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Movie Review: "¡Gaytino! Made in America"

Movie Review: "¡GAYTINO! Made in America"

Dan Guerrero’s one-man show, ¡Gaytino! Made in America​, is set to charm audiences with two screenings at the 27th annual San Diego Latin Film Festival.

At 78 years old, Guerrero is utterly comfortable in his own skin taking the stage before a live audience and inviting them on a journey through a life that seemed destined for show business from the very start though he was hardly the most famous man in his family.

His father was Lalo Guerrero, a singer, musician, and activist, also known as the Father of Chicano Music, who recorded over 700 songs in his lifetime, and some of the most powerful moments in ¡GAYTINO! relate to this towering man and his acceptance of his son’s sexual orientation.

An autobiographical one-man show is a difficult needle to thread. Many have tried and failed, giving in to the trap of maudlin revelations and self-congratulatory pats on the back that never seem to quite engage the audience.

Don’t misunderstand. Guerrero pats himself on the back upon occasion in the show, but he does so with a wink to let his audience know that while he’s proud of his victories, he knows how easily they could have gone another way.

It is this self-awareness that holds his audience from hilarious stories of his early adventures on Broadway to the devastating realities of the AIDS crisis as it took the lives of those around him.

What emerges is a humble man who has lived a fascinating life surrounded by characters you would assume were fictional if he did not have the family photos to back them up.

Family. Family is key for Guerrero, and in the end, he is a man who has come to not only cherish his Chicano heritage but has ultimately realized what a stunningly beautiful gift it has been and the way that it shaped so many important decisions in his life.

¡Gaytino! Made in America​ will screen on March 17, 2020, at 6:15 pm and March 22, 2020, at 9:15 pm at the AMC Fashion Valley 18 theater.

It is a part of the ¡SOMOS! Cine LGBTQ+ section of the San Diego Latin Film Festival.