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.