Father Forgive me for I have Sinned

Anyone who reads my articles on Being Latino Online Magazine, is already aware that I love to attend theatre performances. Yes, I acknowledge that Broadway shows sparkle and flash, but the true gems of live performance are the off-Broadway shows. That’s where I’m finding my Latino brethren.

Artwork by Xeno Martinez

A little over a year ago I trekked out to Lehman College, in the Bronx, to attend a Solo Festival. I went to see one specific show and it did not disappoint, in fact I was exhilarated by the performance. “Father Forgive me for I have Sinned”, written and performed by Jose Roldan, Jr., was one of the most raw, honest, and eye-opening shows I’ve ever seen.

Jose grew up on 143rd Street and Brook Ave. Not a nice neighborhood in the best of times, but this show takes us back to the South Bronx of the 80s and 90s.  A time when compassion was in short supply and only the strong survived. Urban Darwinism. It was either kick ass or get your ass kicked. Jose went to school in the neighborhood, shopped there, and played there. It was a very small world. High School expanded Jose’s life and took him to a completely different world…Manhattan. Riding a train to get to school opened his eyes and showed him that there were so many other options for growth.

We have the to opportunity to meet Jose’s family. Titi Bruja, with her unique marinade method. His jealous older sister, who stalks her husband at parties to keep the other women away; and his younger sister, the perceived favorite child. We meet his disappointed father who complains that Jose doesn’t play enough sports. And we are in the room when Jose sits down to tell his mother that he is gay, a scene that brought tears to many audience members.

The show is humorous, nostalgic, emotional, and a true storytelling delight.

“Father Forgive me for I have Sinned” has been chosen to be a part of the 2012 United Solo Theatre Festival in NYC and debuts on Wed. October 24th. You may buy your tickets here.

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