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Sunday, November 10, 2019

"La Ruta."

"La Ruta" is an undeniably harrowing story. The end is  searing. But, the winding road we take to get there is disappointing. The play feels overlong even at an intermission-less 100 minutes. There are huge sections of untranslated Spanish, and the way it treats time is utterly confounding, There are numerous projections that denote the time, but I believe that there are instances where time moves forward by years mid-scene.  I have absolutely no clue what purpose the singer is supposed to serve, and she too sings in untranslated Spanish, (the lyrics are translated in the playbill, but by lights-up I didn't feel compelled to go back and look. This play is part of ART's "Table/Room/Stage" series of commissions, as was "Wolf Play", that production's only flaw was a bit of a rough beginning. "La Ruta" seems unfinished, but there is enough potential to wish it the best.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

"Redwood" @ PCS

Tyrone Mitchell Henderson steals the show in "Redwood,"  so much so that it's almost too much. His character, Uncle Stevie possesses many of the conflicting traits that make the production itself such a difficult balancing act. He's a goofball, a flamboyant character who is 90% of the show's comic relief, in his ineptitude in the dancing interludes. He is also at times the show's moral-center, forcing the rest. to confront the uncomfortable past. The sometimes dark humor is the show's greatest asset, and its humor is wide-ranging, even managing to include jokes about the mundaneness of married life, which fit in with, and are relevant to, the struggles of young couplehood made more complicated by certain revelations. The sudden extreme seriousness of certain scenes mixed with the lighter fare is sometimes off-putting, but I think it's intentional, and meant to unsettle, but just be prepared.