Tuesday, February 18, 2020

reviews - ¡AMERICANO! - The Phoenix Theatre Company

Edgar Lopez, Joseph Cannon, Sean Ewing, and Johanna Carlisle-Zepeda
Photo by Reg Madison Photography
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through February 23

"(Anthony) Valdovinos was a "Dreamer"—a person who came to the U.S. as a minor and has lived in the country without official documentation. Valdovinos' story, and the issues faced by other Dreamers and immigrants, is the basis for ¡Americano!...With intriguing characters, a talented cast, seamless direction, and energetic choreography, ¡Americano! is a fairly impressive and impactful musical. However, while the score is good, some of the lyrics are just average and there are a few moments when the show comes across a bit heavyhanded.... (Michael) Barnard's direction keeps things moving at a fairly swift pace and he efficiently interweaves flashback moments in several scenes. He also makes great use of Robert Kovach's effective set design...As Tony, Sean Ewing creates an endearing, realistic individual who is sympathetic and passionate but also vulnerable. ...Joseph Cannon and Johanna Carlisle-Zepeda are superb as Tony's strong and fiercely loving parents... Canon's deep voice and solid focus bring depth and drive to this hardworking yet stubborn man, while Carlisle-Zepeda's combination of warmth and passion creates the kind of mother anyone would want to have in their corner....a somewhat effective musical that shows how one man's personal journey and his emotional and legal struggles with both his family and the country he loves instill a passion that also inspires others he meets. His experiences are also how he finds his voice in the world. With some changes and improvements to the lyrics and a tightening up of a few areas I believe this musical could have a fairly rich life in regional theatres, though the creators may need to change the ending depending on how the Supreme Court rules on DACA this year."  -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

"...AMERICANO! is an effusive and exuberant celebration of idealism and fortitude as well as a fervent call to action. There is no doubt that this vibrant musical is also political theatre steeped in a sense of urgency about the need to do justice for the DREAMers....heightened by singer-songwriter Carrie Rodriguez's rich and poignant score and Sergio Mejia's vigorous and muscular choreography. ..an inspired act of conscience. It is a work that speaks to a moment in time when a nation's principles are being challenged. It carries with it an emotional power that is palpable and yet immensely entertaining."  Herbert Paine, Broadway World (click here to read the complete review)

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