Who: Quantum Theatre
What: Maria De Buenos Aires by Astor Piazzolla; directed by Karla Boos
When: March 24 – April 17, 2011 (Opening and Press Night March 25)
Curtain Wednesdays – Saturdays 8PM, Sundays 7PM.
Where: The YMCA in East Liberty, 120 S Whitfield St, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Tickets: Call ShowClix 1-888-71-TICKETS or visit www.quantumtheatre.com to book; $30 - $45 with a limited number of $16 student tickets.
Quantum Theatre – known for staging its shows in unique places that aren’t theaters – continues its 20th Anniversary Season with Astor Piazzolla’s poetic, musical story – the story of a woman, and the story of the tango.
Attack Theatre will perform the iconic tango, collaborating with Quantum as they have on great past projects Kafka’s Chimp and The Voluptuous Tango. Carolina Loyola-Garcia (The Red Shoes) speaks the dramatic poetry in Spanish as the Duende (Goblin) character, mirrored by Karla Boos in English.
Maria de Buenos Aires’ cradle lies on the banks of the delta of the Rio de la Plata, from which Argentine peasants and European emigrants bore her into the suburbs of Buenos Aires in the 19th century. While waiting for their lot to improve, they combined the Argentinean milonga of the countryside with the Afro-American rhythms of the candombe, the Hispano-Cuban habanera, and various European dances to produce the multicultural tango, its unmistakable tonal colors created by the combination of bandoneon and strings.
Maria, like the tango she personifies, passes through various phases. Initially upwardly mobile as she progresses from the suburbs to nightclubs in the city center… she experiences her heyday in cabarets and bordellos; then her exploitation, exhaustion, decline and death; and spectacular rebirth. All of this exists in the journey of Maria de Buenos Aires’ protagonist against the backdrop of political turmoil Argentina experienced mid-20th century.
Music director Andres Cladera and stage director Karla Boos’ Maria De Buenos Aires will cater to all the senses, uniting expressive, live orchestral music, the passionate rhythm of the tango, a surreal poetic text by Horacio Ferrer, and a visual manifestation of that poetry through video created by Joe Seamans.
Argentine mezzo Raquel Winnica sings Maria, Carlos Feliciano the ubiquitous Payador, and Buenos Aires bandoneon player Benjamin Bogart leads the ensemble of eight. In Spanish and English, the work will be accessible to non-Spanish speakers; a special treat for Pittsburgh’s Spanish-speaking population.
The Neighborhood Initiative: Quantum Theatre creates its work this season in the corridor of communities surrounding Penn Avenue. This extended occupation has allowed the company to reach out to residents, businesses, and community organizations with special deals and partnerships that maximize Quantum’s benefits to the neighborhood and expand the economic impact each show has on its temporary home.
Maria de Buenos Aires will be staged in the ballroom of the East Liberty YMCA at 120 S. Whitfield Street, its fading glory an honorary character; a symbol of the rebirth still to come in this dynamic neighborhood.