The sultry beats of The Tropicana in the 1950’s, the danger of Fulgencio Batista’s fall and Fidel Castro’s rise to power, a political revolution, a separation of children from parents, and the longing for a better life that propels one to throw themselves, under the cover of a moonless night into the unknown- these events shaped my family’s escape from Cuba in 1964 when I was 4 and ½ years old.
“Be Careful! The Sharks Will Eat You” is an intimate solo journey crafted from my life as a Cuban-American that interweaves family history- including text rendered from a recording done of my father, Humberto Alvarez before he passed, with the history of my island- my warm, sultry , sexy island and my understanding of where she resides in my heart and soul.
“Be Careful! The Sharks Will Eat You!” played to sold out audiences at Stage Left Studio NY in June 2010 then moved to The Nuyorican Poets Café for three more August performances. It was also one of the plays chosen to be performed at the “United Solo Theatre Festival” that happened on Theatre Row in New York in November of 2010, after which it played one performance at Area Stage and The Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies in Miami where it was very well received. "Sharks will also have a three week run at Metro Stage in Washington DC in April 2012. We are also currently in talks to take the show back to Miami for a run.
My journey in this play not only connects to one of our country’s most incendiary discussions- immigration, but it is also a personal, honest, and dynamic piece of theatre that hits its mark by engaging the universal in the specific question that it poses: “How do I reconcile myself to the fact that I am both of these people- Cuban and American.”
I passionately want to share my story and reach out to both the Latino communities in our country which have at times become very insular and the established American communities which at times forgets what people go through to get to our shores.