‘Sexo, Pudor y Lágrimas’ (Sex, Shame and Tears) at Teatro de la Luna by Flora Scott

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Although Sexo, Pudor Y Lágrimas (Sex, Shame and Tears) is a charming comedy. I found it a thoughtful meditation on sex and how it has, does and always will separate men and women. Beyond the differences genetically inherent to the genders, Sexo submits that despite ones anatomy, the inborn physical and emotional – or lack of – consciousness of the act will always keep us, to a large degree, emotionally alone. Written by Antonio Serrano, the play ran for two consecutive years in Mexico before being turned into a film that broke box office records in its homeland. It’s a stimulating piece of work.

The cast of ''Sexo, Pudor y Lágrimas.' Photo by Mauricio Cuevas/WMAU Art Beat With Lauren Landau.
The cast of ”Sexo, Pudor y Lágrimas.’ Photo by Mauricio Cuevas.

The play, splendidly translated by David Bradley, is filled with epigrams and words of wisdom on the various dispositions held on sex. They were simultaneously amusing and thought-provoking. Carlos (Alfredo Sanchez) is an intellectual who is writing a book on his sexual sufferings and musings and is married to Ana (Yovinca Arredondo Justiniano), a sex kitten who is denied her nature and finds solace in a like-minded ex-boyfriend named Tomas (Alex Alburqueque) visiting from out of town. Both men offer wonderfully insightful and honest views on their opposing sentiments while Ana’s untamed sexual persuasion compared to her husband’s timidity was a considerate twist.

Next door lives Miguel (Juan Pablo Vacatello) and Andrea (Marcela Ferlito Walder) whose union is so too troubled by and with ones ever evolving struggle to understand, accept, be honest with and satisfied with the nature of sexuality – how it bonds you to another and is tied to your own emotional comfort level. Maria (Liliya Ilnistky), a previous girlfriend of Miguel, likewise shows up needing a place to stay and so ensues the drama eventually entangling both apartments together.

The multi-talented Mario Marcel combines his efforts as director, and set and sound designer with that of Gary Hauptman’s lighting design with Silvana Fierro, Nucky Walder, and Rosa Becker’s costumes and props – and they work to set a fine stage.

Teatro de la Luna is the sole Hispanic Theatre Company in Arlington and provides English surtitles or live English dubbing at mainstage productions and International Festivals for their non Spanish-speaking audience members. Their mission is to offer a source of quality theater from the Latin American perspective and I feel the choice of Sexo, Pudor y Lágrimas by director Mario Marcel was a spot on choice. Behind the abundantly witty dialogue resides the sad truth that not only are ‘Men from Mars and Women from Venus,’ but that each of us individually are in some way, shape or form a slave to or enslaved by our own sexuality.

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Running Time: Two hours and 15 minutes, including one intermission.

Sexo, Pudor y Lágrimas plays through March 13, 2013 at the Gunston Arts Center – Theater Two – 2700 South Lang Street, in Arlington, VA. For tickets, call the box office at (703) 548-3092, or purchase them online.