[OutVoice] Review: "Estrada Sings a Powerful Lullaby for Ryan"
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Fri Feb 5 15:22:17 CST 2010
RICHARD’S RANTS AND RAVES
Estrada Sings a Powerful Lullaby for Ryan
Review by LEE HURTADO
February 1, 2010
Read it online:
Comedy Central’s Jade Esteban Estrada sings “Bareback.com” in the solo
musical comedy “A Lulllaby for Ryan: The History of HIV/AIDS in America.”
Photo by JASON FIENHOLD-HAASIS.
Since 2007, Jade Esteban Estrada has performed his one-man show A Lullaby
for Ryan: The History of HIV/AIDS in America on stages across North
America. The show, created in honor of World AIDS Day in 2007, is a brilliant
showcase for his talents, and a powerful document of the disease's human
Beginning with an expert witness – the Bubonic Plague (“Boobs” for short)
– A Lullaby for Ryan traces the spread of HIV/AIDS through the perspective
of lives both public (such as actor Rock Hudson) and private (such as
Jimmy, a real estate agent who first hears of the disease in 1981). It's a
heavy subject, of course, but Estrada finds both pathos and unexpected humor
in the stories he tells.
The search for treatments is framed as a beauty pageant, with the winner
an exuberant “Miss Protease Inhibitor 1996”; in a raucous and hilarious
number, cowboy Phil McPhil discovers the benefits [and joys] of safe sex
through the Internet; and Boobs, well aware of her reputation, gamely offers to
shake hands with the audience. At the same time, Estrada brings grace and
dignity to the stories of LaShonda Johnson, a Chicago housewife guilty only
of trusting her man, and Hudson, who responds to the disease with the poise
of a movie star.
Estrada moves seamlessly between characters, his performance and songs
making each distinct, nuanced, and memorable. In his hands, Jimmy and Phil and
LaShonda become more than mere statistics; they are people.
The San Antonio premiere of A Lullaby for Ryan at The Rose Theatre was
greeted with a well-deserved standing ovation, echoing the acclaim Estrada
has earned with each performance. Its success proves that a human story, well
told, is truly universal.
Find out more about Jade Esteban Estrada at _www.getjaded.com_
Lee Hurtado is a writer in San Antonio, Texas. He can be reached at
_lee at primadonnaproductions.com_ (mailto:lee at primadonnaproductions.com) .
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