BWW Review: THE WOMEN OF PADILLA at TRT is an Extraordinary and Affecting Play

BWW Review:  THE WOMEN OF PADILLA at TRT is an Extraordinary and Affecting Play

"Whatever we're given, we'll do what we can."

-The Women of Padilla

The Women of Padilla, an extraordinary show, is now being performed at Two River ater (TRT) through April 30th. Written Tony Meneses with direction by Ken Rus Schmoll, the show features an all-female cast that brings the play's characters to life on the Red Bank Stage. This must-see play is an affecting drama with the right touches of humor. It conveys a real sense of humanity.

The Women of Padilla is set in Mexico, sometime in the past. It provides an insightful view of the circumstances of eight women who married eight brothers, all of whom are actively fighting in an unspecified war. The women deal with anxiety, waiting and wondering about the fate of their spouses as they try their best to carry on with family life. While they work together to comfort and support each other, there are also some conflicts among them. Carrier pigeons are the messengers that deliver the news of soldiers' fatalities. There's always the question of which husband will be the next one to die as the war takes its heartbreaking toll.

The stellar cast masters their distinctive roles. They include Karina Arroyave as Bianca, the family outsider; Helen Cespedes as Lucha, the poet; Jacqueline Correa as Mari, the gentle leader; Daniella De Jesus as Fidela, the reserved one; Paloma Guzman as Alejandra, the expectant mother; Keren Lugo as Marta, the faithful soul; Elizabeth Ramos as Cristina, the youthful one; and Jeanine Serralles as Carmen, the one who drinks. These accomplished actors bring genuine feeling to their characters as they deliver the superbly crafted dialogue.

The talented creative team includes scenic design by Arnulfo Maldonado; costume design by Oana Botez; lighting design by Yuki Nakase; sound design by Jane Shaw; and puppet design by James Ortiz. The puppet director is Will Gallacher; the production stage manager is Alison Hassman; and casting is by Heidi Griffiths & Kate Murray.

The Women of Padilla is timely piece that conveys a poignant statement about the tragic effects that war has on the homefront. And with conflicts now occurring around the world, the situations and sentiments are universal ones. The leadership of Two River Theater that includes Artistic Director, John Dias and Managing Director, Michael Hurst; have, once again, presented the metro area audience with a theatrical gem.

The Women of Padilla runs for 90 minutes with no intermission in Two River's Rechnitz Theater. The show will be performed through Saturday, April 30th. Tickets range from $40 to $70 with discounts available for groups, seniors and U.S. Military personnel, their families and veterans. A limited number of $20 tickets are available for every performance; $20 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $20 and include the best available seats at every performance. Tickets are available by calling 732.354.1400 or by visiting www.tworiertheater.org.

Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson


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