Metaphorically Cristina's mixing metaphors
When I was in the eighth grade it was required by the Brevard County School Board that all eighth graders see the Academy Award winning Days of Wine and Roses. Of course my pals and I thought this was great since going to the movie theater certainly beat an afternoon of class work
The Wine and Roses story is about an alcoholic that marries a young woman, whom he systematically addicts to booze so they can share his "passion" together. Little did we know we were being subjected to the perils of excessive drinking by the example of famous actors digressing into miserable creatures of addiction, completely unaware of anything but their own self-destruction.
In Octavio Solis' Se Llama Cristina presented by the Actor's Warehouse reality takes a back seat to juxtaposition of time, place, responsibility and a curious cooked chicken leg residing in a child's crib.
Directed by Kathy Byrne, image above left, this man, women character team are not alcoholics. The play opens with a MAN (Jorge DeJesus), mage above middle, and a WOMAN (Katrina Kolb), image above right, coming around from a serious drug binge that has left them completely dazed and confused about their reality. Who they are. How they arrived in this one-room, diaphanous aura like space with no answers to any questions. The couple awaken from a drugged-out night to find their baby missing. The pair decide to relive their history to try to set things right. After much rationalizing they decide they are in fact married and parents of the child lying unnoticed in the child's crib.
Experiencing one of the worst drug induced nightmares imagined the MAN and WOMAN -- the designated names for these two social disasters metaphors -- set out to sort, categorize all the information, objects, individuals, time itself, Solis, and Se Llama Director throws at them in a maelstrom happen circumstance that gets muddier and unclear to the audience, much less MAN and WOMAN.
Theatrical kudos to the Actor's Warehouse Technical staffers Zach Herring (light & sound), and Colton Spurlocjk (set design/construction) by creating an ephemeral stage perception of circumstance leaving the audience both mindful of the Se LLama's metaphorical props combined with serious time and space juxtaposition.
Actor's Dejesus, and Kolb both did credible jobs portraying dazed and confused druggies forced into a world where they must become deciders of their own fate. This is the reality of the play reducing life to not much more than vague recollections of bad experiences. Events that propel this couple into their personal contemporary quagmire of everyday life for many living in the underworld of barely existing.
I am an optimistic individual. I am pretty good at finding a silver lining on practically everything. By the end of this play I too was dazed and confused wishing I had my theater partner with me to help sort out my perceptions of theatrical reality, metaphorically speaking of course.
And I still don't, will never understand, the idea of the chicken leg . . .
Special thanks to Downtown Gainesville.com for Se Llama Cristina images. The actor's Warehouse production of Se Llama Cristina continues through this weekend with presentations on various days and times. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more Se Llama Cristina information.