Saturday, September 5, 2015
Review of Juan Chipotle presented by terraNOVA Collective and The Playground Theater in association with the Chicago DCASE
The style of this play was really cool. The set (by Joanna Iwanicka with scenic artist Laura Carney) kind of looked like what a kid would make to make their own play because everything was made out of cardboard. But it didn't look cheap; it looked really artistic. The props (by Sara Engel) were also cardboard and I thought that was really cool. My favorite was the teddy bear, because I thought it was cool that they made such an important part of Octavio's life cardboard and at the very end it turned real. The puppets (by Taylor Bibat and Rachel Singer) were super amazing. They were made out of cardboard as well. My favorite one was the train--or was it a dragon? You'll have to find out in the show! I thought the projections (Liviu Pasare, Bibat, and Singer) were very cool. They kind of reminded me of Manual Cinema. They were all an outline or a kind of sketch and they were very artsy and interesting. I did wish the projection screen was a little bit bigger so you didn't have to stray from the performers to look at the projections. I liked how they used Day of the Dead elements like how everyone had the skull faces. I thought they did that because the entire play is kind of about death. I also liked Don Chipotle's goggles (costumes by Izumi Inaba); they were really cool.
I had three favorite characters. One of them was Don Chipotle. He just kind of reminded me of me as a kid and how I would always pretend to be a superhero, but in my case a teenage witch from an anime movie. And Don Chipotle has this great flamboyant personality but then there was also more depth to this character because you got to see how sad he was. One of my other favorite characters was Octavio. I just found him so funny and amazing. He was like the kind of kid who is so enthusiastic and you just feel like he is the most adorable little thing ever. There was depth to this character too and you find out lots of crazy things about him by the end. There was also this woman (Mateo) who was very creepy who would come and offer Don Chipotle and Octavio cardboard cookies. I loved her accent and I really wanted her to have an entire back story that you would just be able to see. That is the kind of woman that probably had a very traumatizing experience with her child, and maybe she no longer has a husband so now she wants to kidnap children.
People who would like this show are people who like heartbreaking bittersweet endings, dragon-trains, and cardboard cookies. I think people will enjoy this show. It was beautiful to look at and the character arcs were beautiful and I really liked it.
Photos: Joel Maisonet
Posted by Ada & Mom at 7:24 PM