Bloody night of theatrical glory

Bloody night of theatrical glory

There are nights when the theater seems to recover its religious origin and reaches the perfection of aesthetic rigor that knows how to set limits even in delirium and in the “spontaneity” inspired by the human automatons of the 18th century. That happened at the premiere of Bela Vampthe monologue (although there are not two voices and two characters?) written and staged by Alfredo Arias and performed by Marcos Montes in the El foreigner room. The stage is dark. When the light is white (lighting: Matías Sendón), you see an empty black chamber, except for a table and two chairs. Between the curtains on the right side a soft shadow slips surreptitiously while the music of “The Cold Song” by Henry Purcell (1659-1695) plays, sung by the beautiful and heartbreaking voice of the countertenor Jakub Josef Orlinsky . The shadow turns out to be a tall man dressed in a black tuxedo and covered by a black cape. lined in red silk. His hair is combed back, shiny with hair gel (Julio Suárez costume). It is Bela Lugosi, characterized as Dracula, who advances with slow solemnity in equal and rhythmic steps, like someone carrying out a severe magical or esoteric ritual. His path to the table is made of straight lines assembled together. Bela’s face is painted white; his eyes. in black, and his mouth, in red, has black edges (makeup; Matías Nazareno).

The story of the work is based on a real circumstance. From the moment he unsurpassedly played Dracula on Broadway in 1927 and in the film Dracula (1931), by Tod Browning, Bela Lugosi had to fight against the character who made him famous. That film became a classic, it was broadcast throughout the world and Bela was never able to free himself from the vampire again, nor from his interpreter. Later draculas by other actors even adopted Lugosi’s tics. They only offered him horror roles or adventures of the same creature.

In Bela vamp, Bela goes to the office of psychiatrist Dr. Dorothy Couch, who speaks with an American accent; She is famous because all of her patients end up committing suicide. The actor who cannot defeat her character goes to that office not in search of a cure, but of her suicide.

In real life, Lugosi had been a great theatrical actor in Hungary, his father’s homeland and the performer’s cultural homeland. Bela had triumphed in the Hungarian theater in all kinds of classic roles. He was a man of leftist ideas, a union member, and had to flee his country. He ended up taking refuge in the United States, where he made a place for himself in theatrical life, despite his heavy foreign accent. Marcos Montes gives it a brilliantly invented accent in the work; The funniest feature is that it transforms the “u” into a mixture of “u” and “v”, characteristic of some “Mitteleuropean” emigrants, particularly Jews (Bela was not), which is a comical detail and, at the same time, at the same time, tragic, because it reveals the drama of emigration. Bela and Dr. Couch each converse with their own accent. There are two people on the scene, but she has her own eager woman’s eyes hidden in his anguished ones. They shine with feminine cunning and darken with threats; At one point, Dorothy gracefully sings two songs in English with Montes’ beautiful voice and perfect English intonation. Master lesson in scenic unfolding.

A separate paragraph deserves the choreography designed by Arias and Montes for Dracula’s movements. The times when Bela lets her cape fly and invades the scene with her red silk reverse are unforgettable dance scenes. Sublime Alfredo-Marcos Lugosi. Fifty minutes of theatrical glory.

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