Reviewed by June Baird


INTAR Theatre presents the newest work by Academy Award Nominee, Jose Rivera, entitled Adoration of the Old Woman. Upon entering the small theater on West 52nd Street, the smell of cocoa permeates the air. It would seem the edges of the beautiful island shack set are lined with pressed cocoa beans creating a sand-like substance to suggest the island of Puerto Rico. Ryan Howell’s wonderfully crafted scenic design immediately puts the audience in a tropical setting.


Two separate stories are being told: the first of an ancient woman (Socorro Santiago) being haunted, literally, by her past (Danielle Davenport as lingerie-clad ghost, Adoración) while being visited by her great-great-granddaughter from New Jersey (Carmen Zilles) – – and the second, the story of Puerto Rico’s political turmoil over whether or not they will become the 51st state vs fight for their freedom. The concept is fascinating and important, but neither plotline goes the distance nor are they intertwined in a seamless way.


Direction from Patricia McGregor felt stilted, inactive and did not utilize the space in an interesting way. Although Rivera’s tale is interesting and several insightful moments occur through the talents of this cast with stand-outs in Raúl Castillo (as pro-American Ismael) and José Joaquín Peréz (as anti-American Cheo), none of it serves to cover up the not-yet-cohesive story and awkward direction. This production has a lot of potential, but feels more like a sketch of what it could be.


Runs March 13 – April 6, 2014

INTAR Theatre, 500 West 52nd Street (4th Floor) NYC