The Tango Ladies Dance On by Frank Canino
Two women sit in the dressing room of a cheap "tango bar" somewhere in Toronto, preparing for their performance. Emperatriz came from Argentina 10 years ago, and has had most of her dreams stifled, while Rubidia, an emigrant of less than 5 years, still hopes of an acting career. Each dreams of a different life and a home where they may be secure, though each has a very different image of what a "home" may be. The homes they came from were dark and troubled so that they know they can never go back.
The play covers one critical day in their life when they are forced to make decisions that will affect the rest of their lives.
As these "tango ladies" bicker and banter, their stories are revealed: the events that brought them here and the people they left behind them. Casual conversations, memories and illusions --- all overlap as the women go back and forth in time, trying to avoid the grim problems of this moment. In the meantime, they rehearse a new "strip" tango which may be the final insult in their dubious career in this sleazy joint.
Fathers, lovers, unborn children --- disappointed dreams and bungled relationships --- all come together this evening. On stage Rubidia and Emperatriz remember the near and distant past, while the voices of the men who dominate their lives --- the bar owner, stage manager, father and boyfriend --- are only heard as a memory or an off-stage voice.
Emperatriz and Rubidia prepare to dance what may be their last - and hopefully, their best --- tango.
This is a play about two immigrants who have gone through "triumphant assimilation ... nostalgia ... and then despair, like a beautiful tango ,,, but a serene despair."
Keywords: Latina, tango, immigrants, cultural adaptation
Running Time: 90 minutes
Male Cast: 2
Female Cast: 2