By Marcina Zaccaria
While other Summer productions are celebrating the Bard, a band of ragtag performers considers Cervantes at INTAR.
INTAR presents two shows by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, developed in collaboration with the Consulate General of Spain. Cervantes, a poet, playwright, and novelist of Spain’s Golden Age, takes on justice and injustice, as the role of judgement looms large.
Deciding who will lead serves as the crux of the drama in the first of the Entremeses. In Electing the Judges of Daganzo, a battle for power reaches new heights. Tradition, honor, and good form are to be discovered while arguing. The cast members – many of whom are part of INTAR’s Emerging Artists Company – embrace broad, physical movement. Shadow screens, and guitar music are part of the production, performed in English.
At the quaint, tight black box at INTAR, struggles are deeply theatrical. Hopping across the parquet floors, the lightly disheveled Unit 52 even finds the space for stunts. Power isn’t a delusion, like battling the windmill in Don Quixote. It is carefully gained, after many have had their say.
The second show, El Retablo de las Maravillas/ The Magical Puppet Show (translated by Mariana Carreño-King) is directed by Rebecca Martínez. It features Gilbert Cruz, Valeria Avina, Jacqueline Guillen, Benjamin Manno, Gabe Morales, Martina Portratz, Ashley Marie Ortiz, Robby Ramos, Analisa Velez and Hara Zi. This show has more to do with comedy than bluster. It is paced better, and carries more frivolity, integral to the intended energy. The last image – of the man taking a sword to battle the great shadows – is splendid.
Six more Entremeses will be performed at INTAR, located at 500 West 52nd Street, at Tenth Avenue, on the 4 Floor, until June 28. For additional information on upcoming shows, visit www.intartheatre.org.