By Natasha Lewin
Directed by Don K. Williams, Long Way Go Down centers on the hot-button topic of immigration. Fueled with racism, compassion, and intimacy, Zayd Dorhn’s Long Way Go Down follows four very different people all looking to find the same thing — a better way of life.
Set in the American Southwest, truck-driver Billy not only delivers bananas across the border, he also delivers people — smuggling Mexicans alongside his cargo. Played by Michael Keith Allen, Billy struggles to keep his life in balance. With a wife in the hospital and a dangerous temper, his latest delivery proves more than he bargained for.
Orlando Chavez shines as Nini. A complex character comprised of fear, determination, and devotion, Nini fights to protect the woman he loves. When Nini can’t pay for his girlfriend Violetta’s passage to higher ground, Billy has no sympathy. He holds Violetta (Victoria Martinez) hostage until he gets either cash or blood. His sympathetic stooge of a son, Chris — played by a zealous Dan Evans — falls for the beautiful Violetta, creating a wake of further trouble for the two immigrants.
Realistic set design and hyper-realistic violence complete this bizarre love triangle. With savage performances and high stakes resulting in life and death, Long Way Go Down is a gut-wrenching passage beyond the borderlines.
Long Way Go Down is currently at The Art of Acting Studio located at 1017 North Orange Dr. in Los Angeles. Running from May 17 through June 7, tickets are $18 and can be purchased at artofactingstudio.com.