Saturday, November 9, 2019

La Ruta—Artists Rep—SE Portland


         The Invisibles


    This searing story is written by Isaac Gomez and directed by Da’maso Rodriguez.  It is playing at the Hampton Opera Center, 211 SE Caruthers St., through December 1st.  For more information, go to their site at www.artistsrep.org

“The long and lonely road
Creeps back upon us again,
Leaving their dead behind,
Under the shifting sands
Of time.”
 (anonymous traveler)

    And so, alien families are thwarted at our border from escaping poverty and abuse from their own countrymen and government.  Any reasonably intelligent person would tell you this does not stop the problem.  Human Rights would dictate that we help.  The solution would be to work within their borders to aid in stamping out evil and corruption so they can, once again, be proud of their native land and could live in peace.  Instead, our Ignorance trumps theirs and we stand around and watch as the world crumbles around us.  An old saying, “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem!”

    This story is based on real people in a time not too long ago…and still continues today, but it is really an age-old story, universal tale of abuse of women by men, to put it simply.  The rise of the MeToo Movement and incidents of Youth standing up for their rights, gives hope for better Tomorrows.

    I can’t go into much detail of the story, as it would mute the shock value the audience should experience.  But, I will narrow in on one story, of a caring mother’s, Yolanda (Christi Miles), search for her naïve, teenage daughter, Brenda (Marissa Sanchez), in a world ruled by Men…on the streets, in factories, and in positions of authority.  These women, these mother’s,  including the harsh, Zaide (Patricia Alvitez) and the activist, Marisela (Diana Burbano), work in a garment factory with Brenda and her new best friend, Ivonne (Naiya Amilcar).  In a flash, on a social outing, Brenda disappears, and her mother peels layers away from the core, like an onion, tearing the eyes (and tearing the heart), to discover the truth of what happened to her dear child on one fateful day.  This tale is carefully modulated in Spanish songs by a narrator/singer, Desamaya (Fabi Reyna).  To be honest, this may not be for everyone, so you have been warned, but it will also open a lot of eyes and ears and hearts to the plights of the Forgotten, the Invisibles.

    Rodriguez and Gomez have presented us, in an artistic way, with a message for the Future, that if we don’t correct the systemic problems of the Past, we are bound to repeat them.  The music (Rodolfo Ortega) and songs (Fabi Reyna) add much to the intense feeling of the tale.  And the actors are super, especially Miles and Amilcar in one heart-rendering, gut-wrenching scene toward the end, when the truth finally comes to light.

    I highly recommend this play but, as suggested, it’s pretty brutal in the telling.  One hint, plan your time well because, if you don’t get there before the train crosses the rails, you are in for at least a 20-minute delay.  If you do choose to see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.
--DJS


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