National Theater Festival: Far Beyond the Awards
But almost no one doubts the quality of some of the shows: Las Estaciones Theater from Matanzas returns to Camagüey with a new approach into one of our literary and scenic myths, Cecilia Valdés. The Bronze Virgin is an amusing lyrical comedy for adults, alternating marionettes and actors in harmonious dialogue. The text of Norge Espinosa, from Villaverdes novel and the not less famous operetta of Roig, is a significant exercise of fusion.
The staging of Rubén Darío Salazar also stands out for its versatility of actors and its peculiar choreography that crosses over the challenges of a tireless script. On the other hand for the designs of maestro Zenén Calero, which go far beyond functionality to build up an almost a parallel show. The sound design, however, is weakened for the uneven quality of the recordings employed. The pretended dialogue does not fully becomes concrete between the fragments of the Roigs operetta and the original music for this staging, of Hilda Elvira Santiago.
Speaking of marionettes, much more conventional (but make it count, marvelously conventional) is The neighborhood of Martina, presented by The Storytellers (Havana), under the direction of Félix Dardo. Once again the storyline of the cockroach, the mouse and the tidbit of onion; but told with the grace, coloring, and agility of an authentic musical comedy. The Storytellers make the best of old, but very effective codes of the genre to articulate a show where parody and satire reign. There are the traditional blows (almost indispensable to catch up the youngest in the auditory), but theres also a lot of humor, if so, more mature.
Delirio Habanero, of La Luna Theater, was one of the best staging in the Festival. One of those happy occasions when the public and specialists get to an agreement: Delirio... has whats needed to please everyone. The text of Alberto Pedro is sufficiently equipped with effect blows, but a deeper impulse encourages it, a taciturn and quiet poetry.
Raúl Martín has a peerless talent to shape up characters. These three creatures shift from comedy to drama easily.
What a remarkable way to harmonize dimensions, of binding whats dreamlike and whats ordinary. And what three superb performances! Laura de la Uz, Amarilis Núñez, and Mario Guerra have endowed their characters of an essential truth.
Other shows which have summoned us: of Scandal in Trapa (Mefisto Theater, Tony Díaz) we must highlight its excellent costume design and its well-expressed choreography: hardly achieved from the articulate image of such a convincing speech.
But José Ramón Brene text needed a more thorough revision, a show a day. In the second half of the plays we witness certain stagnation, its like returning over the same issues that slow it down.
The Little Ogre, of Holguín Puppet theater, falls victim of a through-and-through fidelity to a text that minimizes action. Its interesting (and polemic) its message, but a slow tempo and a not very attractive sound design helps little in its understanding.
Histories on Road (El Viento Theater, Camagüey), retakes the fable with a very sweet text and a very emphatic saying.
The Nightingale (Títeres Retablo Theater, Cienfuegos), with a praiseworthy work of characterization, would have required more synthesis.