Highly Recommended **** Teatro Vista, the Vanguard of Latino theater in the United States is firmly committed to sharing and celebrating the riches of Latino culture with Chicago theater audiences and schools alike. They have been doing this for many years and now with their new home at The Victory Gardens Biograph Theatrer, upstairs in the Richard Christiansen Theater, they are able to bring the intimacy of their work to their followers; both Latino and others/ Their latest production, William Mastrosimone’s “Tamer of Horses”, slickly directed by Ron OJ Parson, is an amazing tale of the teacher and his student and how each learns from the others.
This is a story of young violence, the importance of education and of reaching one’s potential. On a glorious set by Brian Sidney Bembridge (who also did the lighting design), we find ourselves in a barn on the property owned by Ty (a marvelous character portrayal by Juan Francisco Villa) and his wife Georgiane (deftly handled by Sari Sanchez). They are teachers, but of late, he is on leave and doing some free lance carpentry work. Young Hector (brilliantly played by Joshua Torrez), who appears to be on the run has found himself in their barn seeking shelter and warmth.
This couple takes him in and helps him, and as part of their doing so, they attempt to teach him how to better himself and become more of a gentleman. He has runaway from a detention center and may, or may not be, responsible for some robberies in the area. Hector, who has no education fancies himself quite the “rapper” and feels that he will one day make it big with his ability to rhyme and story tell. As the story progresses and we watch the bond between teacher,Ty and student, Hector and the teacher,Hector with his student Ty, we see that the importance of learning, can in fact change the lives of both, the student and the teacher.
How powerful is this bond? That is what we learn as we see the changes in both men. One of the problems Ty had as a teacher of classics was that he could not see if he was reaching his students. Now, with this “hoodlum”/rapper, he does see that he is in fact reaching the pupil. This is a heart warming story that shows the importance of education and how one man can reach out to another and change the course of his destiny. At the same time, doing thus, can make changes in his life as well (and that of his wife, too).
This is a play that families can see together and learn from. It is a play that should be brought out to the inner cit schools, where possible. People of all ethnicities can benefit from the story and the way that it is conveyed. I for one, wish to thank this theater troupe, Theatre With A View, for staying on its course and continuing to bring us quality stories that have meaning to our lives and our future.
This run is fairly short, ending December 14th. The schedule is as follows:
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.
Sundays at 3 p.m.
Running time (with a ten minute intermission) is two hours and this is general seating, first come first served.
Tickets are only $25 or $30 and for students and seniors discounts are available. To order your tickets for thsi special production call the box office at 773-871-3000 or online at www.victorygardens.org. To learn more about this company and its season, visit www.teatrovista.org
To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-up and click at “Tamer of Horses”