The House of the Spirits

Epic sweep and theater don't always mix, but five decades of Chilean history, seen through the experiences of one family, are presented in Caridad Svich's adaptation of Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits at Mixed Blood Theater. Svich's lyrical script, along with the talents of the cast and director Marcela Lorca, take the audience on a journey centered as much on the tangled emotions of family as the political ramifications of revolution. Not that the latter is ignored. The story is told through the eyes of Alba, the latest generation of the family, who has been "disappeared" by the Chilean government of the early 1970s, imprisoned, and tortured. While locked in her cell—between bouts of interrogation at the hands of a relative–—she remembers the stories that make up her family's history. From here, it's a trip through the past, as we watch the family's tragedies, with the occasional triumph, unfold. The fractured nature of the story helps in this case, as it connects the tissue of scenes that can take place decades apart. Director Lorca, best known for her years of work at the Guthrie, employs a deep bag of tricks in staging the show, showing us the many strings that connect all these characters, while backdrop videos help to set the cultural and political stage. At the center of nearly all the action is Esteban Trueba, who is brought to life in a tremendous performance by Dario Tangelson. Driven at first by love, and then by a need to improve the position of himself and his family, Esteban pushes away all around him until he is finally left alone, desperate to find his granddaughter Alba, all the while knowing it is the politicians he supported who have brought her to that cell. $12-$28. 7:30 Wed.-Sat., Sun. 3 p.m. 1501 Fourth St. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.0937. Through Nov. 14.