'Lovers' at Abanico is a treat
BY MARTA BARBER
With a first-rate
translation into Spanish that barely hints at
this being an acclaimed Neil Simon comedy, a
cast whose performances are almost flawless
and a direction as smooth as silk, El último
de los amantes opened at Coral Gables' Teatro
Abanico. Don't get me wrong. The Last of the
Red Hot Lovers is not Simon's best nor it is
great theater, but as presented by Abanico,
it provides for a fun-filled, entertaining production.
The credit for the successful
staging belongs to the director and two fine
actors. Carbonell winner Griselda Noguera directs
the fast-moving physical comedy with perfect
timing, drawing just the right tone between
slapstick and straight comedy from the two actors.
And running the three-part comedy without intermission
is definitely a plus.
Marisol Calero y Memo Sauceda
Memo Sauceda plays Bernardo, a married
restaurant owner hitting a 20-year itch in his marriage.
Upon reaching 40, he starts to feel his mortality
and a sense of comfort that he wants to challenge.
A fling is in order, and on three different days decides
to invite a woman to his mother's apartment. Sauceda
gives Bernardo the right doses of naiveté and
plays the perfect straight man to Marisol Calero.
Calero is outstanding in her three
roles as Elena, Lulú and Julia. She goes from
the sexy and sexually open Elena, to the childish
and lesbian Lulú to the dramatic Julia marking
each character with its own peculiar traits. Her transformations
are impressive, and not a drop of one character goes
into the other one.
The comedy has its lulls, especially
during the second vignette. But watching these two
pros at work is a treat, and the laughter brought
by the script will last after you've left the theater.
The Miami Herald