CHICAGO (CBS) – A new play in Chicago is revealing a part of Chicago history that not many people know about.
It tells the story of Latin American immigrants in the 1950s and 1960s on the North Side of the city.
CBS 2’s Sandra Torres shows us what it’s all about.
On the corner of Belmont and Sheffield in the Lakeview neighborhood, there is an untold story.
“This story is not one that you’ll see in the history books,” said playwright, Sandra Delgado.
It’s a story that Chicagoan Sandra Delgado wanted to preserve and share.
“I was asking my father about his early days in Chicago, he said on the weekends your mother and I used to go to this club La Havana Madrid on Belmont and Sheffield,” Delgado said.
Her parents moved to the United States from Colombia in the 1960s. And that club had become a cultural hub for many Latin American immigrants.
“La Havana Madrid was opened by a Cuban who played for the White Sox, Luis Witto Ayoma. Because he was so well known, that was a magnet for other Cubans to settle in Lakeview,” Delgado said. “There was this golden time where there were a lot of Cubans and Puerto Ricans on the North Side by the lake.”
That is why Delgado created and wrote “La Havana Madrid” now playing at the Goodman Theatre. It is a musical tribute to her parents and other immigrants like Roberto Marin, known as Carpacho.
“They show a guy who has dreams,” said Colombian musician, Roberto Marin.
His story as a Colombian musician in America inspired a character in the play. His band plays live on stage.
“One thing that makes me emotional when we do the play, with my story, I have Europeans saying I relate to your story and I say where are you from? I’m from Italy,” Marin said.
And while the production ends on Sunday, Delgado hopes this is just the beginning.
“I want to see it in other cities and I’ll say it’s going to happen,” Delgado said.
“La Havana Madrid” closed its doors in 1969, but later the space became “The Quiet Knight” where Bob Marley, Jimmy Buffet and Bruce Springsteen would perform. Other clubs took over later on, but now it’s a hair salon. Though Sandra Delgado said with this play, La Havana Madrid still lives on.