Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Finding Rome and Mexico at 24th Street

The 24th STreet Theatre invited me to their production of Roma al final de la via (Rome at the End of the Line).

I'd never been to this theatre, nor had I ever been to a play performed in Spanish with English supertitles. I'm very happy I decided to attend.

This two-person play is performed with exquisite perfection by Julieta Ortiz and Norma Angélica, making a special appearance here in Los Angeles from Mexico.

The play is about two females, starting at age 7, and then again at 13 (as pictured here), 20 and so forth until they are 80. At these intervals in their lives, they visit a train track in their small town with the hopes of boarding and making their way to Rome. 

While the play follows their journey of balancing their hopes and dreams with their reality, it is truly a story about friendship, and how their friendship helps them both cope and dream.

I brought my 14-year-old daughter, who thoroughly enjoyed the play, and found it a lot funnier than she expected. I went in with no expectations, and was thoroughly immersed in their journey.

Probably the most surprising was how much I enjoyed the transitions. What could've been abrupt halts in the flow were instead beautifully directed (by Alberto Lomnitz) mini-scenes that kept the audience both informed and captivated.

Another nice surprise was the sound design by Alejandro Lopez Velarde and Javier de la Peza. In a small theatre like this one, the high quality sound added depth and understanding of the characters and their world.

The 24th STreet Theatre is celebrating the premiere of their 15th season with Roma al final de la via, billed as not your typical TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences). Sylvia and I especially appreciated that their mission includes teaching children about loss and heartache in addition to love. Roma... is recommended for ages 12 and up, and that seems appropriate. Each play, as their executive director Jay McAdams explained in his curtain speech, will have its own age recommendations.

Roma al final de la via is running now through October 7; Saturdays at 2 and 7:30, and Sundays at 2 pm at The 24th Street Theatre, located on the corner of Hoover and 24th St, with a small parking lot across the street for $5.  Tickets range from $10-$15, with a special 24 cents price for North University Park residents. Like 24th STreet on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Disclosure: I was given two free tickets and free parking to attend. No other compensation was given, and the opinions expressed here are completely my own (plus Sylvia's).

*While this post was not written in connection with National Unmarried & Singles Week, I find it appropriate to post about this play at this time. While the characters talk about their romantic relationships, it is the celebration of friendship and its importance in their lives that is the most inspirational message of the play.

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