Review: EL HURACÁN at Cygnet Theatre Explores Magic, Memories, and Matriarchs

EL HURACÁN at Cygnet Theatre explores the matriarchs, the memories, and the magic of one family in Miami through February 19th.

By: Feb. 08, 2023
Review: EL HURACÁN at Cygnet Theatre Explores Magic, Memories, and Matriarchs
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Usually, the vanishing act is everyone's favorite magic trick on stage, but for one family the magic is in the memories, and tragedy strikes when those start to disappear. EL HURACÁN at Cygnet Theatre explores the matriarchs, the memories, and the magic of one family in Miami through February 19th.

The play opens with a glamorous young couple coming on stage and performing some magic tricks, while an older lady named Valeria (Amalia Alarcón Morris) watches from the side. Soon it is clear that Valeria is remembering a time when she was part of the glamorous and magical couple, and though she wore the beautiful purple dress she was the magician and not the assistant, that's what the man is the tux is for.

Soon though Valeria is brought back to the present day, by her daughter Ximena (Catalina Maynard) who is bickering with Valeria's college-age granddaughter Miranda (Sandra Ruiz). Miranda is home from school to help pack up Valeria's home and move her to higher ground. Valeria is having a hard time recognizing her family members in front of her, but she perks up when the specters of her sister Alicia (Carla Navarro), and Valeria's husband Alonso (Manny Fernandes) drift in and out.

Hurricane Andrew is close to landfall, so they promptly move everything to Ximena's house for safety, and Miranda helps the cute handyman Fernando (Christopher Cruz) board up windows in preparation for the storm. When the storm finally falls, the family finds itself reeling from a vanishing that is no trick and a memory they can't forget.

Directed by Daniel Jáquez this play is an imaginative and magical look at what gets passed down in families whether they want it or not, memories, and mother-daughter relationships. Playing multiple ages, each woman has the opportunity to explore the depths of their interpersonal relationships and the consequences of their choices.

The set by Yi-Chien Lee is a lovely blue, with movement to evoke water and waves, and a raised center that is the eye of the light structure hurricane above. The sound design by Eliza Vedar brings the storm to life just outside their door. Costumes by Daniella Toscano, Wigs and Makeup Design by Peter Herman, with props by Teresa Jove all come together to build the characters and the atmosphere while allowing people and memories to drift in and away again.

Since live theatre is essentially one big magic trick, asking the audience to believe they are seeing something that is not there, the play leans into that with a mid-show costume change, with the stage crew in the background clearing and moving things. Yet, even as we see them do this, the audience continues to believe, which is true theatre magic.

EL HURACÁN is a moving look at the way generations interact with each other, what they are willing to pass down, what they try to protect them from, and how easy it is for one generation to mirror the past mistakes of the other, without even knowing it.

How To Get Tickets

EL HURACÁN is playing at the Cygnet Theatre through February 19th. For ticket and show time information go to www.cygnethteatre.com

Photo Credit: Christopher Cruz, left, Manny Fernandez, Amalia Alarcón Morris, Sandra Ruiz and Catalina Maynard in EL HURACÁN -Courtesy of Karli Cadel




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