By Maria Roman
Photo by: David Sepulveda
Stand-up comedian Elizardi Castro performed a sold-out show of “Law and Disorder” on April 10 at the Bregamos Community Theatre in New Haven and two packed shows of “Solo” on April 12 at Sazon y Mambo in Bridgeport. The performances of Solo were in collaboration with a fundraiser for the Puerto Rican Parade and Festival of Fairfield County, which will be held July 12, 2015 in Bridgeport. I attended the hilariously animated, fully gestured performances, with salsa and merengue dancing, which kept crowds roaring with laughter.
Castro, a criminal defense attorney with a private practice in Chicago, Illinois, is also a comedian who captures a major Latino audience. Born in Puerto Rico and raised in New York, he is referred to as a “New Yorican,” who uses a mixture of his heritage, culture and the “Spanglish” language to address his audience.
Known for using his real-life experiences, Castro’s “Law and Disorder” was the comic portrayal of being a prosecutor turned defense attorney turned comedian. The hilarious presentation had the audience clapping and shouting with agreement. There was a serious moment on stage, however, when Joseph Rodriguez, Advisor/Legislative Liaison to Mayor Toni Harp of New Haven, handed Castro a pin on behalf of the mayor, welcoming him back to New Haven, a city that recognized his talent years ago.
Castro gave credit to Rafael Ramos, the founder and director of Bregamos for bringing his shows to the Northeast. “I believe in the concept of community Theatre and Rafael is able to provide the same quality entertainment at an affordable price while showcasing our culture.”
During his performance of “Solo,” Castro kept the crowd laughing at the story line of relationship breakups, providing comic relief to the topics of separation, depression and parenting. He called out Ruth Torres, a woman in the audience and danced the merengue with her. In expressing his passion for “giving back” and explaining why he was attracted to doing the fundraiser shows, he said, “Since I started, I partner to raise funds. I feel honored that I am asked to be a part of their fundraising efforts.”
Elsa Vega, who attended both shows, said, “The experience at Bregamos was amazing. Seeing the support of our community was refreshing. I was really surprised such a wonderful place like Bregamos hasn’t received more recognition for bringing the Spanish community closer.” Castro is scheduled back at Bregamos in August to perform Christmas in August.
The Bregamos Community Theatre, a non-profit, averages three productions a year and facilitates local cultural and art activities. Immigrant Theatre is currently putting together a production about their story, which will debut in the fall. Also in preparation is the second annual “Art from the Heart” festival, consisting of a showcase of artists coming together to do murals, graffiti, arts and crafts, music, dancing and more. For more information on Elizardi Castro, check out his website at www.elicastro.com.
Information for Bregamos Community Theater can be found at www.bregamostheater.org