cubanmiamiboy

"Absurd Celebration...", a tribute.

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In celebration of the centenary of the birth of controversial Cuban playwright Virgilio Piñera, the University of Miami's Jerry Herman Ring Theatre is currently launching a festival under the title "Absurd Celebration: The First International Festival of Virgilio Piñera’s Theatre". I've seen two of their five plays already, which have been produced by a combination of national and international companies and UM Department of Theatre Arts. Absurd Celebration has been chosen as the kick-off event for Taking Flight: The Year of the Humanities and the Arts at the University of Miami. Last Saturday I went to see "Aire Frío"-("Cold Air")-by the Cuban company Argos Teatro, directed by Carlos Celdrán. This is the story of the Romaguera family for a dazzling period of twenty years obsessed with their frustrations and dreams. The protagonist, Luz Marina, is struggling to make ends meet due to their family’s dire economic condition. Art, filial relationships, marital conflicts, and the heat, always the heat, are some elements of this play that, although written 50 years ago, continues to be relevant nowadays.

Then, yesterday I went to see "El juego de Electra"- ("Electra’s Play") by Mephisto Teatro from Spain. Director Liuba Cid based this on Virgilio Piñera’s classic Electra Garrigó, the play that marks Cuba’s entrance to Modernism, Liuba Cid’s version brings to Miami a Cuban-Spanish cast of stars which included Strawberry and Chocolate’s Vladimir Cruz as Agamemnon and a very lovely and loved actress I remember from TV novelas back when I was a kid, and which I hadn't seen ever again, Yolanda Ruiz as Clitemnestra. Centered on the play’s classic myth, this version underscores seduction and the psychological, sociological and human depth of its main characters. The non-realist staging, however, is stylized by the avant-garde theatrical languages of Virgilio’s times.

Will be back to report on the next three plays as I see them.

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and a very lovely and loved actress I remember from TV novelas back when I was a kid, and which I hadn't seen ever again, Yolanda Ruiz as Clitemnestra.

I love when this happens. I remember reading an interview with Helen Mirren many years ago, maybe soon after the release of "Excalibur," in which she talked about how less stratified acting was in England compared to the US: actors did all genres, from Shakespeare to what we'd consider soft-core porn, without having to worry about how it would affect their career. In the US there was always the concern about being typecast in "lesser" genres and never getting out.

There are a number of US soap actors and actresses who've done theater and film before joining soap operas and have gone back and forth, most notably Lane Davies of "Santa Barbara," but most of the soap actors who became famous in film or more prestigious TV shows haven't looked back until their older years.

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There are a number of US soap actors and actresses who've done theater and film before joining soap operas and have gone back and forth, most notably Lane Davies of "Santa Barbara," but most of the soap actors who became famous in film or more prestigious TV shows haven't looked back until their older years.

Oh, I enjoyed his work on SB very much (watched while I was avoiding work on thesis in grad school) but lost track of his career after that. Thank you so much for the reminder -- I shall have to wander around the net and see what he's been doing.

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