Cuba Libre

Nilo Cruz's island romance has no freedom from the tyranny of melodrama

From this point on, the plotting and the language go from melodramatically poetic to simply melodramatic. "We were one night ahead of the world," the lieutenant declares, and then, "You're running so fast you don't even know where you're going." The older sister responds with equally portentous comments, at one point saying, "Something's going to happen in this country soon. I know so. I can feel it coming like a storm."

Observing this scene this past Saturday, an audience member exploded into laughter with each new cumbersome utterance, doubling over in her chair and covering her face, seized with the sort of body-shaking giggles that come from silent, polite hysterics. Perhaps she had one Cuba Libre too many, but I don't think so.

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