Recommended *** If any theater company could take on Federico Garcia Lorca’s “Blood Wedding” it would be Lookingglass and the way they can utilize their space in the Water Tower. The translation of the poetic work of Lorca, by Michael Dewell and Carmen Zapata, tells us the story of a bride to be, having her former lover show up on her wedding day. The families that have been drawn together on this special day find themselves at odds with each other. The original story takes place in Spain, but under the direction of Daniel Ostling, we are now in rural California and during the Great Depression.
Lorca is more of a poet than a playwright, but the story he weaves is one of people and their passions as well as revenge and betrayal. There are many surprises in the love story, and as always, I will not divulge any of them in order to allow you to enjoy the full presentation that Ostling has created. The play is in three acts, and while this may scare some of you, let me tell you that they are short and sweet (or might I say bittersweet). The first act is about 30 minutes and introduces us to the people of the community. The Bride (Helen Sadler, who is astounding) and her Father (a powerful character by Troy West), the Groom (deftly handled by Chance Bone), his Mother (Christine Mary Dunford), the maid (Eva Barr), as well as her ex-lover, Leonardo (a solid performance by the always reliable Kareem Bandealy, with a full head of hair, so he looks different), his wife (played to perfection by Atra Asdou) and her mother (solidly played by Wendy Mateo). all of the actors enter carrying chairs which are placed around the stage which is a 3-sided design (Ostling has created this as well) along with the ensemble members, all of whom are extremely important to the success of this saga ; Sophia Michelle Bastounes, Melisa Pereyra, Kevin Viol (who opens the show on stage playing flamenco music on his guitar), and Bubba Weiler (who many of us have watched grow up on Chicago stages).
The first act sets the scene for what we are about to witness. The second act, another 30 minutes, (after a 15 minute intermission) takes us to the wedding and the aftermath when the bride runs off with Leonardo. This is where I no longer can tell you what happens, except to say, we have two families that are at odds with each other trying to figure out just what took place and why.The third act is another 30 minutes, after another 15 minute intermission. Lorca designs his characters so they resemble people who might be in the audience, thus the story could easily be one that has taken place in your city, on your block and maybe even in your own family. Lorca’s characters have desires and yearnings that are very real. Many have had that first love in their lives and despite splitting apart, still have the feelings and emotions that were there from the onset. Do they ever go away? Do the scars of a love lost ever heal? In this story, again, there is a surprise ending that , knowing Lorca’s history ,will make sense.
The costumes (Mara Blumenfeld), lighting (T.J. Gerckens), sound (Josh Horvath) original music (Rick Sims) ,choreography (Tracy Walsh) and props (Sarah Burnham) complete the technical part of the show that puts all the pieces together. This is indeed a different story and a unique way of telling it. As I said earlier, Lookingglass is the perfect company to pull this off.
Thursdays 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Fridays 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays 2 and 7:30 p.m.
Sundays 2 and 7:30 p.m. *
*(3/20. 4/3 and 4/24)
Tickets range in price from $40-$75 and are available at the box office, by calling 312-337-0665 or online at www.lookingglasstheatre.org
April 7th will be a touch tour performance and March 31st open captioned.
After Sunday matinees, panel take place to discuss- visit www.lookingglasstheatre.org/reflect for more specific information.
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To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-Up and click at “Blood Wedding”