Actor Adrián Iglesias, who plays Séneca, the mouse who has lived in a library for the past ten years, ambles on stage, carrying a wicker basket, filled with large books and eating utensils. Iglesias wears large oversized glasses, identifying him as an intellectual. We sense something is weird or a little wonky.
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.
As this year closes, perhaps you, like we, are thinking back over your own year spent watching the various riches spread before us by Washington area theatres. I asked our staff for their most vivid memories. We hope you will share your own as comments for us all to savor.
The following plays are my favorite selections best Hispanic productions of 2016, all seen at GALA Hispanic Theatre, and dominated by GALA productions themselves.
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 […]
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.
In this mesmerizing, dreamlike, must-see GALA adaptation by Jorge Alí Triana of Gabriel Garcia Márquez’ masterpiece novella, Chronicle of a Death Foretold/Crónica de una muerte anunciada, one hour and fifteen minutes feels as if we live through several lifetimes of human experience.
What happens when you accept all the different colors in the world as equal and beautiful? You get a rainbow. In this delightful, droll allegory set to music, El Mundo es un pañuelo/The World is a Handkerchief, Chilean playwright Jorge Díaz, shows us the joy of diversity.