La Ruta Reviews
Chicago Tribune- Recommended
"..."La Ruta" is certainly anything but holiday escapism; it concerns women who have heard too many excuses for political inaction. A large majority of immigrant Chicagoans of Latinx descent have roots in provincial Mexico; most know already of this story, but, in producing this show, Steppenwolf now is morally obligated to help them find this deeply committed telling."
Daily Herald- Highly Recommended
"...Unrelenting tension animates the haunting, harrowing "La Ruta," which crescendos from a quiet whimper to an anguished cri de coeur. It's difficult to watch. Sandra Marquez's well-informed direction and her accomplished cast, however, make it impossible to look away."
Chicago Reader- Highly Recommended
"...But Gomez, aided by director Sandra Marquez's careful eye, excels at depicting small domestic moments that convey disarming gravitas. For these women, perpetually potential targets of male violence, domesticity may be life-saving. The snapshots Gomez creates, enlivened by occasional choral songs, may not progress very far, but they hold enough intrigue, horror, and fortitude to make for a memorable evening."
Time Out Chicago- Highly Recommended
"...La Ruta features live music throughout—sung by the cast and led by Lara Crotte on guitar—as well as masterfully kinetic projections designed by Rasean Davonte Johnson. These elements help bring out the show’s surreal dimensions. In his swirling hybrid of play, ballad and documentary, Gomez twists real life just enough to highlight the incomprehensible wrongness of what’s happening in Juárez: a dream that all too easily turns into a very real nightmare."
Stage and Cinema- Highly Recommended
"...The play is so fearless it can only meet the audience half way. (At times here, it definitely helps to know Spanish.) This heartless city of Juárez both stands for nothing but itself — and for much more than Mexican misogyny."
Let's Play at ChicagoNow- Highly Recommended
"...Let's Play 'Highly Recommends' La Ruta' a play that will open your eyes to the truth of a particular area in Mexico that has been hit hard with femicide and sex trafficking. It is also a story that unearths the dark secrets buried in the desert and a celebration of the Mexican women who stand in the loss of their loved ones."
Around The Town Chicago- Highly Recommended
"...“La Ruta” is a tightly woven 100 minutes of solid story telling, sharply directed by Sandra Marquez on a set designed by Regina Garcia that allows us to see the simple lives these workers live. We are also privy to a graveyard of sorts where many of those found have crosses bearing their names, so the townspeople can remember those they loved. The lighting ( Jesse Klug) and sound (Mikhail Fiksel) as always is superb and the music direction by Zacbe Pichardo, excellent!! Laura Crotte, A Teatro Vista company member handles the guitar and the main vocal with great energy and her final song is so hauntingly beautiful, you will get chills up and down your spine. The songs date back as far as 1882 and are as current as 2008. Each adds great meaning to the story we are being told."
"...Watching "La Ruta," it is impossible not to think of the many women now risking the perilous journey to the U.S. that they hope will result in asylum and a safer place for their children. Yet as they often discover, there are no safe routes to or from home."
Chicago Theatre Review- Highly Recommended
"...Part of the anger I mentioned at the start of the review is not just the horror at what happened, but at the sense of futility at trying to stop it. It’s not just the men committing these crimes, it’s the world that continues to let them do it. It’s the world that ignores it’s even happening. Playwright Isaac Gomez changed the names of the women he talked to about their experiences in writing this play, but the stories themselves are true. Listening to these women and their stories feels like the least, and I mean that literally, the least we can do."
Buzznews.net- Highly Recommended
"...And yet, it is an uplifting and inspiring show. Playwright Isaac Gomez approaches the story by relating the emotional toll these murders have taken on the mothers and families of these young women, who board la ruta, the bus line to the U.S.-owned maquiladoras border factories. Some of these women never return."
The Fourth Walsh- Somewhat Recommended
"...Although LA RUTA begins to tell the heinous truth plaguing women in Mexico, the storytelling meanders into a gentler version of reality. Hauntingly beautiful singing led by Laura Crotte (Desamaya) is interspersed throughout the play. The songs put a folklore spin on the tragic actuality."
Third Coast Review- Highly Recommended
"...Marquez’ cast assures La Ruta’s dramatic power. Charin Alvarez and Sandra Delgado will break your heart as the mothers. Cher Álvarez is a sweet and winning 16-year-old. Karen Rodriguez succeeds as a young woman who has already been through too much for her years. Mari Marroquin has a few strong scenes as Zaide, a coworker at the maquila."
Chicago Theater and Arts- Highly Recommended
"...For his world premiere of "La Ruta" at the Steppenwolf Theater, Chicago based playwright Isaac Gomez has commandeered a bus transporting "maquila" workers to and from their jobs in Juarez, pointing its headlights into the vast darkness. It exposes the despair and anguish of the mothers and sisters of an estimated 1,400 women kidnapped, used as sex slaves, murdered and disposed of like trash in the Mexican desert."
Picture This Post- Highly Recommended
"...Gomez has succeeded in hand-delivering the stories of these women with compassion and full awareness in the power of the platform and expertise in craft he possesses."
Rescripted- Highly Recommended
"...Watching La Ruta made me feel things I didn't expect to feel. While watching these women fight for their lives, I felt extremely privileged because I was born on the other side of border. I felt privileged in that I don't have to worry whether or not I'll make it home when I am getting off of work. As a Latina theatre-maker, I felt seen. I felt like I exist in this world that thinks it knows Mexicans. La Ruta it taught me how to feel again, how to listen and feel for these women, and that it's okay to ugly cry in public."
Splash Magazine- Recommended
"...As the action- and inaction- develop and converge, we are drawn inside the bell jar of constricted, hopeless lives. And yet, despite the reality of brutality and lack of any hope for betterment, a clear-eyed politically fearless voice emerges, using her own personal loss as a springboard to seek better lives for her sisters. Marisela will keep on demonstrating, keep on supporting even those sister-friends who have sold their soul- and their workmates- to the devil. And where there is one such, there may be more."
NewCity Chicago- Highly Recommended
"...At a time where our own government is on the brink of shutting down because of arguments over a pointless southern border wall, “La Ruta” represents a lot of things: a powerful step forward for Steppenwolf as an artistic organization, producing a world premiere script with an all-female Latinx cast. It’s a ninety-five minute argument in favor of theater critics waiting until January to write their “Best Of” lists. But most importantly, it is a promise kept by Isaac Gomez, to keep the true stories of the women of Juárez alive, and to make these women known to as wide an audience as possible."