Rodaz shows a subtlety that complements Ruderhausen's intensity. His portrayal of a bitter and isolated man who finds love and hope is subtly moving and largely grounded in physical gesture. His keen intuition allows him to let Julio's physical progress reflect the emotional metamorphoses taking place inside of him. Early on in the play Julio, referring to his paralysis, says, "I'm sinking in my own body. I'm sitting here on solid ground, and I'm drowning." This contradiction embodies the irony of the Florida Straits. Freedom, love, and safety, be it personal or political, are painfully close and at the same time, just out of reach.
A Bicycle Country is important not only as a human story but as a Cuban-American story, and the behind-the-scenes story is as interesting as what unfolds onstage. Cruz will debut four plays in Miami this season. New York-based director Garces also has emerged over the past couple of years as an actor and playwright with a unique perspective on being both Cuban and American. Likewise Rodaz and Orizondo are the founders of Oye Rep, a theater company dedicated to producing the work of Latin-American playwrights in English. The result of their collaboration is not only a powerful story of the Cuban-American experience but the beginning of a larger body of work that promises to defy its one-dimensional definitions.