With this summer's production of "Blood Wedding" by Federico Garcia Lorca, Apollinaire Theatre Company continues its laudable mission of providing top-quality drama in the park each year to both English speaking and Spanish speaking audiences in its home in Chelsea. This year's location is the picturesque waterside Port Park at 99 Marginal Street.
This play will have three more performances before it closes - this evening in Spanish as "Bodas de Sangre" presented by Escena Latina Teatro and on Saturday and Sundayt in English. Each performance begins at 7:30 and runs for 90 minutes.
This is a unusual play. It is my understanding that in the original Spanish language text, Lorca writes in flowing verse that is gorgeous. In the English translation by Richard L. O'Connell and James Graham-Lujan, the language veers between lyrical blank verse poetry and purple prose. It took me a few scenes to acclimate myself to the rhythms of the speech, but once I did, I began to enjoy the play. There was another rhythm that had to be accounted for - the frequent roar of jet planes overhead. Port Park lies in the path of aircraft departing Logan from Runway 33L when the wind favors that particular departure signature, and this was the case on Wednesday evening, when the action in the outdoor amphitheater was supplemented with the sonic accompaniment of powerful fanjets lifting passengers to all points of the compass.
The playwright was controversial in his time in the 1920s and 1930s in his native Spain. The subject matter of his plays - treating lust, sex, violence, class struggle and the role of women - handles previously taboo topics and threw him into conflict with conservative elements. He teamed with Salvador Dali on one of his plays, and in 1936, during the Spanish Civil War, he was assassinated by supporters of Generalissimo Franco.
"Blood Wedding" centers on an upcoming marriage that will unite two wealthy families. The problem is that the bride has had a passionate love affair with the married Leonardo, and Leonardo is not willing to let her go. During the wedding reception, the bride leaves her husband and elopes with Leonardo, with tragic consequences for all parties.
The two male rivals - the bridegroom (David Castillo) and Leonardo (Mauro Canepa) are perfectly cast by Director Danielle Fauteux Jacques to reflect the intentions of the playwright. The two men are meant to represent two contrasting images of masculinity. Mr. Castillo is the perfect embodiment of the delicate, beautiful, refined, reticent, thoughtful young man whom the bride experiences as a drop of cool water. Mr. Canepa is a brooding, machismo lothario whose lust for the Bride knows no limits. Even his gait suggests a stallion about to leap over the bounds of its corral. The bride experiences him as a hot tsunami and is swept away by the force of their mutual self-destructive passion.
|Karoline Xu as Bride|
David Castillo as Bridegroom
by Federico Garcia Lorca
Apollinaire Theatre Company
Through August 26
Other cast members among this fine ensemble who made a strong impression include:
- Mariela Lopez-Ponce, the conflicted mother of the groom, who has already buried a husband and a son and fears the violence she senses lurks in the coming nuptials.
- Anneka Reich as the wife of Leonardo who knows that she has lost her husband to his wandering lust, but she has a babe in arms and one on the way to consider.
- Ann Carpenter as the Servant to the Bride. She comes across almost as a Juliet's nurse kind of character - foreboding, forbidding and comical all rolled into one.
- Brooks Reeves in the role of Death added a nice touch of improvisational theater top the proceedings as he shouted instructions to the sky, attempting to silence an offending departing airplane.
99 Marginal Street
You might also want to bring a sweater- it is generally cooler in the park!
There is a parking lot in the Park, and additional free parking courtesy of Eastern Salt!
By Public Transportation:
Take the 111 bus from Haymarket (map and schedule) - cross the Tobin bridge and get out at the 2nd stop (about a 10 minute ride). Walk along Marginal street until you reach the park- .4 miles.
From the Tobin Bridge take the first Chelsea exit (Beacon Street) to the bottom of the ramp, turn right onto Beacon, drive one block, then turn left onto Broadway, drive one block to Marginal Street. Turn Right and follow Marginal Street to the Park