Review: Bloody good plot, inconsistent acting

Weddings are supposed to be a cheerful, hopeful and long-lasting testament to love. Instead  Fredrico Garcia Lorca’s“Blood Wedding” is filled with heartbreak, betrayal and grief.

The play told a complex tale of drama and history that led up to the wedding of the Bride and Bridegroom. By the end of the night, blood was shed and hopes of a brighter future were abandoned.

Director Valorie Grear said her stamp to Lorca’s play and succeeded with her plan to focus on making this play similar to a Greek Tragedy. Grear said that she made the set modern and minimalistic in design as the stage was canvased in white with few simple pieces of black furniture. Every aspect of the set was utilized in a way to better tell the narrative.

The main conflict of the play revolved around a life-changing decision made by the Bride (Emely Chavez), but what truly made the show spectacular was the bond between the Bridegroom and his mother. The Bridegroom (Bryan Rojas) and the Bridegroom’s Mother (Jasmine Curry) had a relationship that stole the show.

The Mother’s extreme maternal feelings for her only living son were heightened at the prospect of losing him to a woman she’s never met. As mother’s do, she coddles her son, and these maternal acts displayed the deep sense of pain she carried with her since the death of her husband and one of her sons.

Curry’s delivery of this complicated balance of love, that is also haunted by the fear of losing anymore of her children, is what helped the narrative be better understood.

This paired well with Rojas’ character as he was too blinded by the idea of love to be cautious. Rojas’ performance of being swept up by his passion for the Bride, making him vulnerable, is something that was phenomenally executed.

It was natural to empathize with his nervousness and rejoice with his excitement at his future with the Bride. From the beginning of the play, it was easy to be on the Bridegroom’s side.

Therefore, being introduced to the Bride was an underwhelming experience. As soon as the Bride was alone with her maid and was able to talk candidly, it felt as though the Bride was whining. While the Bride is meant to convey a conflicted demeanor, Chavez’s portrayal of this scene is reminiscent of a child throwing a tantrum.

Even during the day of the wedding when the Bride confronts her ex-lover Leonardo (Colin Hollander), she lacked a stage presence that made it difficult to sympathize with the Bride’s internal conflict.

It wasn’t until Chavez’s later scene in the forest where the internalized conflict she felt before the wedding became evident. This is the scene that provided an understanding that although concealing her true feelings was selfish, it was something she didn’t want to believe. From this point on until the end of the play, it became easier to read her character better.

Conversely, Leonardo’s wife (Elyse Hamilton) was an intelligible character from the very beginning of the play. Hamilton did a good job of portraying the ache she felt in trying to keep her family from falling apart.

Overall, the play and actors were an excellent vehicle used to deliver Lorca’s words. The set was pleasantly modern and the cast convincingly conveyed the happiness, pain, grief and sorrow the characters were experiencing.

“Blood Wedding” will run until April 1, at the Dow Arena Theatre. You can reserve your tickets now at brownpapertickets.com