The Art of the Kill

I'd say I know less about Matadors and Bull Fights than I do about American Football (and that's not much). Still, no more than the most basic of knowledge of the sport / art form is required to follow the story. In short, it is an ensemble drama that leads up to... you guessed it, a bull fight. More after this:

Show: Matador
Company: Angelkiss Productions - Orlando, FL
Venue: Purple (Orlando REP)
Times: 5/18 @ 11:45PM, 5/20 @ 7:15PM, 5/21 @ 9:50PM, 5/23 @ 7:40PM, 5/24 @ 11:50PM, 5/25 @ 10:05PM, 5/26 @ 9:00PM
Tickets: $10
Rating: General Audiences

In this play, we are exploring the relationship between a priest and our man the Matador, and the (now retired) Matador's connection to a certain Señorita. As a whole I liked it, but the attempt at simplicity got in the way at times.

Matador was written from the angle that "this could be your town" (if you were Spanish). None of the characters or locations in the play have names, which I would have preferred otherwise. Also, the dialogue left something to be desired early on in the play. Once we get past those, the characters get to some very heavy issues and really start to lay down the philosophy.

Tim Williams as the Matador is no better than anyone could have been at this festival; dynamic, withdrawn and graceful. Don Fowler as the Padré also stood out, gaving us a decided perspective on faith and forgiveness. We also had a classic performance by Ricky Avila as the Trubador, whose drunken moments were an excellent (needed) punctuation, with a delightful love song being the most memorable.

Which brings me to the music... one can't ignore some wonderful supporting arrangements by Preacher Bill and the Prophets. I'm a big music guy, so it was a treat to have a live 6-piece band behind the screen on stage, and doing a great job the whole time. The placement of the music was such that it existed alongside the story instead of taking over. Wouldn't change a thing.

The Universal Orlando Theatre was by far the best venue for this play. With the large open space and high risers, scenes like the bull fight and an improvised fiesta really had the sense of space of a town square or an arena. The set was fitting and multi-purposed, with the texture really selling the rustic atmosphere. The costumes were also working - simple, but chosen and worn with pride, evidence of a town that once saw better days as a popular tourist destination.

Without question, this piece pays ultimate respect to three things extremely Spanish: the Matador, the Catholic Church, and the Famliy. The relationship between Man and Beast, Man and God, and last but not least a Man and his Siblings all tie this story in a loose but fluid fashion, making for a pleasant evening at the theatre.

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