Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011

The Cherry Orchard In Mexico

Renaissance Theatreworks hosts new play reading of EL NOGALAR

By Russ Bickerstaff
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It’s kind of striking seeing Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard as contrasted against the current economic climate. I’d seen a couple of different productions recently, one stylish staging at Marquette and another with a strikingly memorable use of stagnant, empty space at the Milwaukee Rep.

It’s the story of a wealthy family fallen on hard times and is thus forced to sell its cherry orchard. The play has some interesting moments that echo constantly recurring problems with the modern economic picture . . . but there’s always going to be some of it that stands behind museum glass . . . strikingly interesting picture of Russia at a very specific point in its past.

And so this latest staged reading hosted by Renaissance Theaterworks sounds particularly interesting. Tanya Saracho had been commissioned by Chicago’s Teatro Vista to adapt The Cherry Orchard to a more contemporary setting in Northern Mexico. As a result, the story also includes the tumultuous background of the area—a story set in a world of drug trafficking, violence and so on. Reportedly feeling confined by a direct adaptation, Saracho told a similar story inspired by Chekhov’s that debuted in a joint production with Chicago’s Goodman Theatre this past April. Renaissance stages a reading of the play on November 14th at the Skylight Bar and Bistro.

Michelle Lopez-Rios directs an impressive cast for the staged reading including Karen Estrada, Marti Gobel, Luke Leonhardt, Rana Roman and Veronica Sotelo.

 

Renaissance Theaterworks’ staged reading of El Nogalar makes it to the stage of the Skylight Bar & Bistro at 7:30 pm on November 14th. Seating is first come—first served. Reservations are not taken. Donations to Renaissance will be taken at the door.  For more information, visit Renaissance online. 

 

 

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