Catfight Caterwauls

Two years before Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare were born, the city of Madrid spawned Lope de Vega, one of the most prolific dramatists in theater history. Vega is credited with having penned 1,800 plays and 3,000 sonnets in his spare time, just to keep busy. Sure, they weren’t all gems, but 100 of his plays are considered dramatic masterpieces. This Wednesday at 8:30 p.m., Vega’s Gatomaquia comes to life at the Adrienne Arsht Center’s Carnival Studio Theater as part of the International Hispanic Theatre Festival.

Performed by La Cuarta, a Uruguayan artists’ collective, Gatomaquia is a tale about cats engaged in an epic battle of love and war. Yes, cats. Before you start thinking you might have seen this before, keep in mind that Vega’s cats are thought to have been the inspiration for T. S. Eliot’s poetry collection Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, which in turn inspired Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats. Vega’s work preceded the latter by a mere four centuries.
Fri., July 23, 2010

 
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