Monday, June 05, 2006

El Deseo/Desire by Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda

Borderlands Theater is presenting this bilingual play - there are a few more shows this month, June 15th - 18th. Don't miss it! I went this past Sunday and it was really worth it. The story is pretty well summed up by the description on the Borderlands Theater website and by the following reviews:
Tucson Weekly

Tucson Citizen

(My favorite of the reviews is the Tucson Weekly's.)

Personally, I agree that it was very intense - so much so that I had to avert my eyes at times. The Beowulf Alley Theater is such an intimate venue, that it makes it that much harder to take the raging emotions playing out so close to the audience. I thought the characters were very stereotypical in a sense: the American who goes abroad and brings home the foreign lover who they find so exotic (and erotic) but totally fail to understand. I guess what turned this old story on its head for me was the fact that the culturally insensitive gringo in this play is not only a gringa, but a academic - not the usual suspect. Then of course, the fetishized object of desire isn't the girl from Ipanema, but the boy from Cartagena. I found myself sympathizing with him and charmed by his innocence and childish fantasy while I was experiencing very hostile feelings toward the "first world bitch" who couldn't tell love from the need to control and posses. It was unexpected and somehow - refreshing. I guess I enjoyed feeling pity for a Hispanic male and seeing him as an innocent victim for once. (Which is not often the case when I read about the dreadful male characters who oppress the struggling females in Maria Luisa Bombal and Angeles Mastretta, for example.)