Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Review: PORTALEZA at La Jolla Playhouse is a gorgeous avant-garde online experience

A "psychedelic experience promising to unlock mysteries beyond your imagination"

Review: PORTALEZA at La Jolla Playhouse is a gorgeous avant-garde online experience PORTALEZA promises a connection into the beyond in the newest Digital Without Walls offering by the La Jolla Playhouse. Created by David Israel Reynoso of Optika Moderna (other WOW Festival productions included LAS QUINCEAÑERAS, WAKING LA LLORONA), this gorgeous, if dizzying, kaleidoscope-inspired virtual performance starts with the mail and ends with a message from beyond.

As summer wanes and fall approaches, this show features coded messages, secret sealed envelopes, and passwords in Latin - it is the perfect fit for those looking for something to ease the transition into "spooky season." Once you make your appointment with Optika Moderna's opticians the anticipation builds as you wait for an envelope from them. This appointment is to "pierce the veil" and help you see and receive a message from beyond.

The package includes some props to help guide the process, and enhance what you see and the message you receive. A letter with strict instructions, a paper mat with mysterious sigils and decorations that you write your name on and the name of who you hope to contact, and a "Hypnocular Device" which helps you focus on the magical, mystical, moving images are all you need to begin the journey.

Review: PORTALEZA at La Jolla Playhouse is a gorgeous avant-garde online experience

The images start with what looks like a dot-matrix computer explaining how the process was discovered and inviting you in to experience it yourself; a little like combining Tron and an Ouji board. From there it challenges you to expand your expectations of an "online theatre experience."

Review: PORTALEZA at La Jolla Playhouse is a gorgeous avant-garde online experience

The "Hypnocular Device" allows for your narrow phone screen to expand into your entire field of vision, while images, people, and movement dance before you and music washes over you. The contents of the mailed package also contain a mysterious envelope with strict orders not to open it until you are told to do so. With a variety of card options that could be sent and dependent upon each individual's input, there are many different ways this show can be experienced.

It's a gorgeous and avant-garde psychedelic experience promising to unlock mysteries beyond your imagination. Though if you're looking for a coherent or straightforward storyline this may leave you feeling more disoriented than connected to the universe.


PORTALEZA runs through October 4th, for information on the show and to book your own appointment with these mysterious opticians go to www.lajollaplayhouse.org

Photo Credits: DAVID REYNOSO/LA JOLLA PLAYHOUSE


BroadwayWorld Logo Vote Now for the 2022 BroadwayWorld San Diego Awards
Vote Nowvoting ends in




From This Author - E.H. Reiter


Review: PLAID TIDINGS Bring Sweet Holiday Harmonies to San Diego Musical TheatreReview: PLAID TIDINGS Bring Sweet Holiday Harmonies to San Diego Musical Theatre
December 4, 2022

If you’re looking for a holiday season show that is as cuddly as a warm cup of cocoa on a chilly night, then you can’t get more festive than PLAID TIDINGS from San Diego Musical Theatre playing through December 24th on the SDMT stage.

Review: THE OCTOBER NIGHT OF JOHNNY ZERO at Backyard RenaissanceReview: THE OCTOBER NIGHT OF JOHNNY ZERO at Backyard Renaissance
December 4, 2022

THE OCTOBER NIGHT OF JOHNNY ZERO at Backyard Renaissance is a play that has a lot of mystery and secrets woven into the plot - which makes it difficult to write about without spoiling.  What can be said is that it brings some excellent performances to the stage as the dramatic tensions raises, but may leave you with more questions than are answered when you leave. THE OCTOBER NIGHT OF JOHNNY ZERO is playing through December 10th at 10th Avenue Theatre.

Review: TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Brings a Reimaged Classic to the San Diego Civic TheatreReview: TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Brings a Reimaged Classic to the San Diego Civic Theatre
December 2, 2022

TO KILL  A MOCKINGBIRD from Aaron Sorkin and directed by Bartlett Sher offers a reimagined framing of the classic novel and movie.  The excellent cast, including Richard Thomas as Atticus, brings a moving confident, and powerful story to the stage about a time gone by with issues that feel as relevant as ever.  TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is from Broadway San Diego and is playing at the San Diego Civic Theatre through December 4th.

Review: Much to love in AS YOU LIKE IT at La Jolla PlayhouseReview: Much to love in AS YOU LIKE IT at La Jolla Playhouse
November 22, 2022

The talented cast of  AS YOU LIKE  IT, now playing at La Jolla Playhouse through December 11th proves how false it is when other places say that casting in a representative way is too difficult to do. With lively performances and songs, along with gorgeous costumes, and scenery, there is much to love in this romantic comedy.

Review: THE CHILDREN at MOXIE Theatre ponders what price you are willing to pay today for the future of tomorrowReview: THE CHILDREN at MOXIE Theatre ponders what price you are willing to pay today for the future of tomorrow
November 20, 2022

THE CHILDREN, a play by Lucy Kirkwood now playing at MOXIE Theatre through December 4th is a funny, and thought-provoking play brought to life through strong direction and excellent performances.  Set in a world after a disastrous event, it asks how much are we willing to mortgage the future to avoid paying the price of our actions today.