Monday October 16th 2017

“Your Problem With Men”

problem-with-men-6212Over the years, I have enjoyed the smart work of Teatro Luna, the only “all Latina” theater company in Chicago ( or possibly America). Most of what these ladies create is what they, themselves have experienced and always from a strong female position.I know they have decided to spread their wings a bit by doing a play written by a man, , Emilio Williams ( who also has another play in the same venue ( Stage 773) called “Tables and Beds, an unromantic Comedy”, but to be honest, I truly prefer the self written stories that they have bene presenting far better.

This particular production, which uses almost the same set (Brian Sidney Bembridge) as “Tables and Beds”, directed by Teatro Luna’s Alexandra Meda is a short play about a woman, Asun ( a solid performance by Abigail Vega) who is caught between a rock and a hard place as her relationship with Juan ( deftly handled by Marvin Quijada) comes to an abrupt end. She , as it turns out proposed to him, which is part of the reason for her doubts of the honesty of the relationship. She then faces the choices she has made. She faces loneliness and perhaps the regret in the choice she made.

This is a 75 minute ride through her fears of how her life will end up. We get to meet her parents ( who of course, want only the best for her) played by Quijacia and Cruz-Gonzalez-Cadel ( who also plays her sisters and the “ghost” of Jane Eyre). This episodic story plays far better than the other work of Williams, a recent import to Chicago, who perhaps as he spends more time in this wonderful theater town will learn to appreciate our audiences more and bring stronger stories to our stages. While there are some wonderful moments in the play, having our heroine, in the middle of the play, call the playwright to ask him how it all turns out for her, is just a bit to much. There is a spaceman who enters her apartment ( or is this a dream) and some scenes in a Target store between her and her ex-boyfriend, where the try to impress each other.

I guess I would have to say that this is a production that is not up to the standards that I have learned to expect from Teatro Luna and that the talent of these actors is not utilized to their potential. In other words, they are far better than the script they are working with. I for one did not feel that the relationship between Juan and Asun was ever more than just two people who prefer not to be alone and that some of the sub-stories were a little disjointed. I will give kudos to Frank Mares for his projections, in particular in the fight sequence ( nice work by Noah Appelbaum for his fight choreography) and I had no problem hearing, with the exception that Ms Vega tends to speak to fast at times.

I, for one, am hopeful that the ladies of Teatro Luna, will take a step back and look at where they came from and perhaps where they are going- what they started many years ago was a wonderful theatrical experience and i miss it!

To see this production, you have only a few opportunities- It will continue at Stage 773 at 1225 West Belmont Avenue through April 14th with performances as follows:

Fridays and Saturday at 10.00 P.M. ( this is late night Fare) and on Sundays at 5 p.m.

Tickets are a mere $20 and can be purchased at the box office, by phone at 773-327-5252 or online at www.teatroluna.org

To see what others have said- visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-up and click at “Your Problem With Men”

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