Monday, September 25, 2017

The World’s Most (In)famous Lover
Romance and religion melt together in the poetry of the great Spanish writer José Zorrilla’s take on the iconic character Don Juan.  
Don Juan has been the  source of endless fascination to writers who have had  their say on what the fateful ending of the story should be.   
But if you think you know Don Juan, the infamous seducer of women from  Mozart’s Don Giovanni and other works,  Zorrilla’s play has a few surprises.   
 Zorrilla  takes it one step higher as it delves into the theological debate of centuries, and addresses the question—to put it briefly— can a person as despicable and deliberately evil as Don Juan, be saved by grace in his final seconds on earth.  
Unlike those other Don Juan stories, with the dramatic moment of the Don consumed by flames of hell, this version has him ascend to the misty realms of heaven’s stair case, with his purest love.  
Far from being a fairy tale happy ending, the human struggles that move toward that end, transcend the boundary of any stage.  One understands why this is a century old  tradition of Spanish theater to perform el Tenorio on All Saints Day.
Most convincing in this rendition are the fine company, led by Spanish actor Iker Lastra, a very modern Don Juan who with his rival Don Luis, played by Peter Pereyra in a fatal bet over competing conquests.  Next on the list are Don Luis’s fiancee Doña Ana  played with lust by Paz López  and   Doña Inés with saintly innocents by Inés Domínguez del Corral.  Luz Nicolás as the conspiring tutor  Brígida,  Carlos Castillo in multiple roles as Cutti, Don Diego, and Sculptor and Manolo Santalla as a menancing Don Gonzalo.
Don Juan Tenorio, adapted by Nando López from José Zorrilla’s play. Directed by José Carrasquillo; sound design, David Crandall; properties, Alicia Tessari; fight choreography, Jonathan Ezra Rubin.. In Spanish with English surtitles. Through Oct. 1 at GALA Theatre, 3333 14th St. NW. Visit or call 202-234-7174