Mexico City where same-sex persons can legally marry. (Although the country of Mexico does not recognize same sex marriage, the capital does). Following the marriage they will sneak the young man through the border fence with the help of a sympatric Minutemen border guard Dan (Dale Albright). In earlier scenes Dan and another radical Minuteman Buddy (Justin Gillman) who has a psychotic hatred for immigrants express wide-ranging and explicit reasons to keep out illegal immigrants from this country.
William Giammona gives a strong performance as Tom while Dana Zook fervidly portrays Cara the ex-wife. Their confrontations in the second act are insightful. Nineteen year old Katherine Robins gives a beautiful natural performance as the daughter Julie.
Ulises A. Toledo who is making his theatrical debut playing the role is outstanding as the young Salvador. He brings a tempting unpretentiousness to the character. Justin Gillman as Buddy provides a ferocious portrayal of a stoned dude who is helping his uncle as a volunteer Minuteman who hates all immigrants and wants them to stay on their side of the border. Dale Albright as Dan offers the exact opposite of his nephew as a solicitous person for keeping the borders secure. Jeffery Hoffman delivers a splendid performance as the attorney Richard.
Dennis Lickteig direction is piercing and he keeps the audience on edge throughout the two hour production. Kuo-Hao set manages to incorporate a stylish innovativeness of an architect’s home, a high-class hotel in San Miguel and an impressive barrier between the United States and Mexico.
“American Dream” run through September 15 at the New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness, San Francisco. For tickets call 415-861-8972 or on line at www.nctcsf.org Coming up next is the west coast premiere of Frank Anthony Polito’s “Band Fags” opening on September 13 and running through October 13th. Also coming up the return parody Revue “Dirty Little Showtunes” with lyrics by Tom Orr, conceived and directed by F. Allan Sawyer and musical direction by Schumbly Koldewyn opening on October 11 and running through November 10th.