by Paula Citron.
Written and directed by Beatriz Pizano
Starring Marcia Bennett, Anita La Selva, Rosa Laborde, Rosalba Martinni and Carlos Gonzalez-Vio
At Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace in Toronto until Feb. 17
Aluna Theatre, under artistic director Beatriz Pizano, was created to express the Latin American immigrant experience of women. Pizano’s Madre is an ambitious play with some very powerful and poignant moments.
Set in the lawless Colombian city of Medellin, the play travels back and forth in time. Now in her 70s and suffering from Alzheimer’s, Julia played by Marcia Bennett attempts to cope with her demons and her failing memory. Characters in her past life are her unrealistic husband and her cruel Italian mother. In the present is her estranged daughter who emigrated to Canada. Her alter ego Young Julia is the gateway to her memories.
Pizano’s strength as a playwright is that she creates vivid characters. Pizano also directed, and the imposing theatrical effects and production values are surprising for such an intimate play and tiny space.
Despite the weaknesses in the play’s dramatic structure, Madre does pack an emotional wallop.
Madre continues at Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace until Feb. 17.
I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for THE NEW CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.