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A CurtainUp Review
That's the larger tragedy behind the domestic trauma in Melinda Lopez' Sonia Flew. In 2001 the title character, a 55-year-old Minneapolis matron, is mired in emotional exile, still very dramatically haunted by her hatred of the mother for supposedly abandoned her 40 years before. Unready to lose another family, she turns on her 18-year-old son Zak who wants to fight in Afghanistan. She was betrayed by one country and won't let her son be taken in by a second. Of course, her protectiveness will backfire.
The second act, set in 1961, details how Sonia became a true-believing Young Pioneer even as Havana teems with political repression and accusations of treason against the revolution. Finally, Sonia "flew" —in a traumatic plane ride to Miami during which she repudiates her past by stupidly flushing an heirloom, a gold ring that links the women of her family, down the toilet. It's as empty a phony gesture as in Titanic when old Rose throws the "Heart of the Ocean"diamond into the sea. (Never take a name literally.)
Strangely, we learn nothing about Sonia's foster family in America; for her it's as if 1961 was yesterday. Sadly, Lopez focuses monomaniacally and formulaically on Sonia's denial and despair. Despite Sandra Marquez' and Sandra Delgados stellar portrayals of the mature and young Sonia, it's hard to sympathize with this recrimination machine. Her tough love for her son (a very needy Andrew Perez) looks too much like her own mothers cold rejection.
Jessica Thebus' staging of this Steppenwolf local premiere, which anchors the predictable emotions in a very real Minneapolis and Havana, makes fresh what the writing left stale—the underwhelming discovery that children must learn from their parents' follies, if not to forgive then to avoid them.
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Easy-on-the budget super gift for yourself and your musical loving friends. Tons of gorgeous pictures.
Leonard Maltin's 2007 Movie Guide
At This Theater
Leonard Maltin's 2005 Movie Guide