Review: The House on Mango Street

And I'm not talking about the book either!

Tanya Saracho of Teatro Luna, has adapted Sandra Cisneros's classic coming of age tale, The House on Mango Street, into a play. Yeah, I know, like wow. Amazing eh?

I went to see it on Friday night for a fundraiser for the Chicago Foundation for Women's Latina Leadership Council. It runs until November 8th and tickets are already limited, so get some today.

It's been a few years since I read the novel so it wasn't like I knew how every scene should or could go. I sat back and enjoyed the show. Saracho includes some great songs as well to string the story together.

To see Esperanza come alive on stage was moving. Yes, I was in tears many times. The scene where Esperanza is assaulted was handled perfectly. The theme of women in windows was played out in heart-wrenching beauty on the stage.

It is amazing that a story that takes place over 30 years ago is still so fresh on so many levels. There's a joke about the mayor never fixing Chicago's public transit system that got a lot of laughs. But the struggle of Latinas growing up in a macho culture, wanting to be free enough to dance where we want, when we want and yet finding that we are "too beautiful" to be seen.

Ultimately for me, THoMS, is about home and what that means. I was just watching "Latin Music USA" on PBS and  Lin-Manuel Miranda of "In the Heights" said it best. He said something like, "Home is a very tricky word for us Latinos. We're not really sure where home is. Is it where we grew up? Where our families came from? Where we are now?" Esperanza is always looking to get out, to leave Mango Street. And I soooo get that. I was pretty much raised to get out of our lil suburb, to aspire to "be more" and all that. That's one reason why it is so hard for me to go back and see my old house. It's no longer yellow and my favorite tree is gone. It was home for so long, yet it was always just a stop on my way somewhere else. Oddly I don't think I've felt at home until our apartment on Fletcher, which was our 3rd apartment in Chicago. Home.

There was a Q&A that I skipped out on, but someone reported that some of the men found the show to be man-bashing since it questions how Latino men have treated women and our macho culture. Guess it's a good thing I skipped it.

In conclusion...Go see this show if you can!!