Cambalache Teatro at Siglo de Oro

As they did last year, the Cambalache Group from Murcia Spain showed how to do Siglo de Oro era plays last night here in Juarez. Performing La Vengadora de Las Mujeres by Lope De Vega,  this group manages to dissolve the distance between the 1600’s and today  by some theatrical magic which kept the 800 or so people in the theater absolutely attentive for the whole hour and a half. The costumes were gorgeous, the actors word perfect, reciting the rhymed words as though natural speech. The production was enhanced by the music played before, between scenes and at the end which consisted in large part of music by The Beatles, and The Band among others arranged in Renaissance style. There is sometimes a tendency for theater companies to feel compelled to set plays from the 1500’s and 1600’s in a more modern setting, or in a different time period in order to make it more relevant. While it might be tempting to try to take the essence of a Lope de  Vega play and put it in a contemporary setting, the Cambalache group shows why it is totally unnecessary. They combine acting, singing, dancing, beautiful garments to make the play as enjoyable to a contemporary audience as it was when it was written. -david sokolec

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