Weather Updates

Dreams, life crash in new play

Christopher Acevedo NormSernSusan Lieberman’s “Cars Quinceañeras” Clockwise Theatre.

Christopher Acevedo and Norma Serna in Susan Lieberman’s “Cars and Quinceañeras” at Clockwise Theatre.

storyidforme: 43788606
tmspicid: 16182563
fileheaderid: 7286375

‘Cars and Quinceañeras’

Clockwise Theatre, 221 N. Genesee St., Waukegan

8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays, through Feb. 17

Tickets $20

(800) 838-3006 or

Updated: March 3, 2013 6:05AM

Turning 15 is a big deal for many Latino girls and their families.

Quinceañera is cause for celebration to mark the transition from childhood to young womanhood.

Susan Lieberman makes that tradition the foundation her new play, “Cars and Quinceañeras,” now premiering at Clockwise Theatre.

Though its plot is somewhat predictable, the two-act drama gives director Juan Castañeda’s earnest seven-member cast a chance to explore how the realities of everyday life can derail dreams of a “perfect quinceañera.”

As one of Lieberman’s characters dourly puts it, “Quinceañera is a special time for a young girl’s passage — to messing up her life.”And the young people in this play all grow up, some faster than others.

Ana (Charlotte Mae Ellison) plays a 14-year-old who lives in Berwyn with her older brother Luis (Christopher Acevedo) and divorced mother (Kelly Lynn Hogan). Family finances are tight, and initially Ana is a little ambivalent about whether she wants a blowout birthday party. But she warms to the idea after attending a quinceañera of her schoolmate Neli (Marjury Mejia).

Ana’s brother, the “man of the house” has an eye on community college, but his girlfriend Miriam (Norma Serna) becomes pregnant. Suddenly, this young couple must struggle with the serious consequences that come with parenthood — and so does every member of their families.

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.