“A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” opens FIU Theatre Fall season

Rashawn Raysor/Contributing Writer

FIU Theatre’s Fall season opens with the fantastical Latin American tale, “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings.” The play, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz, is an adaptation of a short story by the famous Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez. It focuses on an angel that falls in the middle of a small Caribbean village and how the community reacts to his presence. It tells a tale of cruelty, impatience and compassion.

The play was chock-full of energy, at times a little too much energy. There were instances in which the delivery of some lines was on the verge of being a bit corny.

Despite this, there were some excellent performances. Some of the standouts included Anthonysha Warfield as La Luna and the Spider Woman, Natalia Quintero-Riestra as Elisenda, Dayron Leon as Momo, and Lynette Adames as Fefe. These were the source of some of the funniest and most vibrant moments in the entire production. From wonderfully exaggerated line deliveries to snappy remarks, the play had no shortage of hilarity.

The play also has its fair share of awkward moments, mostly due its limited special effects and the troubles in adapting the fantastical short story for the stage. The cast and production team put forth an admirable effort of capturing the magic of Marquez’s original; however, that effort didn’t always blow you away and at times led to some nervous laughter.   

In spite of this, there were instances in the production where Marquez’s magical realist vision was realized through the use of special effects and music. The music by far did the bulk of the work, transporting the audience to the forgotten Caribbean town and suspending their disbelief. It helped to elevate the production to that magical realist level in spite of the, at times, limited special effects.

Perhaps the most magical moment of the play was at its end when the angel finally takes flight and departs from the humble Caribbean village to return to the sky. A great gust of wind is felt, ropes along the railings rattle and feathers fall from the roof. It was a truly stunning moment.    

“A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” is an overall joyous experience to behold, one filled with a vibrancy and a sense of humor that is sure to put a smile on your face. It is a worthwhile way to spend an evening. Go see this mystical Latin play yourself.

“A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” will be performed at the Wertheim Performing Arts Center from Sept. 28 to Oct. 7.  

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