Working Theater presents a new work examining gentrification in a suddenly trendy neighborhood from divergent angles.
As a group of old friends gather for a round of dominoes, outside forces converge on their street corner. In an alternate reality, inspired by the psychedelic murals that have taken over many walls in the neighborhood, a turf war breaks out on the icy tundra. Is there room in Brooklyn for both penguins and polar bears? When your community is threatened, every block is worth fighting for.
“Why Cardona felt the need to create this elaborate and totally inorganic metaphor for the fate of a Brooklyn neighborhood is anyone's guess...If the street scenes dawdle -- they are about as exciting as one of those domino games -- at least they provide some enjoyable local color…Every time the action switches to the North Pole, the possibility of ‘Bamboo in Bushwick’ as a mordant, relevant drama dies a little faster…Cardona hasn't been able turn his material into a workable drama.”
"I wanted to see 'Bamboo' because of the topic: gentrification. Unfathomably, the playwright gets all artsy with it, and 'Bamboo' winds up being a confusing, clichéd mess that doesn’t shed any new light on the subject...The first problem is that not much happens in the present-day scenes, and what does is hard to follow...Meanwhile on the 'mural-verse' side of the wall, there are two different kinds of creatures...Had the mural been seen in the present-day scenes, it might have made some sense."
"'Bamboo in Bushwick' gives audiences a look at gentrification that is entertaining, educational, and honest...Cardona Jr., in a completely inspired stroke of the pen, creates another play world based upon a real mural in Bushwick...The shared discomfort of all the characters with their changing surroundings is so real, itʼs unsurprising that the writer and director based their sentiments off of interviews with Bushwick residents. Director Margineanu delivers many interesting choices."
“‘Bamboo in Bushwick’ addresses gentrification with honesty and absurdity, bringing to light the harsh realities and many perspectives of those living in changing neighborhoods…The piece is well structured and the effects of gentrification are magnified by the absurdity of the polar bears taking over the penguins…The piece also highlights how minorities are pushed out of their neighborhoods unlawfully.”