At first glance, the title La Vida Que Me Das…Y No Me Alcanza (Such a Life You’ve Given Me… And It’s Not Enough) may read as a soapy, heart-wrenching drama for middle-aged women. However, after spending two minutes in the intimate Gunston Arts Center Theatre Two among an eager, bilingual audience, it becomes clear that this production by Playwright Susana Torres Molina will be anything but serious. With La Vida Que Me Das… Director Mario Marcel brings this comical and highly-energized comedy to life at Teatro de la Luna.
Director Marcel’s set design resembles one you might see on a television sitcom. The colorful, stork-adorned maternity ward waiting room serves as the backdrop for the entire performance, and here this simple set is all this production needs. With the help of Lighting Designer Brian Allard’s effective mood-setting light cues, the three actresses who comprise the cast and the the audience are taken through a range of environments within an ordinary waiting room; revealing saucy fantasies, confessions, and other humorous banter. Directions to the rooms surrounding the waiting room are placed around the set to give the story locative continuity. The on-point sound cues by Sound Designer/Director Marcel surround the stage with labor pains, baby noises, clock chimes, and Indian music, which makes the setting all the more tangible.
All three actresses deliver over-the-top, energetic, and acutely-timed performances of one-dimensional characters. Marcela Ferlito (Enfermera Doris) maintains a likable, cheeky presence moving in and out of scenes, complete with perfectly animated facial expressions and delivery. Carolina Calderón gives a solid performance of the sometimes-audacious personality of Sole, pulling off one-sided phone conversations and daring monologues with the right amount of effort. The most dynamic character is Marina, played by Jhakye García-an older woman with plenty disapproving glares to dish out towards the other women. As the show progresses, however, Garcia’s character comes out of her shell to show multiple sides of herself that many in the audience may identify with.
Together, these strong personalities push the show along a fast-paced track of risqué humor along the themes of maternity, sexuality, and self-assurance. While these themes may appear geared to women, the broad situational humor in the production can be enjoyed by all audiences 16 or older, as recommended by the theatre.
Although the show is performed entirely in Spanish, the overhead subtitles combined with strong body language makes this modern comedy accessible and easy to enjoy for Spanish and English speakers alike.
Teatro de la Luna’s La Vida Que Me Das…Y No Me Alcanza (Such a Life You’ve Given Me… And It’s Not Enough) delivers non-stop laughs, and a rattling fun time in the theatre.
Running Time: Approximately two hours, with no intermission.
La Vida Que Me Das…Y No Me Alcanza (Such a Life You’ve Given Me… And It’s Not Enough) plays through March 9, 2014 at at Gunston Arts Center’s Theater Two – 2700 South Lang Street, in Arlington VA. Purchase tickets online, or at the door.