Broken Eggs (Revoltillo)
 by Eduardo Machado
 Stetson University Stover Theatre
 February 2007

In this play, the daughter in a Cuban-American family is all set to marry into a white Jewish American family in suburban Los Angeles – only her little sister is pregnant, her brother is gay, her parents are divorced and her father’s much younger second wife shows up uninvited. As if a wedding isn’t chaotic enough, the extra conflict sets the stage for another “Cuban revolution” within this dysfunctional family that generates laughter as well as understanding for immigrant families who try to build a new home in the United States.

Broken Eggs is the fourth of the “Floating Island Plays” which chronicle a family’s experiences before, during, and after the Cuban revolution, and deal with the impact of that political situation on people’s lives. The only one of the four set in the U.S., “Broken Eggs” deals with a mother and ex-wife trying to hold her family together as pressures of American society threaten to pull them in different directions. The title refers to the proverb often attributed to Lenin: "You cannot make an omelet without breaking a few eggs."

One interesting feature of this play is how the issues raised in Broken Eggs are painfully serious, but the way the play is put together in terms of plot and dialogue gives it the shape of comedy – outrageous, scandalous comedy – that reinforces the absurdity of their situation. The play has also been considered controversial by the Cuban exile community, as it does not fit the pattern of heaping all blame on Castro for the problems exiles face in their diaspora. On the contrary, Machado is relentless in his quest to air the dirty laundry of Cuba's deposed elite.

This play was chosen to suit students' senior research; the cast included three students with a Latin background; the student assistant director was from a Cuban exile family. I also wrote and recorded music to accompany lyrics provided by the playwright.



Review from the student newspaper

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Copyright © 2007 by Ken McCoy.