American stories from every corner of the globe in FST’s Bridge & Tunnel.
Those characters range from a Jewish grandmother from Long Island to the high-spirited Gladys from Jamaica to an angry Vietnamese-American young man (and yes, it’s the American part of that hyphenate that is accentuated with every one of the diverse minorities represented here).We also meet a young Mexican man, the wheelchair-bound Juan Jose, who tells a passionate story of his love for a young woman and his journey to this country; an older Chinese-American mother struggling to accept that her daughter is a lesbian; and another woman from Jordan, a professor who fondly recalls how the Beatles influenced her back in the 1960s.
Karen Stephens in one of her many roles in Bridge & Tunnel.
But I don’t want to tell you every story here; you need to discover them yourself, as Stephens makes the swift and subtle changes from male to female, young to old, across a wide spectrum of accents and experiences. Some characters will resonate with you more than others; that’s to be expected. But the general reminder one takes away from this 90-minute show (performed without intermission) is familiar but important: We were all immigrants once, and we and our country are richer for the life stories, traditions and heritages immigrants bring.