Blood Wed­ding a mar­riage of fine act­ing, riv­et­ing text


Blood Wed­ding (out of 4) By Fed­erico Garcia Lorca. Di­rected by So­heil Parsa. Un­til March 25 at Bud­dies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St. 416-975-8555

There is a blood feud that stretches back over the years, a Romeo and Juliet-style love story and a knife fight that leaves two dead and three women plunged into a black pit of mourn­ing.

Fed­erico Garcia Lorca’s highly wrought and emo­tion-packed Blood Wed­ding is the sort of text that suits Toronto’s Mod­ern Times Theatre Com­pany to a T.

Now at Bud­dies in Bad Times Theatre, the play is a Mod­ern Times/Aluna Theatre co-pro­duc­tion. Which means we not only get Mod­ern Times’ So­heil Parsa as direc­tor, we also get to wit­ness a re­mark­able per­for­mance by Aluna’s Beatriz Pizano as Mother (of the Groom).

Coiled tight with rage at the feud that has al­ready cost her a hus­band and a son, Pizano is daz­zling as a woman us­ing willpower and in­tel­lect to try to over­come over­whelm­ing ad­ver­sity. You can’t not watch her, ev­ery mo­ment she is on stage.

The richly poet­i­cal play is about a young cou­ple who are get­ting mar­ried. Derek Kwan’s Boy is a cheer­ful, smil­ing and de­cent young man while Girl is more trou­bled and com­plex; Ba­hareh Yaraghi gives a per­for­mance riven by angst and brood­ing, re­pressed pas­sion.

Girl’s pas­sion, in fact, is for a for­mer boyfriend called Leonardo (played with dark charisma and strong stage pres­ence by Car­los Gon­za­lez-Vio) and im­me­di­ately af­ter the wed­ding, the two gal­lop off into the dark­ness on Leonardo’s horse.

Thus far, the play looks at per­sonal free­dom and de­sire ver­sus the dic­tates of so­ci­ety. But Lorca moves be­yond that into a med­i­ta­tion about fate, life, death and the ne­ces­sity of en­durance.

There are sev­eral other out­stand­ing per­for­mances, in­clud­ing Jani Lauzon as an ir­re­press­ible ser­vant, and Steven Bush as the Fa­ther (of the Bride). There are one or two mem­bers of the cast who have a slight ten­dency to over-project where less might be more.

Direc­tor Parsa does a fine job in keep­ing the ac­tion rac­ing for­ward with­out sac­ri­fic­ing over­all clar­ity. There are a cou­ple of mo­ments that feel a touch over-elab­o­rate but many oth­ers that are won­der­fully re­al­ized and filled with hu­man­ity.

There is also ex­em­plary work from de­sign­ers Trevor Sch­well­nus, An­gela Thomas and Thomas Ry­der Payne.

This is one wed­ding you shouldn’t miss.

Di­rec­tor So­heil Parsa keeps the ac­tion rac­ing for­wards in Blood Wed­ding.

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