Washington, DC – Good playwrights can explore the need for social change. Some explore with humor as an edge. Emilio Carballido has done that in Yo Tambien Hablo de la Rosa. The playwright has pulled out his magnifying glass and examined a slice of Mexico that has eerie resonance with the overly polarized civic dialogue in the USA today. There are moments, in the light of day, when the glass turns just enough to burst the page into flame.
Hugo Medrano’s direction illuminates three scenes this way. They shine and twinkle with the absurdly funny interpretations. Each given by various opinion makers, schooled in particular trains of thought. Schools of thought constrained like straight-jackets. Freud takes on Marx to understand the context of the train wreck tragedy and children’s lives shattered. A superciliously silly reach, their interpretations confined like the social media sound chambers of extreme right wingers and hard left wingers today.
At the works conclusion, we are left with a mystical terrain of interpretation. A cerebral moment of reflection from which we must find our own way out, with powers in place that can offer opinions, but articulate no common ground for the common good, for the shared center. The ground is prepared, but nothing comes of it.
It’s a smart play. It provokes worthwhile thought. As Hugo Medrano observed when he decided to stage it “I found that it still retained its potency with its smart humor, human empathy, and play of ideas.”
Sustaining the play throughout with an abundance of comic moments are Sharon Desiree, Steve Soto and Edwin Bernal as the youthful band of friends Tona, Polo and Maximino Gonzalez. GALA has a dozen actors engaged on stage for this production. My other favored recollections are Peter Pereyra as some kind of glossy game show host; Marta Carton exasperations as the truants’ teacher; Oscar Ceville’s Freudian fantasies; and Manolo Santalla’s Marxist monologue. On a serious note, the tragedy comes home with the multi-faceted Marta Carton as a bereft, hopelessly hopeful mother. The scene is haunting, as is Julieta Egurrola as the Medium.
For GALA Theatre performance times and ticket information call 202 234 7174 or visit www.galatheatre.org .