Saturday, July 9, 2022


A story rich in meaning for those old enough to remember the Cuban revolution, Cristina García's "Dreaming in Cuban" shows us how families can be split apart by political ideology. Cubans with little to lose often supported the radical changes "The Great Leader" brought to the island, hoping that life in the future would be better than the life they had. Others, especially those whose previous privileges would be taken away by the revolutionaries, could not wait to get away. The family bond was strained, if not severed, and they ended up waving to each other from opposite shores. 

Celia del Pino (Anna Maria Luera, above, left) has remained in Cuba, a loyal revolutionary. But her daughter Lourdes has migrated to America after an incident in which armed soldiers assaulted her and claimed her land for the revolution. Lourdes runs the Yankee Doodle Bakery in Brooklyn. You can't get any more American than that. 

There are many side-stories and the action switches back and forth between Havana and Brooklyn. In Havana, Lourdes's sister (Felicia Natalia Delgado) and her son Ivanito (Eric Esquivel-Gutierrez), who have stayed behind with their mother, are having a tough time. Felicia is a little crazy, fantasizing about sharing a sleeping bag with The Great Leader. Her condition starts out bad and gets worse. 

Her father, Jorge, is dead, but that doesn't stop him from inserting himself into family life. 

Another character with considerable time on stage is Pilar (Thea Rodgers), but her character, like many in this show, feels a bit undeveloped. She is a conflicted teenager. Everyone is conflicted, everyone is stubborn, everyone is angry, everyone is suffering and everyone has a reason.

For us, the show could use some more motion. No one seems to listen to or learn anything from each other. We get a two-act-two-hour telenovela that remains on the surface. We could use someone nice. And it would have been fun to see Pilar's mural.


The San Francisco Theater Blog Awards Division gives TWO STARS with a BANGLE OF PRAISE to Cristina Garcías "Dreaming in Cuban. The Bangle is for Anna María Luera whose Lourdes (she also plays a seriously bad-ass police officer) carries this whole show. The historical context is fascinating. Imagine what it would do to our country if someone took it over in an armed insurrection - oops. 

"Dreaming in Cuban"

Berkeley City Club

2315 Durant St., Berkeley

Thursday-Sunday trough July 24

$20-30 (discounts available)

No comments: