Saturday, February 6, 2010

Lucas And The Ghosts

Yesterday we went to one of Cuenca's more interesting theater destinations, the Prohibido Centro Cultural. It's a really unique venue, with an interior decor that is a bit other-wordly. Think the costume crew from Alien meets Hieronymus Bosch meets the Grateful Dead and you'll be close.

For the stunning entrance price of $2.50 (includes popcorn), we got to see an alternative puppet show called Lucas y Las Fantasmas (Lucas and the Ghosts):


The story is told with two live actors playing the parts of the ghosts, Mario y Carnelio, and through the eyes of Lucas, a full puppet of whom Tim Burton would be proud:


The basic plot is that Lucas is terrorized by these two ghosts, although his parents don't believe in ghosts. Let to deal with them alone, he has to face down their hunger for child flesh (illustrated with a song about all the ways they will cook and eat him) and convince them to help themselves toward the light. To get to the light, they have to solve the problems in their lives that left them as ghosts. A series of puppets, all controlled by the two actors playing the ghosts, portray lost loves, other ghosts, and eventually, the ghost women who replace the lost loves of Mario and Carnelio.

The thing was in Spanish, which strained my abilities, but it was still easy to follow. Basically a comedy despite the dark themes, there was a lot of physical humor, plays on worlds, and incorporated songs to make the play entertaining. Although it ran to 90 minutes, it felt more like 30 minutes, tops!

Some of the more comical moments were with the attempts by the ghosts to rectify their previous errors. Mario, a plumber, ends up flooding the mall. Carnelio discovers his lost love isn't dead . . . but she is old and deaf. When he tries to tell her he wants to show her his love (amo) she doesn't hear correctly and thinks he wants to flash her his ass (ano) so she beats him up and leaves him again in misery.

It does end with a happily ever after, as the two ghosts find two murdered women who prove to be their undead soulmates. They also work out a deal with Lucas, mocked by his parents as phobic, to scare Mommy and Daddy. The play cuts out with a peacefully sleeping Lucas as the two ghosts chase his parents all over the house.

The Prohibido Centro Cultural has a museum portion that is open daily, and also has a Facebook page with their schedule of events. Plays weekly at 8 pm, and while I may not catch them all, it certainly looks like an interesting season!

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