By M. Balmaceda, H. Diaz, B. Hoffmann in collaboration with G. Garcia, A. Moreno
Directed by Martin Balmaceda
Produced by RHAtheater
Part of the 2015 New York International Fringe Festival
Off Off Broadway, Play
Runs through 8.29.15
VENUE #2: Flamboyan Theater at the Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street
by Emily Breeze on 8.27.15
Hadyn Diaz, Gabriel Garcia and Alex J. Moreno. Photo by RHA Theatre
BOTTOM LINE: This metaphysical spectacle combines music, film, theatre, and poetry to explore humanity’s reaction to the divine.
RHA Theatre’s Curing the Void is an epic dystopian poem. The devised play centers on Pretty (Alex J. Moreno) and Daisy (Haydn Diaz), who discover a fallen angel while combing through a junkyard. Although at first distrustful, the pair decide to keep the angel as a pet. Sexual curiosities are explored in the angel’s captivity, which we see through one of many projected videos. After Angel (Gabriel Garcia) becomes sick, Pretty and Daisy fight desperately to hold their makeshift family together.
The poeticisms of the play verge on unintelligible at some points. The constructs holding the characters and story together can’t quite support all of the linguistic leaps in the dialogue. I struggled to understand the basic 'who, what, where, and why' of several of the scenes, and was left waiting for the next scene in order to catch up. For the most part, the actors run through the poetry of the dialogue without much time to orient the audience. However, many of the visual choices by director Martin Balmaceda are striking and beautiful enough to overcome the confusion left by the dialogue. In particular, the use of a plastic tarp as Angel’s wings felt both ethereal and simple.
The true stand-out of the piece for me was Moreno as Pretty, who lifts the text off the page and invests it with emotion and purpose. He doesn’t waste a word, and his performance utilizes both vocal and mental acrobatics. His timing and physical work is impressive.
This experimental play uses both visual and verbal poetry to create an art piece that stands on its own and feels unique.
(Curing the Void plays at VENUE #2: Flamboyan Theater at the Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street, through August 29, 2015. Performances are Sun 8/16 at 4:30; Wed 8/19 at 7; Sat 8/22 at noon; Mon 8/24 at 4:45; and Sat 8/29 at 7. There is no late seating at FringeNYC. Tickets are $18 and are available at fringenyc.org. For more information visit rhatheater.wordpress.com.)