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Review: ROOSTERS at The Classic Theatre

Review: ROOSTERS at The Classic Theatre

This production runs now through September 25th

Review: ROOSTERS at The Classic Theatre

The Classic Theatre's production of Roosters by Milcha Sanchez-Scott is an enchanting look at the unpleasant realities of growing older and dysfunctional families. Under the direction of José Rubén De León, this stellar cast told a heart-wrenching story that tackles generational trauma, gender roles, coming of age, and faith. While it may appear on the surface to be a story about an individual character the real main character is the family itself.

The play opens with Gallo the patriarch, played by Salvador Valadez, explaining how he ended up in prison. Valadez's portrayal of Gallo is everything you want to hate in a patriarchal, machismo, domineering father. He was equal parts charming and slimy which only makes the tragedy of the story that much more powerful. Gallo brags about his prize rooster Zapata and how Zapata came to be in this world. Unfortunately, his actions led to murder and his imprisonment.

The story resets on the day of his release. His wife, Juana, played by Lisa Suarez, is preparing the family for his arrival and doing her best to stay optimistic despite the obvious tension her children feel about their father's return. Suarez's performance was honest, deep, and lively. As Juana progresses through her emotions and faces the rising tension between her son and her husband Suarez brilliantly navigates the range of emotions associated with a mother always being put last.

The children, Hector, played by Ivan Ortega, and Angela, played by Lucero Perez struggle to come to terms with their father appearing after so many years of absence. Ortega's Hector was powerful. The complexity of this role was a challenge as Hector struggles with becoming an adult and needing to move on with life while also wanting to protect his family. He struggles with an absent father who wants to take his inheritance. Ortega rose to the occasion and nailed it. He took the audience on a deeply moving journey.

Perez was a star as Angela. She brought innocence and joy, as well as, the very real anxiety that a teen feels as they come of age. Perez also balanced youthfulness with wisdom with ease and brought many laughs and some tears to the audience.

A family play would be lacking realism if it didn't have "that" aunt. Marisa Varela was phenomenal as the sexy, quirky aunt Chata. Her physical acting was top-notch and her comedic timing made her side commentary zing. She was a true delight to watch. Joining her in bring the comedy is devoted friend, Adan, played by Matthew Dominguez. Dominguez played the loyal friend, and secret admirer to Juana, with ease bringing many laughs to the audience.

The cast is rounded out by Luis Garcia, Jr and Viviana Daguero who play both Shadows and Roosters. Their physical movement, especially as they characterized the Roosters was enchanting. I couldn't take my eyes off of them.

A huge shout out needs to be given to the thoughtful costuming done by Rachael Lorenzetti. When Luis Garcia, Jr came out as Zapata the Rooster the first time I was taken about how the costume was created from cardboard, corn husks, and peppers. As Garcia, Jr moved in the costume the corn husk provided additional atmospheric sound giving the audience the sense of feathers bristling.

Roosters is a wonderful production that will not only entertain you but give you something to think about. It should be noted that there is adult language and violence so it may not be suited for younger audience members.

Roosters kicks off an exciting season for The Classic Theatre which includes: A Christmas Carol, Fences, Bound by Truth, Measure for Measure, and Peter and the Starcatcher. You are not going to want to miss these great performances.

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From This Author - Bryan Stanton

Bryan Stanton is a theatre educator in San Antonio,TX. Prior to jumping into the classroom he worked as an Event and Show Producer for both SeaWorld San Antonio and SeaWorld San Diego. While in San... (read more about this author)

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