Fish Men opens this Saturday at the Goodman. From the press release:
Goodman Theatre and Teatro Vista team up for their second world-premiere production with Fish Men, Puerto Rican playwright Cándido Tirado’s new comedic drama about a group of urban chess hustlers drawn together by a shared need to overcome their individual demons. Edward Torres, Artistic Director of Teatro Vista, makes his Goodman directorial debut with this second play of a three-year producing partnership between the Goodman and Teatro Vista, Chicago’s first and largest not-for-profit professional Latino theater company. Fish Men runs April 7 – May 6, 2012 (Opening Night is April 16) in the Goodman’s Owen Theatre. Tickets ($12-$42; prices subject to change) can be purchased at GoodmanTheatre.org by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 N. Dearborn). Sara Lee Foundation is the Owen Season Sponsor. Baxter and Blue Cross Blue Shield are Contributing Sponsors and Hoy is the Spanish Print Media Sponsor.
Cándido Tirado, Teatro Vista’s newest resident playwright and a highly-rated chess master by the United States Chess Federation, explains, “When I graduated from college, I decided I wanted to combine two great loves of my life: writing plays and playing chess. But it wasn’t until 2000, as I was walking by the chess tables in New York’s Washington Square Park, that the play suddenly revealed itself to me. Outwardly, Fish Men deals with the cruel art of the ‘chess hustle’—but underneath it is an exploration of man’s inhumanity towards his fellow man. I am thrilled to premiere this play in Chicago, with Teatro Vista and Goodman Theatre.”
Fish Men plays out in real time on a hot summer day in New York City’s Washington Square Park, where Rey Reyes (Raul Castillo), a survivor of the Guatemalan genocide who is going through his own personal hell, gets snared by a group of chess hustlers. Ninety Two (Howard Witt), a Holocaust survivor, tries to intervene, exposing Rey’s need for vengeance. As the game progresses, the circumstances that stoke the fire of each player’s obsession with the game and their inner demons are revealed.If the playwright is true to his material, Fish Men will make Gorky's The Lower Depths look life-affirming.