It’s Raining in Barcelona

alan long, leora joy godden, jeffrey pufahl
It’s Raining in Barcelona is an interesting play written by Catalan playwright Pau Miró translated by Sharon G. Feldman, which was presented by Bundle of JOY Productions as part of the 2010 Toronto Fringe Festival and is moving on to the Fringe Festivals in Winnipeg, Edmonton and Victoria later this summer.
The story is centered on Lali, a young prostitute with an earnest yearning for knowledge and a developing appreciation for art and literature. She lives in the Barcelonan slum with her long-time lover and pimp, Carlos, a man whose only connection to the world outside his bedroom is his addiction to American fast food. Lali becomes emotionally involved with one of her clients, the diffident David, who gives her candies with famous quotations on the inside, from whence she derives a modest education.
David lures Lali out of her insular life with Carlos, offering her a taste of freedom, and yet, Miró refuses to give into the cliché and to offer his protagonist a sweeping, romantic Pretty Woman ending. The most interesting aspect of this play is the playwright’s fascination with the idea of sharing; as Carlos and David share Lali, and there is a constant intimacy that emerges surrounding food, drink, and even deodorant that is shared between the three characters. Director Jim Guedo allows his actors to spend their time lavishly eating and drinking onstage, sometimes without accompanying dialogue. This choice is not immediately provocative or profound, but I found that the illusion to domesticity and family associated with this sort of intimacy was, nevertheless, compelling.
Leora Joy Godden gives a strong performance as Lali, naive and frustrated, trying to appease both the men in her life, while becoming marginally more empowered with each candy she consumes. Jeffrey Pufahl is fantastic as Carlos, a brute in love and prone to wild jealously. I felt like Carlos’ character could have been developed more ardently by the playwright, as he prowled around his room like a tiger in a cage, but there was no clear reason for why he had disassociated himself from the world. Alan Long played David, a weak, yet manipulative character, who added a strange tension and dynamic to the play that was oddly unsettling.
It’s Raining in Barcelona is an interesting story and staged with definite dark undertones, yet for a play that focuses so much on art and literature, I found it was sadly lacking in poetry of its own.

It’s Raining in Barcelona plays across the country at the following times:

Winnipeg Fringe Festival

Venue 1 – John Hirsch Theatre at the MTC Mainstage. 174 Market Ave. (entrance on John Hirsch Pl.)

Wed, July 14 6:30 PM
Fri, July 16 10:00 PM
Sat, July 17 2:00 PM
Mon, July 19 10:45 PM
Tue, July 20 5:15 PM
Thu, July 22 5:30 PM
Sun, July 25 8:30 PM

Edmonton Fringe Festival:
Venue 1- The Westbury Theatre @ The TransAlta Arts Barns

Friday, August 13 @ 8:30 pm
Monday, August 16 @ 11:15 pm
Tuesday, August 17 @ 6:45 pm
Thursday, August 19 @ 12:15 pm
Saturday, August 21 @ 4 pm
Sunday, August 22 @ 1:45 pm

Victoria Fringe Festival:
Venue 2- Metro Studio

Friday August 27 @ 8 pm
Saturday August 28 @ 5:30 pm
Sunday August 29 @ 6:45 pm
Tuesday August 31 @ 6 pm
Friday September 3 @ 6 pm
Saturday September 4 @ 10:30 pm

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