The set places us in a blighted area outside Mexico City in the 1960s. A cyclorama displays a skyline of city buildings. Railroad tracks emerge from upstage center. Dingy walls splotched with dirt-brown stain enclose the stage area. We are in the part of town where garbage is dumped.
The following plays are my favorite selections best Hispanic productions of 2016, all seen at GALA Hispanic Theatre, and dominated by GALA productions themselves.
Goyescas is a term used to represent the revival and preservation of Spanish nationalism in music, a movement popular in the early 1900’s and the title of the opera now being staged by In Series. Goyesquitas in an interactive family show that helps kids understand this movement, with emphasis on the game-playing, joyous traditions unique to the Spanish […]
Hats in the air and “Olé!” for the In Series team that has delivered an inspired staging of an extremely challenging one-act opera, Goyescas. Written in 1915 by Enrique Granados, it that will confront you with its energetic vitality, its celebration of life and at the same time, set you back on your heels with its […]
A trio of howling Cadejos, mythical doglike beings played by actors wearing jingling ankle and wrist bells, romp around GALA’s stage as lively piped-in Salvadoran music comes from overhead speakers. The beings perform cartwheels and somersaults and jump on a bed where Rosita, played by Melissa Strova Valencia, lies sleeping.
Nothing but the bare essentials for this multi-leveled, rich play, as staged by José Luis Arellano Garcia from Madrid, Spain. It’s his signature style, that won recognition with a 2016 Helen Hayes Award for director for Outstanding Direction for Yerma at GALA. The set design by Silvia de Marta is disarming. Three upstage doors reveal […]
In spite of severe thunderstorm and flash flood warnings, heat advisories to stay inside, and Metro track delays, we met at the front door of the GALA Hispanic Tivoli Theatre. Stage director José Luis Arellano Garcia arrived riding a bicycle. Dubraska Vale, GALA’s public relations associate, appeared on 14th Street NW, walking from the GALA […]
The In Series takes Beethoven’s only opera, the rarely performed Fidelio, and transforms it into a symbol of freedom, a magnificently moving, awe-inspiring vision of hope and redemption through married love. With this, its largest-ever production, it seems there’s nothing this plucky “pocket opera” company, and its company of fearless singers, cannot do.
El Paso Blue by Hispanic playwright Octavio Solís, now making its East Coast debut at the GALA Hispanic Theatre, is a bilingual tribute to Spanglish, (with no surtitles), to the painful journey of cultural assimilation. It is wonderfully ironic that it’s written and performed mostly in English.
How can an opera’s venue and staging make so much difference? It just does in this spiced up, expansive and zany remount of In Series’ Cosi Fan Tutte Goes Hollywood at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. The theatrical adaptation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s master work about women and morality is by Nick Olcott.