Last night was intense. A bit too intense. Artspoken, an indie, black box theater company, put on a "red carpet" event at its new space in Little Havana. Part of the celebration was to pay homage to the lady of the evening - Alba Raquel Barros.
Barros, a very well-known Puerto Rican actress of the stage and screen, performed as Rosita last night in the play of the same name.
The playwright, Ulises Cala, composed what basically amounts to a self-indulgent waste of time. The play was heavy on metaphor and melodrama and the dialogue sounded so inauthentic that the audience awkwardly laughed when they weren't supposed to.
We're not sure if it was due to the mediocre script or Barros laying it on thick, but her portrayal of the titular character was an abomination.
Even worse was the music interspersed throughout the monologue. It was completely discordant in relation to the play. Not only did the trance-like club music interrupt the flow of the narrative, it made it seem as if we were watching Rabid Rosita on Sunnybrook Farm.
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The music cues had to do with the direction of the play, which was handled by Artspoken's director, Yoshvani Medina. After having watched a few pieces directed by him, I have come to deeply respect his work, but last night was a glaring exception. He seemed to make all the wrong decisions when it came to Rosita.
From the disconcerting music to Rosita rambling around the stage, rearranging the props into precarious platforms for her character, Medina's choices just did not work. We know that the center is capable of much more than the fiasco witnessed last night, and hope to see better work in the future.
The Artspoken Performing Arts Center is located at 1167 SW 6 St., Miami. For more information call 305-528-3514 or 305-302-1244.