New Theatre premiered Ricky J Martinez's Road Through Heaven on May 17, 2013
Part of the Cuban Culture Week in NYC presented by The Cuban Artists Fund; also received readings at Teatro Paraguas, Repertorio Español, and Shotgun Productions. This poetic work questions unconditional love, the nature of self-development, and the willing of dreams into reality.
Margaret Ledford directed a cast that featured Evelyn Perez, Javier Cabrera, Ricky J. Martinez, Julissa Calderon, with Enzo Roque and David A. Gonzalez alternating in the role of the child.
Christine Dolen reviewed for The Miami Herald:
The script is the second in a trilogy by Martinez, the company’s artistic director. Though it has virtues and flaws (as so many new plays do), it’s a stronger piece than 2007’s Sin Full Heaven.
Since Martinez is appearing in the play as Victor, he has turned over directing duties to Margaret M. Ledford, who stages Road Through Heaven with lyricism, humor and grace.
Designer Amanda Sparhawk creates a tidily kept, modest island home for the rich-in-love family, underscoring their relationship with a wooden triangle set into the floor.
As a playwright, Martinez blends island superstition and ritual with the bedrock human longing to connect, be loved and build a family. Magical realism figures into the play, and the two characters outside the triangle are different but delightful life forces: María (Julissa Calderon), a strong and spirited neighbor who dreams of becoming an actress, and an energetic but silent little boy (Enzo Roque and David A. Gonzalez alternate in the role). The child, unseen by everyone except Dolores, is the spirit of her unborn child and a harbinger of danger
Perhaps, with some work on the trio at the play’s core, Road Through Heaven could move from the realm of fantasy and deepen into something richer, more complex and more moving.
Road Through Heaven plays at New Theatre through June 2, 2013.