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La Luna Productions

Two Lip Tango

Dates 4-13 May 2006 at 8 pm Venue Waterfront Theatre, Granville Island

Reviewer Ed Farolan


Atreus poster

Mercedes Baines, writer/director, refers in her notes to her play as "the dance of mind, body and spirit as it disconnects from pain and then reconnects again with the longing to love and be loved." In retrospect, the play is about love and its different relationships.

Why she starts off with the tango and ends with a tango I could probably make a wild guess. The company and its male actors have Latin names. "Luna" means moon and the male actors are Luis Chirillo and Marco Soriano. From Chirillo's and Soriano's bios, I find out that they're both members of Bellaluna Theatre that toured various Italian communities. The word bellaluna means beautiful moon in both Spanish and Italian. So perhaps Luna productions grew out of this theatre company.

The actors were good, but I felt the script was a bit weak. There were just too many stories and relationships -- from gay men and lesbian women, to prostitutes and menage á trois trysts -- it lost its focus. Unless, of course, the author intended it that way: to dramatize in song and dance different feelings about love relationships.

I think the script should be tightened more. The genre is also a bit vague: is this a musical? Or a combination of drama and farce? People were dancing but later on they were dramatizing. Nowadays, everything is mixed up in the name of "integrated theatre." Writers like to put all kinds of ingredients in their broth thinking that the more complex the play is, the better it is. Wrong! Keep it simple. The best plays are simple: simple plots, uncomplicated characters, and that's how an audience understands and enjoys a play.

The other thing I noticed about this play is it tried to be daring using the "f---" word as though trying to tell us, "Well, we're living in a modern world and the 'f---' word is common." Yes, it's common but vulgar, especially in public. There are words you can say in private, but why show your toilet manners in public? It's just rude.

I hope La Luna presents more audience-oriented plays rather than anti-audience ones in the future. Was that why there were only around twenty people who showed up for the second night's performance? Maybe those who came opening night didn't enjoy the play and passed on their feelings by word of mouth.

© 2006 Ed Farolan