Mass Ave’s Phoenix Theatre welcomes the Midwest Premiere of Ricardo Melendez’s new play Call Me BORICUA!, a no holds barred look at what it means to be American. This Indianapolis performing arts event opens February 11 and runs through February 21 at the Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis downtown. Tickets range from $15.00 (on Thursdays and Sundays) to $20.00 on (Fridays and Saturdays). Indianapolis people twenty four and under will be admitted for $15.00 at all times.
In his one man show, Call Me BORICUA!, Ricardo Melendez delves into the immigrant experience in America. This “hilarious and irreverent look at the Hispanic experience in the USA” is based only loosely on his own experience coming to the United States from Puerto Rico. As an American citizens with a Hispanic cultural background, Melendez found that the two did not always meld together in America.
Melendez moved to the New York when he was seventeen, for a gig dancing with the Alvin Ailey Company. Seven years later he found himself working with an Indianapolis theatre group in the heart of the Circle City. After returning to Puerto Rico to direct the Ballets de San Juan, he returned to the mainland. Melendez currently resides in Virgina where he works closely with the Governor’s School of for the Arts.
The title Call Me BORICUA originates from Puerto Rico’s original island name. In it an unnamed Everyman encounters life in the United States for the first time. Ricardo Melendez addresses strange ideas and stereotypes place on Puerto Ricans with quick wit and approachable humor. The play begs the question “How does he fit in America and who should his heroes be?”
In an article for the Virgina Pilot, Melendez spoke to the challenges many Hispanics (and other people from other cultural backgrounds) face when adapting to life in a new country. “We call it blending,” he says, “When do you become accepted accepted, either by someone else or by yourself? I try to bring forth the idea of are we integrating or are we assimilating? All with extreme humor.”
In the show, Melendez’s nameless character faces a whole host of hilarious situations as he retells his journey of heartbreak, first love and striving to survive. As he auditions for shows in New York City and discovers he is “not Puerto Rican enough for West Side Story,” faces the difficult task of accepting himself in a new land.
Head to Indianapolis downtown for this hilarious romp through the life of a Puerto Rican actor trying to make a name for himself. Before the show enjoy dinner at any of these gourmet Indianapolis restaurants or lovely Indianapolis bars. For options near the Phoenix check out Scholars Inn, the Rathskeller or Agio’s Italian Restaurant.
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Call Me BORICUA
February 11 to 21, 2010
The Phoenix Theatre
749 North Park Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46202