Lawyer-turned-stand-up comic eyes the world through Puerto Rican lens

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A report by Phyllis A. S. Boros for the Greenwich Time.

Former Orlando, Fla., prosecutor-turned-stand-up comedian Elizardi “Eli” Castro doesn’t care about your age or ethnic background or politics or sexual preferences or religious persuasion. When he performs, he emphasizes all the qualities that unite us and give us our humanity.

Growing up in a large Puerto Rican family, Castro said some of his fondest childhood memories are “sitting around” his White Plains, N.Y., home, listening to his uncles and other relatives telling one hilarious story after another — most centered on family life.

“It’s that atmosphere I’m trying to re-create. I want the audience to feel as though they’re sitting in my living room,” he said, adding that his shows are profanity-free.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re 3 or 93. Everyone is welcome at my shows — as long as you can sit for 90 minutes to two hours without squirming. I’m there to uplift everyone,” Castro said while chatting from Miami International Airport, waiting for a Cuba-bound flight.

On Saturday, Feb. 11, “there” will be the Klein Memorial Auditorium in Bridgeport. Born in Puerto Rico, Castro is touring with “Law & DISorder: Doing Hard Time as a Latino Attorney in America.” He said his shows are delivered in English and peppered with words from his native Spanish language.

More Information

Klein Memorial Auditorium, 910 Fairfield Ave., Bridgeport. Saturday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. $20, $15. 800-424-0160, ext. 2; parking $5 cash.

Castro joked that it was “mandated by his Puerto Rican parents to become a lawyer” and he shares his history from prosecutor to criminal defense lawyer to private practice. He is a licensed attorney in Florida, Illinois and New York.

Making the jump to stand-up was “easier than you might think.” He has a master’s degree in communications and a bachelor’s degree in psychology — both of which help him enormously with his current line of work.

“In a criminal trial, you need to win over the jury. It’s a highly pressurized job with a lot at stake. You must be prepared. The last thing you want to do is ramble. I take the same approach in stand-up.”

His style is “animated and physical,” in which he “reflects on society as it relates to who I am. We’re all minorities in one way or another.

“I tell people that it is more accurate to say that I’ve always been a comic who became an attorney. I’ve always been drawn to the idea of making people laugh. And being on stage is where I am most comfortable.”

 

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