December 16, 2017

Brilliant past and dire present in four stage productions

Friday, August 20, 2010

Of poetical transitions and exiles

By Juan Carlos Fontana

For the Herald

VIAJE DE INVIERNO. Alejandro Tantanián and Diego Penelas are all-around performing artists. Apart from gifted playwright and director, Tantanián — in his partnership with Penelas — is also a wondrous musician, offering a fascinating, daring and intelligent production like Viaje de invierno.

After closing their trilogy De lágrimas, De protesta and De noche, Tantanián, like the true showman that he has proven to be, comes on stage with a wide ranging musical repertoire, as eclectic as it is moving.

Tantanián resorts to his powerful vocal register to bring back to life a collage of songs by Wilhelm Muller, music by Franz Schubert (Winterreise), all the way to the Nueva Trova Cubana artist Silvio Rodríguez, Spanish troubadour Paco Ibáñez, Brazilian singer-songwriter Chico Buarque, poet Celedonio Flores and Mexican songstress Gloria Trevi. Viaje de invierno also features the poetry of Idea Vilariño and Raúl González Tuñón. Musicians: A. Ziccarelli and R. Quirós.

Where & When. At Teatro Metropolitan 2, Av. Corrientes 1343. Tel: 5277-0500. Fridays at 11.30pm. Tickets $30. Guest performer in every show.

LAS HORAS MUERTAS. Written and directed by Darío Szraka, Las horas muertas is inspired by Armando Discépolo’s classic play Relojero.

Szraka’s Las horas muertas is a smart adaptation of the genre known as “grotesco criollo,” a blend of sorts of domestic drama and comedy, set amid the lower strata of society, mostly immigrants.

After the death of their father, Andrés and Nené must share their home with Hilario, a distant relative who attends the funeral and gradually takes the house over. The intruder adds misery to the lives of Andrés and Nené, members of a bourgeois family who’ve seen better days and must now face the loss of their father and their illusions. All they have to fall back on now are memories from the past, when they belonged to an upper social class full of aspirations.

Concise and accurate, Las horas muertas is ably directed by Szraka, who gets the best from each performer: Carolina Suárez, Juan Pablo Sousa, Ariel Langsam.

Where & When. At Espacio Templum, Ayacucho 318. Tel: 4953-1513. Tickets $30.

EL PORTERO DE LA ESTACIóN WINDSOR. Written by actress-director Julie Vincent, and translated and adapted for the stage by Blanca Herrera, El portero de la Estación Windsor is produced by Singulier Pluriel (Canada) and Casa de Letras (Argentina).

The portero in question is a Uruguayan architect who migrates to Montreal, a city where his mind will shift between reality and dreams, eventually leading him to question his life thus far.

Vincent’s text is a lucid, meticulous study in human emotions and bonds, and the nostalgia and pain inflicted on exiles who don’t know for sure whether they will some day come back or not.

Full of existential angst, El portero de la Estación Windsor counts on the sensitive acting of Manuel Vicente, Julie Vincent herself, and two young, gifted Thespians: Cecilia Cósero and Mateo Chiarino.
The production has arresting visuals (photography and videos by Geneviève Boivin, François Régis Fournier, and Jean-François Lavallière, and beautiful lighting by Eli Sirlin and David Seldes).

Where & When. At El portón de Sánchez, Sánchez de Bustamante 1034. Tel: 4863-2848. Saturdays at 8.30pm. Tickets $50.

TODOS ERAN MIS HIJOS. Spanish-language version of Arthur Miller’s All My Children, set during WWII and dealing with the shady business conducted by an aircraft manufacturer, whose war weapons have caused the death of his own child.

Miller’s play escalates from domestic drama to complex sociopolitical study, laying bare the hipocrisy of US society.

Ably directed by Claudio Tolcachir. Good performances by Ana María Picchio, Oscar Lito Cruz, Esteban Meloni, Vanesa González, Federico D‘Elía, Marina Bellati, Carlos Bermejo, Adriana Ferrer and Diego Gentile.

Where & When. At Teatro Apolo, Av. Corrientes 1372. Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8.45pm. Fridays at 9.15pm. Saturdays at 8pm and 10.15pm. Sundays at 8.30pm.

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