BWW Review: GENTE OCIOSA at Colony Theatre
"One hundred years from now, the people who come after us, for whom our lives are showing the way--will they think of us kindly? Will they remember us with a kind word? I wish to God I could think so." Anton Chekhov, Uncle Vanya
Time and time again, moments of great wisdom spill out of the actor's mouths. It truly doesn't matter what language the story is told. It resonates in Russian, English and this time in Spanish. The existential crisis each character is grappling with begins to permeate your thoughts. It seeps into your skin as you sit amongst the characters first as mere observers. However, it is just a matter of time before the actors invite you to their world.
The Colony Theatre once again showcases exceptional work with "Gente Ociosa" based on the classic text "Uncle Vanya" by renown Russian writer and playwright Antón Chekhov. "Gente Ociosa" is adapted by Venezuelan playwright Karin Valecillos, directed by Michel Hausmann.
"Uncle Vanya" was first performed in 1899 as one of Anton Chekhov's last major works to premiere at the Moscow Art Theatre under the direction of the brilliant Constantin Stanislavski. Over a hundred years later, the story still has value in 2019. In an age that has coined the term FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out, the theme resonates in "Uncle Vanya" as the characters are preoccupied with the wasted life. "Gente Ociosa" forces each character to question their existence. Is there anything better for me? Did I miss my chance at finding it? Is this all that's left of my life?
Director Michel Hausmann does a beautiful job of capturing the mood of the piece. The melancholy that cradles each character at the beginning of the play is abruptly shaken as inner turmoil bubbles over the top and spills over each of the character's gaping wounds.
The actors with their skillfully nuanced performances pull you into their world. Luigi Sciamanna, Javier Vidal, Tania Sarabia, Elba Escobar, Basilio Álvarez, Eloísa Maturén, Vicente Peña, and María Corina Ramírez are genuinely an ensemble each one feeding off the other.
While grappling with the depth of the classic text, there were still moments of levity. Genuine laughter erupts throughout the audience as Juan played by Luigi Sciamanna enters the room drunk and joyful. The next moment total silence as he fights with the demons in his own life.
As the curtain falls on this production, don't miss the chance to see the world-class "Gente Ociosa" on its closing weekend.
"Gente Ociosa" is playing until September 1.
Tickets on sale at www.colony.org or by phone (305) 674-1040.