Sunday, December 6, 2009

New Theatre: 26 Miles (2 reviews)

New Theatre opened its regional premier production of Quiara Alegría Hudes' 26 Miles on November 20, 2009.
In this coming of age tale, a Cuban mother loses custody of her Jewish daughter and after eight years she is given a second chance. At 4:30 in the morning she kidnaps the sick teenage girl and the two drive west in search of a remedy and their divergent American dreams.
Ricky J. Martinez directed a cast that included Jackie Rivera, Evelyn Perez, Derek Warriner, and Christopher Vicchiollo.

The Sun-Sentinel has declined to review this production.*

Michael Martin reviewed for Edge Miami:
Rivera and Perez expertly dissect their characters to reveal a wide range of emotions that surface during the troubled journey. The acting from both is natural, unforced, and inviting.
Warriner aptly portrays the selfish Aaron, but Vicchiollo neither looks nor sounds Latin when compared to the authenticity of Perez at his side.
Hudes’ script does wonder from time to time, and director Ricky Martinez could have contained the story a bit by eliminating some of the author’s excess.
Christine Dolen reviewed for the Miami Herald:
Hudes' rambling script, though infused with evocatively poetic language, takes too many maddening detours and seems to end several times before the actors actually do take their bows.
Though the flamboyant Perez and intense Rivera are able to pull us into the world of 26 Miles, digressions are forever pushing us away.
The challenges of this particular play seem to have overwhelmed director Ricky J. Martinez and the company.
The thing to take away from this review is "Hey! Evelyn Perez is back in town!" We'll probably make the trek to see this underrated performer. Your mileage may vary.

26 Miles plays at New Theatre through December 20, 2009.

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