The Tennessee Williams Theatre Company has scored another huge success under their belt with their first production of their third season. Under the exceptional direction of Augustin Correro, Camino Real is brought to vivid life with its amazing cast, brilliant lighting design and unique set.
Camino Real is a 1953 play by Tennessee Williams which takes it title from it’s setting, a dead-end place in a Spanish-speaking town surrounded by desert with less than stellar transportation out. Sort of like the song “Hotel California” you can check out anytime you like but you can never leave.
The main character is Kilroy, played skillfully by Christopher Robinson, a young American visitor who trades off narrator duties with Gutman (Roger Magendie) who runs the Siete Mares hotel in Camino Real. The show has an extremely large cast of characters (21 to be exact) of characters including many famous people such Don Quixote, Marguerite “Camille” Gautier, Casanova, Lord Byron and Esmerelda.
Taking place in the main plaza of the city, the action waffles between the Siete Mares and a men only flophouse called The Ritz. The actors give it their all especially Carol Sutton as Gautier and Bob Mitchell who has a dual role as Baron De Charlus and Don Quixote. Although his scene was not that big, Matthew Rigdon is enthralling as Lord Byron.
I have to admit keeping up with the action in the play is daunting as the characters go through a series of confusing and impossible events giving a surreal feel to the entire production. Mary Pauley and Rachel Rodriguez have fun with their roles of the Gypsy and Esmerelda especially when they restore the Gypsy’s daughter (Esmeralda)’s virginity and then the loss of it again.
Many themes are intertwined in the storyline and seems almost uncanny to today’s headlines most notably when they tear down the wall. And their are subtle nuances such as the graffiti on the wall and the Make America Great Again cap. But the main focus that the play deals with is coming to terms with growing older and becoming irrelevant.
Dustin Gibson (Scenic Design) and Missy Martinez (Lighting Design) did an outstanding job in creating a moody atmosphere on stage.
If you have not seen the show yet, this is your last chance to check it out since it has been extended for an additional weekend. The show is at the Marigny Opera House located at 725 St. Ferdinand St in the Bywater (Use Dauphine Street entrance). Final performances are Thursday through Saturday, August 17 – 19 starting at 7:30 p.m. For more information or tickets, go to www.twtheatrenola.com.
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