A Columbus Day reminder of the discrimination, hatred Italian immigrants faced

Whop, guinea, daggo, greaseball – you’ll hear those derogatory terms and more In New Year’s Eve at Grandma’s House, a poignant drama about the immigrant experience produced by Evanston’s own 2nd Act Players, November 3-18.

In the play, those horrible words sting Sonny, oldest son of an immigrant Italian mother.

“The crap I took. ‘Hay Greaseball don’t slide off the pier.’ ‘Hay whop, where’s your organ and monkey?’ ‘Hay guinea, how’s the garlic today,’” Sonny tells his family about what he dealt with when he began his job as a customs inspector on the New York City waterfront in the late 1950s.

Sonny, born here but with a foot in both his immigrant mother’s and the new world, wants to be accepted as truly American. Later in the play, he pleads with his mother, “I want to fit in momma, how many times do I have to be called whop or guinea before they stop momma, what will make them stop?”

But Sonny may discover the price is more than he ever expected to pay.

New Year’s Eve at Grandma’s House looks back at what past generations of immigrants faced coming to the United States even as immigrants today face similar and worse barriers. Matinée performances Sunday, May 4 and May 11 will be followed by panel discussions on immigrant issues with experts on the frontlines of that world today.

Buy your tickets today, simply click here. Shows are Saturday evenings at 7, Sunday afternoons at 3.


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