Friday, April 19, 2013 at 9:13 a.m.
David Schlosser, Matt Rein, Ricardo Vázquez and Evelyn Digirolamo.
Photo by Nancy Wong
Surreal and elliptical, Nilo Cruz's Lorca in a Green Dress attempts to not just uncover the final moments of the life of the Spanish poet and playwright, but tries to connect the personal pieces of his existence.
In a striking co-production from Pangea World Theater and Teatro Del Pueblo, we are offered only the briefest of biographies of Lorca. There are moments of his early life in Granada; a day at the beach with Salvidore Dali and Dali's sister; lost love in New York; and, ultimately, a roadside murder punctuated by three bullets.
These moments are framed by Lorca in a surreal afterlife. In this "Lorca Room," he has 40 days to watch the events of his life unfold, and to prepare for the next stage of his existence. This "Lorca with Blood" (Ricardo Vazquez) is aided by five pieces of himself, given names like "Lorca in a White Suit" and the titular "Lorca in a Green Dress," while watched over by a General who directs the proceedings.
Cruz's play really defies a normal overview, however. It's very nature embraces Lorca's poetry, with dialogue inspired by his writings. The play works by building up our understanding of the poet's soul, just as the character is struggling to come to terms with his place in the beyond.
That comes to a head when Lorca breaks free and attempts to head back into reality. Like the characters in Our Town, this brings only pain as he can only observe in the living world, not interact with his family or change any of the terrors he sees around him during the Spanish Civil War.
The company puts in strong work, from Vazquez's always questioning "main" Lorca, to the performances of the other actors playing pieces of him. Like Lorca, the play embraces traditional Spanish art forms, which comes to life via terrific performances by flamenco dancer Virginia Robinson and guitarist Scott Mateo Davies.
IF YOU GO
Lorca in a Green Dress
Through April 28
345 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis