I have returned to the theater, I have returned. It was last Friday: I saw « Rita », by Marta Buchaca at the Palacio Valdés theater. Six months have passed since the World Health Organization (WHO) decreed that covid-19 was a pandemic and not just a disease. Has it been a very long six months?
We are in this gap of the newspaper very Juan Mayorga, the man who said when he entered the Academy of Doctors, in the real, that « theater is the art of the encounter – and, therefore, of the conflict – between an actor and a spectator, and all the other participants – the author, the director, the costume designer, the set designer, the illuminator, the musician – have the important but subordinate job of helping the actor and the spectator meet – face each other – in a compromise of pretending « . And the thing is that for Mayorga you go to the theater to pretend that you believe that the story they tell you on stage is true. And from this exercise of pretending comes a rearmament of thought. That one is happier after having pretended to believe the story they have so pretended to be told. Really. Mayorga continues explaining: « The transfiguration occurs not on the stage, but in the spectator’s imagination. It happens because the spectator wants it, and the actor’s mission is to provoke that desire. »
In Avilés we had become used to all this happening every weekend, but we have returned, I have returned.
The production company La Zona is responsible for « Rita » being the work chosen for the reopening of the Palacio Valdés. This is a dramatic comedy written by Marta Buchaca, who is a film scriptwriter and playwright, directed by Lautaro Perotti (Claudio Tolcachir’s actor, three decades ago he was in Avilés with « La omisión de la familia Coleman », which is a show that gave reality to the scene in such a way that that of the transfiguration of which Mayorga speaks can be articulated as God intended). And the protagonists are two actors of those great greats: Mapi Sagaseta and her husband Carlos Hipólito, who is a guy so closely linked to Palacio Valdés as to have been one of the first protagonists of its reopening, back in the early nineties. In other words, Hipólito contributed to the reopening of the Avilesino odeon and also to its reopening, that of last Friday. And that cannot be said by everyone.
Hipólito and Sagaseta had not met on the scene since « La mentira », three years ago, then under the orders of Tolcachir himself, Perotti’s teacher, that the family is not omitted.
Both Hipólito and Sagaseta are brothers and two dying species coincide on them. When the mother turns off. Is your children’s past extinguished? The pet that must die, do you stop time? These are tools for a Sunday afternoon melodrama, but Buchaca decides to paint death with comic brushstrokes that save the pain of loss, that all of us, at some point, have lost everything. And two actors who are full of chemistry contribute to this (and it is normal, they have been together for a quarter of a century, which is said soon). « Rita » takes place on a bright scene with a scenography as simple as it is effective -by Alessio Meloni-, a screen that feels the clouds that cover the sad (and joyful) story of those two brothers as brothers as the reality that has them United. It’s nice to go back to the theater and applaud dramatic comedies like « Rita. » Really.