Sanctuary City – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

We are all dreamers but too often that dream can translate into a nightmare. We all desire a home, safety, a future, but what if everything is a question mark and you are responsible for creating the bottom line, the end result, the conclusion of your personal story. For B (boy) Grant Kennedy Lewis and G (girl) Sara Gutierrez their future is uncertain. Both have come to America as immigrants, G is lucky enough to now be a citizen, B unlucky enough not to be naturalized. These teenagers are both dreamers, hopeful of securing a home and a place in their new land. Enter their uncertain world thanks to TheaterWorks Hartford until April 25 in the involving drama by Martyna Majok ”Sanctuary City” and directed by Jacob G. Padrón and Pedro Bermúdez, in partnership with Long Wharf Theatre.

What if you faced their overwhelming obstacles on a daily basis. No wonder they cling to each other for companionship and courage. For B the constant fear of deportation looms overhead. Family issues are complicating their choices, with G coping with abuse and B’s mother wanting to go back home. G wants to go to college and B does too, but his status makes it impossible for him. They have a waltz of words as they examine their options, as the light and darkness weave over them. B’s mom has overstayed her visa which make him even more vulnerable.

These friends care deeply about each other. G is willing to go to great lengths to help, even to risking her future and big monetary fines and even prison by marrying him so he can get his green card. When G goes off to Boston to college, their goals get muddled and three and a half years past without action. When G finally returns to set the marriage in place, she encounters a new problem in Henry (Mishka Yarovoy) and the role he plays in B’s life now. How are lies, truths and guilt compromising them in their relationships? Is there a solution that will satisfy all their needs? How many sacrifices will each have to make before any of them has found a place to call home? For tickets ($25-70), call TheaterWorks Hartford, 233 Pearl Street. Hartford at 860-527-7838 or online at Performances are Tuesday to Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2:3- p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Talkbacks will follow Tuesday performances.

In addition two public and free talks will be held. the first Border Crisis on April 11 at 7 p.m. atStudio A, CT Public, 1049 Asylum Avenue, Hartford and the second Impacts on Sanctuary Cities on Thursday, April 18 at 7 p.m. at Center Church Meeting House, 675 Main Street, Hartford. All are welcome.

Be like King Solomon and judge for yourself what are the best answers for this Pandora’s box of complicated immigration issues that deserve our attention and solution, today more than ever before.