Rich family fareAmanda Finnon October 13, 2022 at 7:26 pm

As someone whose older sisters are over a dozen years her senior, Sancocho (presented by Visión Latino Theatre Company as part of the fifth Destinos: Chicago International Latino Theater Festival) spoke directly to mi alma. Named for a type of beef stew, this show highlights the significance of familia for the best or otherwise. Peppered throughout the show, the dialogue melds between English and Spanish sweetly as the sancocho literally simmers on the stove. (Truly do not come to this show hungry—you will regret it.) The scent made me long to return to Puerto Rico to devour más mofongo y tostones. 

Sancocho Through 10/30: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM, no performance Thu 10/13, Windy City Playhouse, 3014 W. Irving Park,, $30. Performed in English with some Spanish.

Sisters Caridad y Renata (Antonia Arcely and Amber Lee Ramos) are two decades apart in age—more mother/daughter than hermana/hermana. They come together to discuss their papa’s will as he is close to death and they must confront their own familial demons in the process. Christin Eve Cato’s script (directed by Xavier Custodio) showcases the delicate nature de una familia, especially when age complicates our relationships with one another. It felt as if I was watching scenes from mi propio futuro unfold with one of my older sisters—ironic given the producing company is named “Visión.” 

If you don’t speak Spanish, don’t worry/no te preocupes. You might miss a few jokes (though they are good ones) or comments, but you will understand. A two-hander set in a Puerto Rican household, where the actors are literally preparing food, should live in multilingualism. Frankly, it made the sancocho smell aun mejor. 

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