American Dreams Play at The James Levin Theatre
On the evening of February 9th, we attended a preview performance of the play "American Dreams" which is having its world premiere engagement in the James Levin Theatre which is part of the Cleveland Public Theatre on Detroit Road in Cleveland.
Written by Ms. Leila Buck and directed and co-developed by Ms. Tamilla Woodard, "American Dreams" is set in perhaps not-too-distant future wherein three foreign-born people compete for United States citizenship on a TV game show whose format brought to mind a combination of "Jeopardy", "Queen for a Day" and the Mr./Miss America pageant wherein the candidates tell their stories, show off their knowledge, and display their talents to demonstrate why he/she should be selected for the grand prize of citizenship in what they all enthusiastically proclaim as the greatest country in the world.
For film/theatre buffs like us, "American Dreams" could be likened to a non-musical "A Chorus Line" with dark undertones reminiscent of "Dr. Strangelove" that strikes the correct balance of painful truth, satire, black comedy, poignancy, and nightmarish science fiction.
Above all, the success of this play is due to the fact that we, as audience members, get to interact with the actors because we, ourselves, are cast as the audience in the TV studio. Thus, our attention is super-focused and we left the theatre feeling touched but disturbed.
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We want to thank the creators of "American Dreams" and its direct sponsors who are Deborah and Ron Ratner; the Bennett Family; and Global Cleveland as well as the Cleveland Public Theatre for giving us an experience we won't soon forget.
"American Dreams" will run through March 3rd. After the performances on February 22nd and February 26th, Global Cleveland has arranged for discussions to take place on "Refugees in Cleveland" (2/22) and "Jewish-Muslim Response to Immigration" (2/26).
In the souvenir program booklet, Mr. Raymond Bobgan, Executive Artistic Director of the Cleveland Public Theatre, wrote, "I hope this play inspires thoughtful consideration and deep empathy as we make choices in the democracy we take for granted."
Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC