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TO OCT. 18
In Spanish, caminata literally means a “little walk”a light after-dinner stroll, for example. To some speakers, however, that same word can also mean a difficult trek or a rambling voyage. In Quique Avilés’ one-man performance, the word encompasses no less than a journey across America, examining the realities of immigrant life. As Demetrio, a self-described “aimless drifter” who totes a children’s wagon, Avilés tells stories culled from three years of oral-history interviews. In Los Angeles, he finds Rosita, a Salvadoran refugee like Avilés, who comforts herself and others through the food she cooks. In Philadelphia, there is Tami, an adopted Korean raised in Toledo, Ohio, who rejects her white parents’ attempt to force her Asian heritage on her. In Houston, there is Yombo, the son of a Central African Republic diplomat, who was initially disillusioned with America and now coaches youth soccer. And here in Washington, he meets Athena, a social worker born to an Italian father and raised in France, who finally finds her community working with the District’s Latinos. Directed by B Stanley, Avilés’ stories strike an earnest, never preachy tone, and his take on immigrant America emerges not from cynicism, but perception: At the play’s end, he concludes, “This country’s not really a country”and it comes across as observation instead of criticism. The show starts at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays to Oct. 18 at the District of Columbia Arts Center, 2438 18th St. NW. $12. (202) 462-7833. (Mike DeBonis)