Chicago Theatre Review
Lord of the Mouth
Where Did We Sit On The Bus? – Victory Gardens
Written and performed by Brian Quijada
Playful and heartfelt, Where Did We Sit On The Bus? envelops us in the wonderful life of Brian Quijada, an actor/writer/slinger of sick beats. With nothing but a chair, his sound mixing instruments and an electric Ukulele, he lays out his the history of his journey to become an artist, his parents struggles to make a better life after immigrating from El Salvador to northern Illinois, and the whole nation, where fear and oversimplified stories divide and conquer.
Quijada has a marvelous gift for sliding inside a physical memory, from any age. The tension and frantic confusion in the eyes of a third grader told that Latino’s had no part in the history of civil rights, slides up to the bitten lip and squared shoulders of a college student bracing from an emotionally charged phone call from his father. But these moments of vulnerability, of recitation, are just calms in a white water ride of excitement. We are treated to a near constant and effortless rhyming narration, winking asides, and a spectacle of physicality that take s of surprise and grace in equal measure (the sperm dance in particular is not to be missed.)
Both fun and deeply earnest, Where Did We Sit On The Bus? is a gift to the its audience, both in terms of wit enjoyed and stories shared. It’s also an uplifting, though not blindly smiling, look the American dream, how we all got here, where we might go next. We share Quijada’s laughter, his sorrows, his fears, and frustrations, as much as we admire his music and dance.
by Ben Kemper
Part of the Victory Gardens Up Close and Personal Series
Victory Gardens Theater 2433 N Lincoln Ave (near Fullerton CTA station)
5/3, 5/5, 5/10. 5/12, 5/19 at 10:00am
4/30, 5/6, 5/20, 6/2, 6/3 at 3:00pm
4/27, 4/28, 4,29, 5/4, 5/11, 5/13, 5/24, 5/26, 5/28, 5/51, and 6/4 at 7:30pm
Tickets for individual shows $20
Full package for this production and A Little Bit Not Normal by Arlene Malinowski and St. Jude by Luis Alfaro for $40.
For more information on this or other productions visit www.theaterinchicago.com