Tuesday, February 25, 2020

"Retablos" ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼

There is so much to love about Word For Word's production of Octavio Solis's "Retablos." Each retablo is a picture out of time, a memory of a specific event in Solis's early life in El Paso, Texas, pulled from his 2018 memoir "Stories From A Life Lived Along the Border."

We see the entire ensemble playing multiple roles, old, young, male, female, Mexicano, Chicano or Gringo, border jumper or Vietnam-vet border guard. We see the marvelous Maria Candelaria as Consuelo the maid who comes down from the hills of Northern Mexico to stay with Solis's family for many years.

Gendell Hernandez dances at the Quince...

..and Regina Morones gives us a mysterious La Llorona.

There are so many memorable moments. The actors weave in and out of Nina Ball's set as each retablo, each piece, gives us another taste of the El Paso of Octavio Solis's boyhood, when life was never easy but a lot freer than it is now.

RATINGS: ☼  ☼  ☼  ☼

The San Francisco Theater Blog Awards Division grants "Retablos" Cuatro Estrellas. Four Stars. Writing, the excellent ensemble of actors (Edie Flores, Maria Candelaria, Carla Gallardo, Gendell Hernandez, Ryan Tasker, Regina Morones, Brady Morales-Woolery and Gabriel Montoya), direction by Sheila Balter and Jim Cave and set by Nina Ball all earn one star each. The show is long but we could have used even more. When was the last time we said that?

Z Space Below
470 Florida St., San Francisco
Through March 15

No comments: