You are cordially invited Sunday to witness the holy matrimony of Sean McCarthy and Fernando Antonio Rodriguez Torres. The couple request that you bring your sense of humor instead of gifts, and save room for cake. And if you object to the union of these two gentlemen, you won’t be the only one in the audience.
Coming to the Flamingo Theater Bar on Brickell Bay Drive is director-playwright Vicente Albarracín’s newest play, My Latino Gay Wedding. The story takes a humorous stab at a young man’s desperate attempt to obtain U.S. citizenship.
Fernando Torres (Gabriel Coronel) is a Venezuelan migrant looking to give his unborn child a better life. Frantic to bring the mother of the child to the states, and after exhausting all of his options, he decides to marry Sean McCarthy (Robert Moore Jr.), a naive “gringo” from North Dakota, to obtain a much-coveted green card. The catch? Fernando is straight and pretending to “save” himself until their wedding night.
Albarracín, who came to Miami four years ago, says this story is familiar to the Latino community. His inspiration to write the play comes from stories he’s heard and events from is own life, including his struggle to bring his partner of 20 years to the United States after obtaining a work visa from his employer.
“People here are trying to solve this problem, and I think it’s nice to talk about it. Now that we have gay marriages, we’re going to have fake gay marriages,” Albarracín says. “People tell me no one has created a story about this before, but in fact, on many gay sites, you’ll be able to see these types of advertisements. I’m not taking this from a particular story, but this is a topic discussed in the Latino community.”
Albarracín directed the play in Spanish even though some of the actors only spoke English. He says he loved the challenge. The bilingual play is for all audiences, and he says viewers are going to receive a different perspective depending on their dominant language. Still, everyone will be able to grasp the plot as it’s unfolding.
“As an artist I feel I have the responsibility to this city and this society where I’m living now to create bridges,” Albarracín says. “ I prefer to create spaces where people can mix. It’s funny because I wrote the play in English and Spanish and it’s amazing to me to see how it works. I had to use a lot of situations in the play, and I use a lot of words that can be understood in both languages.”
The show premiered on Valentine’s Day and will run for the following three Sundays at 6 p.m. The play is about 75 minutes long and directed in the style of a real wedding, with a reception party after the show including a wedding cake for all attendees. Nina Dotti, performance artist and set designer, created a wedding cake installation as the play’s stage to be used as a fun photo backdrop for people to climb on and take pictures at the end of the show.
Albarracín says he wants people to know that My Latino Gay Wedding is multidimensional and discusses more than just gay issues, addressing politics, moral decisions and different life perspectives.
“It’s not a gay play; it’s a play about love and things people will do for love. We touch on gay topics, but it’s one of the multiple things we discuss. We talk about the clash of cultures and about the different ways we see the world, but no matter how different our realities are, in the end, we are people who are just trying to find someone to love us and find someone to love.”
Actor Moore says My Latino Gay Wedding is “really highlighting acceptance.”
“This play was made for our generation, for the people who are growing up and realizing that the world isn’t as one-sided as they thought,” Moore says. “It’s not just black and white, it’s multiple things. It’s rainbow-colored, it’s acceptance. It’s gay pride, and in this day and age people will be able to look at this play and know why it’s so different. This cast is incredible. Even the people who speak little English, they make me feel so welcomed and I feel very blessed to be a part of this cast.”