He Would Have Loved to Hate the New Star Trek

Meet Oscar de León, “ghetto nerd” and titular character of Junot Díaz’ amazing, heartbreaking, Pulitzer Prize–winning epic novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. He’s intelligent, overweight — well, fat, as even his mother and sister Lola remind him — and a walking library of arcane sci-fi knowledge and geek lore, partial to Marvel comics and Octavia Butler books. Which explains, according to Yunior, the narrator and sometimes-reluctant friend to our tragic hero, why Oscar is still a virgin well into his 20s. Oh, and he’s cursed by the fukú, a bit of a bad, bad spell cast upon the Dominican diaspora more than half a millennium ago. For Fukú Americanus, a play based on Oscar, Yunior, and Lola, creative wunderkinds Sean San José and Marc Bamuthi Joséph wisely jettison the expansive scope of Díaz’ tale while remaining true to its multilingual, diasporic, emotionally charged core. Even as they playfully tear apart the most basic stereotypes (Not all nerds are white! Not all Latinos are players!) while tracing the fukú’s path, one question remains: Could that curse be responsible for colonization, bloodthirsty dictatorships — and Oscar’s tragic and comically touching fate?
May 16-June 21, 8 p.m., 2009

 
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