The play of the Life of Raul Castro by James Garcia

James Garcia, left, as Gov. Raul Castro

On this beautiful Change of Venue Friday, I urge on you what looks to be a terrific play about an Arizona lawyer legend.

American Dreamer: The Life and Times of Raúl H. Castro is not likely to feature singing and dancing. But you will enjoy a play about an Arizona pioneer—in every sense of the word.

We’ve been pleased to cover the life and career of former Governor Castro here in Arizona Attorney. And if you ever get the opportunity to hear the Governor speak, you should not pass it up.

The play is presented by the inestimable New Carpa Theatre (full disclosure: My daughter Willa has acted in some of the group’s phenomenal shows.). And the lead role is played by actor James Garcia—who also is the playwright.

As the theatre describes the play:

“American Dreamer is the true story of a living legend, Raul H. Castro, who came to the U.S. during the Mexican Revolution. Now 96, he’s been a farm worker, boxer, teacher, lawyer, judge, U.S. ambassador to three nations, and in the 1970s he served as Arizona’s only ever Hispanic governor.”

The Phoenix performance will occur October 26 through 28 at Playhouse on the Park, 1850 North Central Ave. Friday and Saturday night shows start at 7:30 p.m. Sunday matinee is at 2 p.m. The show runs approximately two hours.

Tickets are available on sale here, or at the New Carpa website. Tickets may also be purchased at the door.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Former Ariz. Gov. Raúl Castro (Jack Kurtz/Arizona Republic)

A delightful way to start your week has been offered up by the Arizona Republic, which ran a story about former Arizona Governor Raúl Castro. Take a few moments to read an article that will remind you of the difference one person can make.

The difference I’m talking about was not spurred by the highly talented Castro, whose accomplishments are many. Instead, writer Bill Hermann points out that the retired governor gives credit for his success to a schoolteacher.

“As a fifth-grader, Castro did not seem destined for greatness. He had just moved from Mexico that year with his mother, father and 11 siblings. Castro never did his homework. Not because he couldn’t, but because he said he was lazy.

“One day, his teacher, Eileen Wright, put her hand on his shoulder. She told him that he had the makings of being a good student if he applied himself.

“It was the personal touch Castro needed. ‘On the way home, I thought to myself, That teacher is interested in me, Castro said. ‘I don’t want to disappoint her.’

“‘So, starting the following day, I did become a very good student all the way through.’”

In a time when schoolteachers are thrown under the political bus, that’s refreshing. And if a teacher was able to encourage a young, poor immigrant boy in Douglas, Arizona, I imagine educators still can make a difference today.

We have been pleased to run stories about Governor Castro in Arizona Attorney Magazine. Click though here to read our 2010 coverage of him, written by the remarkable Don Carson. (Our opening spread is below.)