December 9, 2013
An original blend of García Lorca and Molière
El Farolito theatre company have quite a singular proposition in BA’s crowded scene, one of the busiest in the world. Playwright Rodrigo Cárdenas, who runs El Farolito, started to read two of his favourite plays for the sheer pleasure of it: García Lorca’s poetic, lyrical Doña Rosita, la soltera and Molière’s Don Juan, one of the dozens of works related to this dashing, inveterate women chaser. He became fascinated by these very different plays and decided to work on them as author and director, which he did in Rosie & John.
Don Juan is surely the most stirring character for the authors, musicians, poets, playwrights and artists who drew inspiration from it. The number of such creators is mind-boggling: Da Ponte, Mozart, Tirso de Molina (librettist, composer, playwright , the most famous three of the lot), Zamora, Richardson, De la Cueva, Vélez de Guevara, Espronceda, Zorrilla, Azorín,Byron, Molière.
They wrote plays, poems, operas, musicals, films, novels, symphonic scores, films, you name it. Molière’s play may not be his most famous, but it is quite near the top. Doña Rosita surely is Lorca’s most poetic work, and she is his most tender and saddest character. It was inspired by a young, pretty woman who lives in Granada and becomes engaged to her handsome cousin, Don Juan (not Molière’s nor anyone else’s, mind you), with whom she is utterly in love. But he is offered a job in a plantation in far away Tucumán (yes, in Argentina, of all places). An ill-timed offer, because she decides to wait for Juan’s return instead of joining him. This is how it starts, the anxious, sad, and ultimately hopeless wait for the man who never returns, and who even gets married to someone else. Even so, she refuses to even consider the possibility of marrying.
Cárdenas concocted quite an original, unusual combination of dramatic propositions. The two main characters are well sketched and believable, especially Rosita’s evolution of the happy, young girl who, at first, lives full of hope, waiting for the letter with the much-awaited information that will send her to Argentina or announce her fiancé’s arrival. But this never happens, of course. Rosita’s mood gradually dries up and she becomes a bitter old maid. In the meantime, the faithless fiancé turns into what we expect he will under the eyes of his faithful servant Snagarelle.
All of this turns out to be quite an original, entertaining and well directed play. Cárdenas finds very interesting moods in quite a stylish, delicate set by Alejandro Mateo, who also designed the fine costumes. The show is spiced with dances, songs and live music, with a numerous, first-rate cast.
Gabriela Villalonga plays the poetic, sensitive Rosita, ably showing her gradual transformation, quite a contrast with the dashing Juan, played Pilu Quirno. Snagarelle , played by Marcelo Frasca, is French, of course, and funny.
Where & When.
Rosie & John. At Teatro Payró, San Martín 766. Tel: 4312-5922.