Cuban writer Virgilio Piñera suffered a misfortune common among innovators: He was appreciated only after his time. Growing up on Proust and Melville, Piñera blazed trails in a philistine milieu, his confrontational and absurdist works reviled by both Cuban revolutionaries and establishmentarians. An openly gay satirist who spoke truth to power, Piñera would have been 100 this year (he died in 1979), and the University of Miami's theater department is among the cultural institutions honoring his legacy. Since mid-August, the university's Ring Theatre has been presenting a festival of Piñera's absurdist classics, a celebration that closes this weekend with a pair of one-act plays combined under the title Carrying Water in a Sieve. The two plays are You Can't Always Forget Something, a story about a quartet of women whose attempt to control their society results in chaos; and False Alarm, a comedy about a man wrongly charged with murder, an insane widow, and an irrational judge. The productions are performed in English with Spanish subtitles. Pretty audacious stuff for a college theater.
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