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Strawberry and Chocolate Returns to the Cuban Stage
Sixteen years since the creation of the famous Cuban film Strawberry and Chocolate, produced by Tomas Gutiérrez Alea and Juan Carlos Tabío, the plot of the movie based on the story The Wolf, the Forest and the New Man by Senal Paz, Juan Rulfo prize in 1990, returns this time to Havana’s downtown Llauradó Theatre, in a staging by the Mefisto Theatre company, directed by Tony Díaz.

According to statements by the director, on the subject of the piece entitled F y Ch (To eat you better), the new production is based on the theatrical version by Isidro Núñez, premiered by Díaz himself in 1992, precisely one year before the cinematographic adaptation of the controversial story, and that relied on the performances of Tony Salup in the character of David and Antonio (Tony) Arroyo as Diego. This latter one returns to repeat the same role in the recently repeated work.

The plot of the theatrical piece centers its story on the relationship of close friendship that its main characters establish: David, a “politically correct” and in principle homophobic young student, and Diego, a homosexual artist, an orientation that until a few years ago was mostly ill considered by Cuban society in general.

“At that time, before the premiere of the movie, the piece was surrounded by a highly controversial atmosphere. It’s from this that our main motive now is confrontation with the public that in these times is better prepared,” expressed the recognized theatre director.

Although Díaz has left marked, with respect to its previous staging, the timeless accent of his proposal, the new work presents logical and essential changes in the dramaturgical structure, designed for the passage of time.

This revived work turns out to be a song to tolerance, to respect, to friendship of no more than one hour’s duration, which stands out for its enormous validity and also for a relevant sound band, created by Tony Díaz from the original produced by Juan Piñera for the absolute premiere of the staging.

The general director of Mefisto Theatre has also related from other perspectives to the trajectory, on the Cuban stage, of the already emblematic story by Senal Paz. In 1997 he was responsible for the lighting design of Strawberry and Chocolate that prestigious Cuban director Carlos Díaz premiered, together with his theatre company Público, in the National Theatre, and that afterwards he took to various cities in Spain and other countries.

Tony Arroyo, for his part, and also since 1997, began a long season of presentations of the show conceived by Tony Díaz in important venues in Colombia, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile.


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