I COULD HAVE BEEN CHITA MORENO!, a personal evening of music, comes to The Duplex in Greenwich Village for two Monday performances beginning this Monday, November 4. The limited engagement is written & performed by Leo I Rodriguez and recounts his life as an adoptee; the questions, complications, and blessings that closed adoption creates.
Rodriguez explores what it’s like to hunt his origins and DNA using all the modern inventions and websites now at his fingertips. Via some clever storytelling, he mixes original songs along with a few of well-known hits, and a few old-fashioned sing-a-longs.
“Whose Your Daddy” is a featured game show where audience members can be a selected to participate, and the evening is a mix of many things celebratory given the theme of the musical evening. We reached out to Mr. Rodriguez for some background on the work.
LocalTheatreNY.com: What inspired you to write and perform this piece?
Rodriguez: As a child of closed adoption, there are certain questions, fantasies and nightmares that an adoptee can experience. Whether its searching for your birth parents, fear of rejection that can plague a psyche, or being adopted into an abusive family - despite given the chance of living a long life - there are many unanswered questions that one might have, even if they’ve had an awesome adoption experience (as I have). Recent political movements to take away a woman’s right to choose have triggered some of these fears. I present this piece to help those adoptees on their journey and to encourage people to VOTE before we take further steps backwards in birth-control and the right to choose.
LocalTheatreNY.com: What can audiences expect in terms of the actual performance?
Rodriguez: Audience members are going to hear a linear story accompanied by original songs with some fun antics along the way. We’ll do a sing-a-long to some well known songs by familiar women in the music industry (the MaMa Medley), and some lucky audience members will be called up to participate and win a prize in a game show called “Whose Your Daddy?”.
LocalTheatreNY.com: Give us a little background about yourself and your work.
Rodriguez: I started in theatre at age 7 (South Pacific, Annie Get Your Gun) in the barrio of East Los Angeles, California. Made my way through East Los Angeles City College (Dracula, Twelfth Night) and Rio Hondo College (Kiss Me Kate, Man of La Mancha) and up to California State University, East Bay (The Bacchae, Measure for Measure, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Antigone, Much Ado About Nothing). My interest in solo-performance came from watching Whoopi, John Leguizamo, Rachel Rosenthal, Bill Irwin and Robin Williams, which inspired me to write my own pieces “ChoZen” (Theatre Rhinocerous, San Francisco) and “Tieresius: A Modern Re-telling” (Short Play Lab, New York). I also wrote, produced and directed “Broken Moments: A Bar Musical” which also made it to NYC International Fringe under the direction of Steve Velardi.
Directed by Maria Gentile, Music Direction by Bill Goffi.
Two performances only! Monday(s) NOV. 4 & DEC. 2 @ 7:00pm at The Duplex Cabaret, 61 Christopher Street, New York, NY 10014
Tickets are $12.50 online www.purplepass.com/TheDuplex or $17.50 at the door. 2 drink minimum.