Theater Review: ‘Aliens’ arrives at Touchstone Theatre
You could sense the aroma in the lobby of Touchstone Theatre, Bethlehem.
Who’s wearing Patchouli?
The Touchstone stage.
There, incense was wafting, votive candles to the saints burned and three skull replicas and a cross and a sign that stated “No guacamole for immigrant haters” were among the props for ”Aliens, Immigrants, and Other Evildoers,” before José Torres-Tama took the stage for his rowdy one-man show that continues at 8 p.m. Nov. 4 and 5 and 2 p.m. Nov. 6, Touchstone Theatre, 321 E. Fourth St., Bethlehem.
In the opening-night performance, Nov. 3, seen for this review, Torres-Tama interacted with the audience (even to a baby’s nonverbal expressions) with the spontaneity of a stand-up comedian, breaking character during the approximate one- and one-half hour performance. “Some of you may get these jokes on your way back home,” Torres-Tama teased.
The multi-media “Aliens,” while at times laugh-out-loud funny, provocatively explores the history of immigration then and now in the United States, augmented with video of statistics, newspaper articles about hate crimes and political campaign television commercials.
For non-Latinos, “Aliens,” created by Torres-Tama and now in its sixth year of touring, is an eye-opener, and perhaps a mind-opener and heart-opener. “Aliens” is told in 11 “movements,” including such characters as El Swamp Bujo, Nicaraguan Woman and El Pachuco.
As a Mexican Minister, Torres-Tama, preaches, “Love the immigrant.”
“Aliens” is part of the second year of the series, “Voices of Conscience: Toward Racial Understanding.”
Torres-Tama leads a workshop, “Exploring the Personal as Universal,” 10 a.m. -1 p.m. Nov. 5 at Touchstone Theatre.
Information and tickets: touchstone.org, 610-867-1689