The premiere of "El Beso en la Telaraña" in downtown Fort Lauderdale is part of the "Day of the Dead" festival in F.A.T. Village. Though spoken entirely en Spanish, a first for this area, there is no language barrier for those of us in the audience with little knowledge of Spanish vocabulary. Indeed, every moment is understood. It is succinctly and visually conveyed by the insightful and emotional intensity of the featured actors.
The play is an adaptation inspired by the text of "El Beso de la Mujer Araña" written by Manuel Puig. The work is considered one of his best and was adapted for film in 1985 under the title "Kiss of the Spider Woman". The Argentinian writer finished the play while on exile during a time of political repression and unstableness; performances of the play were forbidden during the 70's by the dictatorial regime of Argentina at the time.
There is the sharp contrast of the grim reality of a prison cell and the imposing dangerous character that is Valentin, (played by ANDRES MEJIA) against the escapism and effeminate fantasies of cellmate, Molina, (played by MIGUEL SAHID). The staging by the Sociedad Actoral Hispanoamericana's troupe perfectly captures the sense of these parallel worlds. At first glimpse of their captivity through a beam of back lighting, mysterious shadows are created. There was a continuous presence of a dimly lit blue haze all symbolic of death, ever-present.
Traces of insecurities and compassion from the angry Valentin are revealed while Molina morphs into a brave, proud gay man. The transformation in these two characters flows like choreography into the subsequent intimacy; thoughtfully staged. The actors' intensity leaves the audience shaken to the core.
Through the collaboration of Miguel Sahid and Andres Mejia, this new take on "El Beso" mixes the basic instinct of survival with an idealization of love. The characters converge in this story as victims of the extremes of mankind and our social standards.
Though it's the first time these actors collaborate on stage, this duo has worked together in direction and production of plays such as "Bodas de Sangre", winner of the "Miami Life Awards" as play of the year in 2011, "Laberinto sin Salida" winner of the "Critics Choice Award" as play of the year for 2012 among others.
"El Beso" will open in Fort Lauderdale on Nov. 2 through Nov. 16. After its departure from ALA, the show will begin its tour of other U.S. cities, including Chicago beginning Nov. 24th and New York City, opening Dec. 7th . "El Beso en la Telarana" is a play meant to impact lives with its message of tolerance, love and dignity. Don't miss this professional company premiere at Andrews Living Arts. CAUTION: ADULTS ONLY, CONTAINS NUDITY.
Andrews Living Arts Studio (View)
23 NW 5th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301