Tuesday August 22nd 2017

“Made in Puerto Rico” , but coming to Chicago!

When people hear the title of  Elizardi Castro’s acclaimed comedy show, “Made In Puerto Rico”, many of them might turn off, thinking why would I want to see something in another language? Why would I care about this sort of comedy? Well, I had the pleasure of speaking with Eli today and a very impressive interview it was! All ethnic groups, believe it or not, are very close to the others, with of course, the language difference. But as Eli said, as a Puerto Rican growing up in Westchester County, he knew he was different. His parents wanted for him what my parents wanted for me and what I wanted for my children- a better education and easier life. It doesn’t matter who you are or where your family came from. The majority came from their country to have that better life, right?

Eli went to great schools and became an attorney- nothing funny there! In fact, he began his legal career as a prosecuting attorney and did so well, the other side ( defending attorneys) came after him, so he joined with the people he had defeated to enjoy the prosperity that came with the job, but deep down inside, the childhood yearning to be in the arts kept gnawing away at him. Eli was a great storyteller and so at the urging of his friends and family to “tell us more of these stories”, he set up a small cabaret type “lounge” at his complex in Orlando and as Mickey Rooney said many years ago “put on a show”!

While he knew that his friends and family would enjoy listening to his funny anecdotes detail his childhood, his family and even his career choices, how would “outsiders” take him- funny or silly? Serious or just some crazy PR caught in the web of speaking “Spanglish” to the “gringos” who came in for a drink! Much to his surprise, everyone loved his story telling and the way he expressed himself. These may be his stories, told by him, but in reality, they are OUR Stories. They talk to planting roots in a new place- didn’t our families do this as well ( Russia, Germany, Scotland, Italy,Greece, Poland,Asia and the Latin countries as well). What he talks about is indeed the universal struggle that we all deal with- our families, both as kids and then when we have our own! Jobs and education and in reality  his show is successful because it can be viewed by the entire family ( no F words or anything even close) and it has a message and a purpose. Part of the beauty of this production , which will  start previews on the 18th, open on the 25th ( March) and continue through May 1st ( or possibly longer if the audiences want it to) at The Chicago Center For The Performing Arts, 777 N. Green Street ( 1/2 block west of Halsted at Chicago Avenue, is the fact that we get to see a man’s dream become a reality. This young man who was pushed away from what he wanted in life, through pure will and desire took the steps to find himself and do what he wanted to do and wants the world to know, through his comedy that it is okay to laugh at yourselves and your experiences as long as you learn from them and discover who you are and your self-worth. This means, “go for it” and don’t stop believing.

The schedule for the performances at the Center are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. Tickets are only $15! Yes, only $15 to have a special evening of  laughter and moving yourselves from your reality and the problems that face us each day, to his life an dthe funny things that came out of what I am sure he didn’t find funny at the time- life is short, so laugh all you can.

To order your tickets call 312-733-6000 or visit www.theaterland.com 

want to know more about Elizardi Castro, www.elicastro.com. He is working on his next show, “Law and Disorder” ( great title) now and I am sure that with our great audiences, he will bring this into our fair city ( where is now living). His next dream, take “Made in Puerto Rico” to Broadway! I think we will see this happen.

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