|Osiris Cuen, Carlos A. Lara and Chanel Bragg|
"José Cruz Gonzalez's play Super Cowgirl and Mighty Miracle tells the story of six-year-old Cory and the stray dog she befriends much to the disapproval of her grandmother. After touring around a dozen schools in the state over the past few months, the sweet and touching Childsplay production has come to the Mesa Arts Center for two weekends running through March 30th.
Cory's father is out of work and has also lost his home, so they've been living in his truck. When a faraway job opportunity comes up, the decision is made to have Cory live with her estranged grandmother Autumn. We quickly learn that Autumn, who is African-American, didn't approve of her daughter marrying Cory's father, who is Latino, preferring she marry a fellow African American, and that Autumn is struggling financially herself. With a group of vicious and wild dogs roaming the foreclosed homes in the neighborhood and Cory and her grandmother finding it difficult to live together, it seems that a friendly stray dog might be the "miracle" these two strong female characters need to fend off the wild dogs and help them realize how lucky they are to have each other.
Super Cowgirl and Mighty Miracle's tale of a grandmother and granddaughter who don't agree might be a familiar story, but it is one that touches upon many emotions and situations. With the added urgency of a pending possible foreclosure and the use of a multi-cultural family, it also is a story for modern times. The Childsplay production has three talented actors, effective direction and simple yet effective creative elements. Targeted for kids aged five at up, children of all ages as well as adults will find this story, and this production, to be both realistic and touching and a way to not only talk about what it is that makes a family but also how little "miracles" can help us get through our lives.
Super Cowgirl and Mighty Miracle at Childsplay runs through March 30, 2014, at the Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe, with performances on Saturdays at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. and Sundays at 1 p.m. Tickets start at $12 and are on sale at www.childsplayaz.org or at the Tempe Center for the Arts Box Office (480) 350-2822 (ext. 0) The show will also continue touring at schools throughout the state into May.
Photo: Tim Trumbule