Chicago’s beloved Aguijón Theater celebrates its 25th anniversary seaspm with a daring production of Orquídeas a la luz de la luna (Orchids in the Moonlight) by Mexican author Carlos Fuentes (now thru March 29, 2015), winner of the Cervantes Prize among many others honors.
Orquídeas a la luz de la luna is an irreverent play that takes two of Mexico’s most beloved female icons — Dolores del Río and María Félix — and turns them into either frustrated chicanas who think they are the movie stars, or the movie stars themselves, old and forgotten, in an apartment in Venice, California. Reality and madness are one in this humorous yet touching exploration of identity and survival.
Director Sándor Menéndez reimagines the central characters as struggling female impersonators: “In his production notes, (playwright) Fuentes provides a detailed list of casting possibilities and finally arrives at ‘…in the absence of all the above-mentioned possibilities, the protagonists can be two men’ and I thought this was a perfect fit for this play which has such a dream-like quality. It lives in its own reality while exploring this idea of fantasy as a tool for survival, the theatrical aspect of everyday life. I was intrigued by two men, immigrants, imagining themselves as these gilded Mexican divas, while living a very marginalized existence in California, a place that almost looks like home but isn’t.”
Orquídeas a la luz de la luna features ensemble members Oliver Aldape as María, Elio Leturia as Dolores and Marcopolo Soto as The Fan. The performance is presented in Spanish with English supertitles.
The show runs through March 29 at Aguijón Theater in Chicago’s Belmont Cragin neighborhood, located at 2707 North Laramie. Shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM and Sundays at 6 PM. Tickets are $25 general admission (or 2 for $40), $15 for students and seniors, and $10 for neighbors with proof of residency in zip code 60639. Group discounts are also available. To purchase tickets, please visit http://orquideas.brownpapertickets.com.
About the 2014-2015 Season:
This season, Aguijón Theater proudly celebrates twenty-five years of uninterrupted work and pays tribute to three greats of the Spanish letters with remounts of hits from the company’s repertoire over the past three decades. Mario Vargas Llosa’s La Chunga kicked off the season, which also features Orchids in the Moonlight by Carlos Fuentes (February 20 – March 29, 2015) and The House of Bernarda Alba by Federico Garcia Lorca (April 16 – May 24, 2015). Remounting these productions with new casts and new visions pays homage to Aguijón’s history while reimagining possibilities for future work.
Founded in August of 1989 by Colombian actress and director Rosario Vargas, Aguijón was one of the first Spanish-language theater companies established in Chicago and is now the longest-running. Aguijón has served as a training ground for many of the city’s top Latino and Spanish-speaking performers, who regularly perform in Equity theaters as well as in film and on television.
From artistic direction to board leadership, women have been at the helm of Aguijón since the company’s founding – and women’s experiences are at the forefront of the 2014-2015 season’s productions. La Chunga and The House of Bernarda Alba both explore the question of how women live and thrive in machista societies. How are they viewed, and how do they view themselves? What is expected of them, and how do they subvert these expectations? Orchids in the Moonlight, in which the central characters are struggling female impersonators, explores the question of how femaleness impacts one’s social standing, with the protagonists escaping society’s perceptions through the world of drag and using fantasy as a tool for survival.
For more about Orquídeas, visit: http://aguijontheater.org/orquideas-a-la-luz-de-la-luna/
For more about Aguijón Theater, please visit: http://aguijontheater.org