'Insomnio Americano' Had Me Wide Awake

If you're in New York City, I strongly suggest you check out Reportorio Español's highly entertaining play, Insomnio Americano, a one-man show starring master improviser Saulo Garcia, a native of Antioquia, Colombia, who wants to unmask the American Dream as a tragicomic nightmare.

Outrageous, smart and consistently funny, Garcia’s Imsomnio is a crowd-pleasing 90-minute interactive theater experience. The fearless Garcia questions random audience members in an effort to prove his theory that it's hard out there for an immigrant. (The audience doesn't necessarily advance Garcia's thesis. When he asked, “What was your first car when you arrived in the U.S?," a man replied: “A BMW!")

Garcia involves theater patrons in other ways, too. For instance, he manages to get everyone to sing along with him for part of a song that goes: "Me vine para la USA, con ganas de progresar, regalame el pasaje, pa' podereme regresar." And he’s not above making fun of the audience to gain laughs. In fact, one of the funniest moments of the show came when someone in the nosebleed section expressed an interest in participating in the fun; however, Garcia couldn’t make out what the person was saying, so he yelled, “That’s what you get for buying such cheap seats!” The jab was all in good fun.

Despite the constant humor, Insomnio delivers a serious message. “Tonight, I will demonstrate that the American Dream is a myth. That it doesn’t exist. And whoever says that they came to this country and has not suffered, is a liar. Or a member of the Mafia,” Garcia says with a straight face early on in the show. Still, even when he’s complaining, Garcia’s jokes are so funny that the show comes off less as political commentary and more as a feel-good lighthearted experience, like when he explains that the real American Dream is: “The sleepiness that hits you when you’re driving home after working 18 hours!” Whatever your politics, I think we can all relate to that!

You can purchase tickets to Insomnio Americano at Repertorio Espanol by visiting repertorio.org. For upcoming performances outside of New York, visit saulogarcia.net.