Dirty War Wounds

A story about love in the time of the generals

Smithereens is a thought-provoking theatrical event, but it is a new play and one that could use more thought. Diament's narrative tends to give away key plot turns well before the main characters learn these surprises. As a result the play lacks much suspense or emotional payoff. If Diament rearranged some of his revelatory scenes, holding back information until the characters discover it, he'd have a play with more urgency and impact. He could also use some more humor, especially in the early going, if only to add some counterpoint to the ever-growing sense of doom.

Marcy Ruderhausen and David Kwiat try to make sense of a world in Smithereens
Marcy Ruderhausen and David Kwiat try to make sense of a world in Smithereens

Increasingly the New Theatre is becoming the area's leading presenter of prominent Latin playwrights. Besides Diament's own The Book of Ruthtwo seasons back, the New scored well with Nilo Cruz's Hortensia earlier this season, another world premiere. And next season Cruz will be back with yet another premiere commissioned by the company, Ybor City. Together with Teo Castellanos's NE 2nd Avenue at the Coconut Grove Playhouse and Mario Vargas Llosa's La Chunga at the Sol in Fort Lauderdale, Latin playwrights are currently receiving well-deserved exposure on the local theater scene. And coming up right behind these productions in late spring is Teatro Avante's ambitious Hispanic Theatre Festival, which has become a major Florida event with an international reputation. This trend is significant and the Cuban-born de Acha, with his personal and professional relationships in the Spanish-speaking theater world, is in a very strong position to exploit it. It may be hoped that in the future the New Theatre will produce more Latin playwrights with Latin casts, in Spanish as well as in English.

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