Review: CLOUD TECTONICS from Sound Theatre Company And Earthseed

A sweet and magical little love story.

By: Sep. 25, 2022
Review: CLOUD TECTONICS from Sound Theatre Company And Earthseed
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Review: CLOUD TECTONICS from Sound Theatre Company And Earthseed
Myles Romo and Jay Woods in Cloud Tectonics
from Sound Theatre Company and Earthseed.
Photo credit: Nikeesha Gooding

Dear Readers, I am a sucker for both a sweet love story and even more so when we mix in a little magical realism. Movies like "Amelie" or plays like "O Lovely Glowworm, or Scenes of Great Beauty" are some of my favorites. So, something like Jose Rivera's "Cloud Tectonics", currently playing at 12th Avenue Arts from Sound Theatre Company and Earthseed, should be right up my alley. And while I find it a sweet little love story, I have to emphasize the "little". There's not a whole lot to it. But then, that works well since it's only an intermissionless 90 minutes.

The play starts off simply and grounded in reality enough. Celestina (Jay Woods) is waiting at a bus stop in the pouring rain. Pregnant and alone she looks confused and at her wits end. Enter Anibal (Myles Romo), a sweet airline baggage handler with a need to help others who offers to drive her wherever she needs to go. But she really has no place to go, so he offers to put her up for the night. Once at his house she divulges that she's looking for the man who knocked her up. And she's been looking for him for two years. Yup, she's been pregnant for two years. And if that's not odd enough, she's 54 but looks in her mid-twenties. We quickly learn that time does not work as usual around Celestina. Enter Anibal's brother Nelson (Jacob Alcazar), a soldier on his way to be deployed who has dropped in on his estranged brother before he ships out. Celestina's beauty and magic affects them both and begins a bizarre love triangle that traverses decades, or 90 minutes depending on how you look at it.

From the moment you enter the theater you'll be struck by the ethereal beauty of the set by Parmida Ziaei. At the same time practical and transcendent, it's quite lovely. Add into that the stunning lights from Adem Hayyu and costumes from Taya Pyne, and you'll see the fantastic world they've brought you into. But this production is not just about looks, as director Jéhan Òsanyìn has paced it beautifully. Even as the time within the play slows, the moments for the audience never drag. Plus, they've infused the relationships with a realism that makes even the most outrageous seem understandable.

But it's this fine trio of actors that truly bring it home. Alcazar has the smaller of the three roles but makes the most of it as he inhabits this searching young man affected by this magical woman. But the main story is between Woods and Romo and they are wonderful together. Romo couldn't be sweeter and more likable even as he's swept up in this romance that goes against his own circumstance and his final moments of the play are stunners. And Woods from the moment she enters stage owns every inch of it, bringing this otherworldly being to vibrant life.

I can't say this one blew me away (as another one this week did) but it was a lovely little story and told quite well. And so, with my three-letter rating system, I give Sound Theatre Company and Earthseed's production of "Cloud Tectonics" a sweet sigh of a YAY-. I think we can all use a bit of a magical love story in our lives.

"Cloud Tectonics" from Sound Theatre Company and Earthseed performs at 12th Avenue Arts through October 15th. For tickets or information, visit them online at www.soundtheatrecompany.org.




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