The International Hispanic Theatre Festival consistently thumbs its figurative nose at all the Debbie Downers who say that Miami has no culture. Starting today and playing throughout the weekend, El Malentendido , based on the Albert Camus play, The Misunderstanding, will make you ponder self, desperation, the repercussions of war, and how we sometimes lose our souls in pursuit of cash money.
Director Mario Ernesto Sanchez adapted Camus's work, effectively condensing the intensity of the story into a one act play about a prodigal son who returns home to Europe after 22 years of living abroad to find that his mother and sister have been renting out rooms in the family home. The kicker? Moms and sis are killing their boarders in order to keep their money.
How does a director tackle such heavy material? Explains Sanchez, "Nobel
Prize winner, Albert Camus, with a strong interest in philosophy, is
not an easy playwright to tackle. As a director, in this case, I have
applied a very simple but effective lesson: 'less is more.'"
Camus's body of work is nothing if not philosophical, and this is no
different. Sanchez's take on it gives you the opportunity to dig a
little deeper into your social consciousness than you might during an
otherwise ordinary weekend. "We try to select plays that
are very relevant to our Latino/Miami audiences, to get them involved
in the story, its conflict and/or message, and to identify with the
characters," he explains. "Hopefully, when they leave the theatre the discussion will
continue instead of deciding where are they going to eat."
El Malentendido plays Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8:30 p.m. and
Sunday at 5 p.m. at the Carnival Studio Theater at the Adrienne Arsht
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Center (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). The play will be performed in
Spanish with English superscripts and tickets cost $24 - $29. Call
305-949-6722 or visit arshtcenter.org.