Are you looking for a great show that is funny, heartwarming, and features great music, specifically mariachi? Then look no further than American Mariachi by José Cruz González, directed by Goodman Resident Artistic Associate Henry Godinez, and presented as part of Chicago Latino Theater Alliance’s Destinos.
Set in the 1970’s, Lucha (Tiffany Solano) spends her days caring for her ailing mother. Alongside her best friend and cousin, Boli (Lucy Godínez) – Lucha dreams big, longing to attend school and complete her degree, despite her traditional and strict father’s beliefs. When a long forgotten beloved record album sparks her mother’s memory, Lucha comes across the idea to create an all-female mariachi band with Boli’s help. Not just for her mother, Lucha tells Boli, but for them too. Filled with live mariachi music by Sones de Mexico Ensemble, Lucha and her new friends Soyla (Gloria Vivica Benavides), Isabel (Molly Hernández), and Gabby (Amanda Raquel Martinez), embark on a journey which results in not only learning music, but also finding their own strengths and roles within their families and culture along the way.
With a great cast that is not just inspiring, but a story that is empowering, makes this a must see. The adversities the characters face are just as relatable today. A plus for this writer was how nostalgic it was to hear all the artists play mariachi music and think of my own family. Do not miss it.
American Mariachi appears now through October 24, 2021. Tickets starting at $25 are now on sale at GoodmanTheatre.org/Mariachi or by calling 312.443.3800.
All Photos by Liz Lauren
ABOUT SONES DE MÉXICO ENSEMBLE
Sones de México Ensemble is Chicago’s premier folk music organization specializing in Mexican ‘son,’ a genre encompassing the roots of mariachi music and other regional styles, including huapango, gustos, chilenas, son jarocho, and more. The ensemble was formed in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood in 1994 by four talented musicians and educators including Víctor Pichardo (music director) and Juan Dies (producer). They soon incorporated as a not-for-profit organization to keep the tradition of Mexican ‘son’ alive in its many regional forms. The group has performed thousands of concerts, released six CDs, concert films and multimedia presentations, and founded a Mexican Music School in Chicago in 2015. The organization is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with a mission to promote greater appreciation of Mexican folk and traditional music and culture through innovative performance, education, and dissemination. For more information, visit sonesdemexico.com.
ABOUT THE CHICAGO LATINO THEATER ALLIANCE (CLATA)
Since 2016, the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA) is committed to showcasing thought provoking works of Latino theater artists, inspiring cross-cultural exchanges, with national/international counterparts. CLATA produces the renowned Destinos: Chicago International Latino Theater Festival, Destinos al Aire, and other programs that preserve cultural heritage and solidify Latino arts and culture in Chicago for generations to come. Follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at the handle @LATINOTHEATER. For more information, visit clata.org.
ABOUT THE GOODMAN
Chicago’s theater since 1925, Goodman Theatre is a not-for-profit arts and community organization in the heart of the Loop, distinguished by the excellence and scope of its artistic programming and community engagement.