Monday, September 24, 2007

Mariela in the Desert


Photo: Stephanie Davis

Miracle Theatre Group
September 21, 2007; closes October 13, 2007

Direction, lighting and set all very well integrated. Olga Sanchez’s first full appearance on a Portland stage does not disappoint, though she has much more talent than what is required by the material at hand. At heart a mystery, Mariela works fine but ultimately lacks something – an idea, tone, echo?

8 comments:

T3FMonkey said...

Saw it opening night. LOVED it. It was indeed a lighter story than I had expected, but that was kind of nice. I thought it could have been directed and acted with a far-too-heavy hand, and it wasn't. Charming, funny, tragic...all when it needed to be. Great performance from the whole cast. And I look forward to seeing Olga in front of the curtain from here on. Nice direction from Mr. Sonera. A difficult space to light, but any shortcomings in that area are vindicated in the last moments of the show. Well worth seeing.

tjgc said...

I think Kurt is cute in this picture.

Ben Waterhouse said...

Kurt's movement work is astonishing. I've never seen a more convincing depiction of autism on stage. I have a cousin with severe autism, and he uses exactly the same gestures. It was shocking, and touching, to watch. Bravo!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful sophisticated production of a beautiful sophisticated script. The language, the build-up through flashback, the volcanic erruption at the end...a mystery with depth.
Most plays start with promise and piddle out at the end...this one builds and builds and the end is full of hope and despair. I found the play to be full of humour, but it's not "light"...it's about things that matter. Bravo!

Anonymous said...

I've never posted here before...but toda I had to. No Echo? I can't get MARIELA IN THE DESERT out of my head. Saw it yesterday. I also loved it. Ms. Sanchez's performance is outstanding. But what a great role and what a complex play. It's echoes A Long Day's Journey into Night. What I like is that Mariela is her own worse enemy. That she is the main obstacle to her creativity. So many moments leap to mind: That Blue Barn painting seems as real to me as one that actually exits. And the moment the daughter announces she has painted a nude of Diego...my heart gasped. And that opening monologue...and the last scene are all haunting. What is the truth? And what is art's role in uncovering the truth? I highly recommend it.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure the play entirely works as written, but this is a fine, fine production. Terrific acting all around, and Milagro's usual crack tech work -- set, lighting, sound all wondrous for this fairly tiny space. I hope we get to see a lot more of Olga on stage instead of behind (all around?) it.

Anonymous said...

Give me a passionate new play like MARIELA IN THE DESERT any day.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify Ben's earlier comment about Kurt Conroyd...he is wonderful...but he is in the play for about 10 minutes. The other 110 minutes were really quite wonderful. Olga Sanchez is dynamic. Newcomer Phil Stockton is fierce as the father. The entire cast just kept my attention all the way through the play.

This production is visually stunning!!! The music is beautiful. I see that this guy Rodolfo Ortega does a lot in town. I don't know this director Antonio Sonera, but he seems to have great vision and realization of the play. Every note was right on!

My hat is off to the Milagro. I had never been there before, but I will be back.