Words from a Cuban Father is a one-woman show created and performed by Actor/writer/movement artist Alina Ceñal.
Mambo, carnival, revolution, my father and Fidel, Miami, hotdogs, drag queens, the circus, Hollywood, music and dance highlight Cenal’s bilingual experience of being yanked from her native Cuba as a child and yearning to return. Beginning with scenes of a little girl dancing in a pool of sweat to her native drums, to fighting for her name, and confronting stereotypes as a Hollywood actress, the piece recognizes the strong presence of her father as she tries to make her way through the American landscape. Using music and dance, Alina creates a provocative glimpse into this passionate and sometimes hilarious journey.
Steven Leigh Morris of LA Weekly, describes the show as.. “Alina Cenal’s Words From a Cuban Father uses dance strategically in her autobiographical meditation on the death of her dad — who was a law school roommate of Fidel Castro in Havana. Her dad eventually fled to Miami in 1961, and the family soon followed. The show, directed by James Dolon, contains a vivacious string of anecdotes and impersonations of family and friends, a sexy dance through life. The whimsical clash between Cuban hip-swaying and the aesthetic formalities in a Florida ballet class is lovely. The family’s political softening and the harrowing scenes of caring for a dying patriarch are quite moving, leading to the inevitable “My career’s going OK in L.A., and here’s my show” frame.”