Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas’s magical-realist fable contains moments of genuine beauty, but its lack of plot momentum demands delicate handling. Despite Brian Sidney Bembridge’s characteristically stylish set, the elements of Teatro Vista’s world-premiere production don’t, finally, cohere. As Reiderico, the gentle boy whose sole companion is a voice at the bottom of a well, Marcus Castillo mistakes a passive performance for the performance of passivity; the play visibly picks up during Reiderico’s extended absence in the second act. The rest of the cast each seem to be working in a play of their own imagining: Peter Fitzsimmon’s goonish, bullying Gordi, Marvin Edward Quijada’s limber and frenetic Lucero, and Lisa Tejero’s wry Bolivia all seem to be playing past one another. Haunting scenes like Lucero’s slow dance with Reiderico’s mother Mother (Laura Crotte) are counterbalanced by utter miscalculations like Gordi’s entrance holding the dog he has supposedly just killed, looking more like a bathmat than an actual creature. The subtle transformations lurking within Cortiñas’s text are swept away by the static of this unbalanced and often heavy-handed production. (John Beer)
This production is now closed.