Electricidad

Center Theatre Group/Music Center and the Mark Taper Forum

Along with Gordon Davidson, Founding Artistic Director; Michael Ritchie, Artistic Director and Charles Dillingham, Managing Director

Present the West Coast Premiere of
"Electricidad"
by Luis Alfaro
Based on Sophocles' "Electra"
Directed by Lisa Peterson      

                        

Zilah Mendoza as Electricidad


Playwright Luis Alfaro has taken one of the oldest stories from the theatre and contemporized it in this new production now running at the Mark Taper Forum.

Set in a barrio on an urban Eastside, Sophocles' 2,500 year-old tale is transformed into a vibrant, vital and thoroughly unforgettable myth for the modern age. "Electricidad" is a contemporary look at the power and consequences of revenge, and the damage it causes to a family and a community. The story is dominated by a daughter, who is mourning the loss of her murdered father, the former leader of the South Side Locos. Driven by all-consuming passions of love and loyalty, hate and vengeance, Electricidad and her exiled brother, Orestes, begin to believe that their father's death must be avenged; the murderer must be punished, not by the courts but rather by the swift retaliation of barrio justice.

         

Justin Huen as Orestes

The mark of a great classic work is that its essentials are as true to the time period someone is newly experiencing them in, as they were to the time period in which they were conceived. And so it is with Sophocles' Electra. Playwright Alfaro has inter-woven the original Greek tale with bits and pieces of a current sub culture threaded these through the original story line and come up with solid piece of theatre.

              

Alma Martinez as Abuela and Winston J. Rocha as Nino

The production quality of this piece is beautiful. The minute you step into the theatre you can feel a shift happening on the outside periphery of your perceptions. Something is definitely in the air. That something was a good strong and well directed cast. I could find no fault with anyone's performance. OK with the exception of the fight scenes. As an audience we are so accustomed to violence in our viewing of TV and the Movies that when we see it occur onstage we have unrealistic expectations of how it should appear. With that said - I feel the fight scenes fell short of the quality of the acting happening on stage. They even seemed unrealistic. They looking blocked and it felt as if the actors were marking, being overly cautious and not going full out during these moments. They brought me out of the play and made me aware I was sitting in a theatre and watching a "performance". While I'm at it I need to talk about one other thing, which was annoyingly distracting during this production. The "Spanglish" you really need to be bilingual and/or have a dictionary during a lot of this production. (In the program they actually supply you with a small section on translations, but good luck memorizing it before the show starts!) I feel Alfaro went overboard and added too much of this cultural element.  But these were minor annoyances and the actors were able to pull me back into the story they were telling.

              

Bertila Damas as Clemencia and Elisa Bocanegra as Ifigenia

What I loved about this production is the brilliant example of how we as human beings, regardless of the amazing strides our civilizations, medicine, and technology have taken over the last 2,500 years, are essentially the same. We still have the same passions and are capable of causing violence and damage to one another. We still want power and believe in vengance. And we still love and mourn the loss of love.

Playing the chorus - the voice of the city were Denise Blasor as La Carmen, Catalina Maynard as La Connie and Wilma Bonet as La Cuca.  Winston J. Rocha as Nino, Justin Huen as Orestes - the brother, Bertila Damas as Clemencia -the mother, Elisa Bocanegra as Ifigenia - the other daughter, Alma Martinez as Abuela - the grandmother and Zilah Mendoza as Electricidad.

              

Denise Blasor, Catalina Maynard and Wilma Bonet as chorus


Directed by Lisa Peterson, Set Design by Rachel Hauck, Costume Design by Christopher Acebo, Lighting Design by Geoff Korf, Music and Sound Design by Paul James Prendergast, Fight Director Steve Rankin, Dramaturg John Glore, Casting by Amy Lieberman, CSA, Production Stage Manager James T. McDermott, Stage Managers Susie Walsh, David S. Franklin.


Photos by Craig Schwartz Photography

Performance Days and Times through May 15, 2005
Tues. - Sat. at 8 p.m.; Sun. at 7:30 p.m.; Sat. and Sun. matinees at 2:30 p.m. No performances on Mondays. Exceptions: Added matinee on Wed., May 11 at 2:30 p.m.; No 8 p.m. performances Tues., Apr. 19 through Fri., Apr. 22 (student matinees only) and no 7:30 p.m. performance on Sun., May 15.
Ticket Prices: $34 - $52

Public Rush: $12 discount tickets purchased two hours prior to curtain at the Center Theatre Group box office - limit of two tickets per person. Cash only. Not available Saturday evenings, Sunday matinees or final week. Seniors: Half-price with Medicare card on day of performance only.

Purchase at box office. One ticket per ID. Cash only. Not available Saturday evenings.
Tickets available through the Center Theatre Group box office at the Music Center or by calling CTG Audience Services at (213) 628-2772. Tickets are also available on-line at www.MarkTaperForum.org.

For group sales, (213) 972-7231. Deaf community: Information and charge, TDD (213) 680-4017.

Mark Taper Forum is located at 135 N. Grand Ave. in Los Angeles at the Music Center.

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