Leorimar Pareja, Gabriela Castillo, Guillermo Sollano, Jorge Luis Ruiz, & Omar Avila in La Fuga. Image courtesy El Delirio Producciones.
By Jordi Galceran
Directed by Angie Williams-Overstreet
Review by Keith Waits
Entire contents copyright © 2016 by Keith Waits. All rights reserved
La Fuga (The Escape) represents a meaningful step in the development of El Delirio Producciones as a company. The play itself is a modest but efficient entertainment, a comedy that only really comes alive after some surprise twists that upend everything we thought we understood about these characters.
Isidre (Guillermo Sollano) is a political figure implicated in a financial scandal who, in the play’s first moments, is contemplating suicide with a handgun. He is interrupted by Carmen (Leorimar Pareja), a representative from the “gas company” who is actually a door-to-door salesperson. Another woman, a prostitute named Yolanda (Gabriela Castillo) also arrives on the scene, and before long, romance dissuades Isidre from ending his life.
Any more synopses would constitute a spoiler, but Carmen’s husband, Manolo (Jorge Luis Ruiz), and father Mariano (Omar Avila), play a role in the story’s resolution. What La Fuga lacks in depth, it makes up for in sharp dialogue, but the key to this production’s success is in the playing.
Leorimar Pareja delivers something of a “star” performance as Carmen, a sparkling turn filled with energy and a sure hand with comic timing. Her charismatic work is especially important in the lengthy, expository first act. Gabriella Castillo displays the craft that comes from training, and is a fiery, funny Yolanda. And Omar Avilla earns big laughs as the old patron, Mariano, broadly costumed with make-up and wig and playing it to the hilt with artificial “infirmities”; his is the most over-the-top performance, but he defies the odds and makes it work in this play. Jorge Luis Ruiz is sure-footed and machismo as Manolo, and Guillermo Sollano handles the fumbling Isidre with his customary hapless comedic playing.
The play is presented in Spanish, with English supertitles that are now presented on a monitor mounted to the side. The titles were easier to read than the previous method of projecting them above the stage, but there was a point where they suddenly rushed so far forward that the operator had difficulty re-synching them. This is a problem only for those of us who don’t speak Spanish, but it seems to happen each time one of the Spanish-language companies uses them. In this instance, after a few moments trying to get my bearings, I stopped looking at the titles for a period and just watched the actors. It was late enough in the action that I felt more at ease with the flow of the story, and I felt slightly liberated from “reading” the dialogue, and could enjoy the interaction of the actors onstage.
When reviewing either of the two Spanish language theatre companies, I will always add the caveat that, as a non-Spanish speaker, my critical judgment of the text must necessarily be limited, and the translation seemed to suffer from some dropped English grammatical protocol, so Galceran’s writing may be superior to whatever impression this production can afford it. But La Fuga strikes me as a confident step forward for this company.
March 24, 25, 26, 31 April 1 & 2 @ 7:00pm
Tickes por solo $18 precio regular y $15 para estudiantes con identificacion valida. Tendremos subtitulos en Ingles. Para sus reservaciones llame o envie txt al (502) 851-0889 o envie un email a: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets for only $18 regular price and $15 per students with valid ID. For reservations call or txt (502) 851-0889 or email email@example.com English subtitles would be provided.
El Delirio Producciones
The Bard’s Town
1801 Bardstown Road
Louisville, KY 40205
Keith Waits is a native of Louisville who works at Louisville Visual Art during the days, including being the host of PUBLIC on ARTxFM/WXOX-LP, but spends most of his evenings indulging his taste for theatre, music and visual arts. His work has appeared in Pure Uncut Candy, TheatreLouisville, and Louisville Mojo. He is now Managing Editor for Arts-Louisville.com.