As part of this year’s Destinos: Chicago International Latino Theater Festival, Visión Latino Theatre Company presents the world premiere of Y Tu Abuela, Where is She?
Written by Puerto Rican playwright Nelson Diaz-Marcano and directed by Xavier M. Custodio, Y Tu Abuela is not the writer’s first collaboration with VLTC, a company of Latinx artists who perform stories that aim to open the minds of audiences to Latinx struggles and perseverance through theater. Partly inspired by Diaz-Marcano’s own struggles with substance abuse and addiction, as well as the death of his mother, it’s a study of familial bonds and grief, our chosen vices, and the ways in which how we process things personally can impact the people we love most.
Y Tu Abuela, Where is She?
Through 10/24: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 4:30 PM, Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee, thedentheatre.com, $30-$60.
Xavier (Adriel Irizarry) is mourning the loss of his mother and self-medicating with booze, much to the chagrin of his wife, Adalina (Gabriela Castillo), who has been driven to leave their home with the hopes that her absence will inspire Xavier to turn his act around. When the couple learns that they have been selected for a prestigious program that will allow them to modify the genes of their child before it is born, their excitement temporarily allows them to forget their marital strife. But when Xavier, who is interracial but white-passing, declares he wants their child to be Black, Adalina, who is Black, balks at his hubris, accusing him of turning the same blind spot he has for her experiences—and the experiences of Xavier’s younger sister, Xamaris (Angela Townsend)—toward what the life of their unborn child as a Black person would look like.
Y Tu Abuela celebrates the productivity of confrontation and the necessary balance it brings to the unavoidable codependency that crops up in love of all types—familial, romantic, and self. It’s insanely contemporary and topical, simultaneously digestible and intense, and not to be missed.