Get Cultured — July 10, 2017 at 1:30 pm

“Snipped/Cut/Tied: Una Noche de Magia” Brings Magic to the Planet Connection’s Festival

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As Latinos, we are raised in a world that believes, even if it’s rare, in a certain magic. We are surrounded by it. In stories, in land, in the way the morning welcomes us. There’s a magical aspect to our lives that translates into our artistic ambitions. Magical realism is our art, created and based on our perspectives and how we deal with our everyday reality. Snipped/Cut/Tied: Una Noche de Magia by Desi Moreno-Penson brings that sense of reality into a strange land to explore religion, love, materialism and culture in a series of three short plays.

The evening starts with an homage to film noir called “Genesister,” which delves into religion and universal balance. Using the period’s language, Moreno-Penson manages to create the emotions needed to push the play to its revelatory conclusion. While the play manages to create interest at first, it loses steam quickly as the novelty of the language and setting dissipates, and we are overly exposed to its plot. 

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This is followed by “Let Mezaluca Buy Your Car,” an absurdist play dipped in magical realism that is set to explore love and the power of materialism. Eric Campos and Jazmyn Arroyo play a couple that has just been in a car accident, and now have to deal with what is more important: their love or the car. Eric is not an actor that demands attention, and because of this, the short play started slow and moments that were meant to build felt flat. The play gets a jolt of energy when Mateo Moreno enters the stage, and Arroyo has a partner that can reciprocate. Arroyo’s performance is one to watch, as she takes a convoluted story that was playing for easy laughs and turns it into an emotional game.

The third play was the best and also the most frustrating. “Dead Wives Dance The Mambo” had an electric performance in its center, with Ramiro Batista commanding actions and making the audience want more. It was haunting, funny, creepy, and charming all in one, just like the play itself. It was frustrating because of a sound issue. There are wailings in this play that fit the atmosphere, but that drowned the dialogue, and because of it, important plot points were lost. By the time the play ended, I was trying to find out what the main point was.

Desi-Moreno’s work is strong in these three plays but it felt like she never got to reach the potential of any of them. The three short plays could be longer with the first and last play feeling like parts of a more ambitious full-length play. And that’s the thing, her words and work seemed much more ambitious than what we were shown. I can’t wait to see a full-length production by this playwright. As it stands, this is a really good preview of what she is able to accomplish.

Out of 4 stars:

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Twisted Talk: Do you believe in magic? What was the last show you saw in the city? Discuss below!

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