A household name in the Spanish-speaking cultural world, Mario Vargas Llosa is a novelist, journalist, and playwright who has won a Nobel Prize in Literature, run for the presidency of Peru under the Democratic Front ticket, and seen his works translated into 30 languages in a career spanning some 50 years. He’s less known in Anglo-centric North America, where we don’t even get much translated Chekhov on our stages, let alone Spanish-language dramas with projected supertitles. Luckily, Teatro Avante, producer of the annual International Hispanic Theatre Festival of Miami, remains dedicated to preserving and presenting the work of Spanish-language masters.
For four shows only, the company is producing Llosa’s Al Pie del Tamesis (On the Banks of the Thames) — a 2008 play, set in London, about a Peruvian businessman whose chance meeting with a female childhood friend leads them down memory lane. Secrets emerge as the play’s comedic tone wends toward tragic results, and issues related to LGBT relationships in Latin America are addressed. Performances are at 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium (2901 W. Flagler St., Miami). The Thursday performance includes a reception and a Q&A with the director and cast; proceeds for this opening-night show will benefit SAVE Dade, a nonprofit supporting local LGBT rights.
Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 8:30 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 2, 5 p.m., 2014