Goodman Theatre’s sixth Latino Theatre Festival kicked off March 23 to March 31 with the world premiere of “Pedro Paramo,” an exciting collaboration between the fest’s curator Henry Godinez, Chicago actors and musicians (from Sones de Mexico) and Cuba’s Teatro Buendia, which last appeared at the fest in 2010. Inspired by Juan Rulfo’s 1955 magical realist novel about a son who returns to his father’s village and finds the ghostly remains of the nasty old man’s misdeeds, the play was written by Raquel Carrio (in Spanish with English super titles) and staged by Teatro Buendia’s Artistic Director Flora Lauten, along with Godinez, who also takes the title role.
Although still a work in progress, “Pedro Paramo” had hauntingly beautiful moments and benefited from an arresting visual style and wonderful music. I found the shifts between past and present hard to follow, however. And the continual introduction of new characters, coupled with the actors’ doubling, became confusing.
Still, I look forward to the rest of the Latino Theatre Festival, which is spread out over the spring and summer. In addition to lots of readings and workshops, there are two more major productions, both in English: the world premiere of Quiara Alegria Hudes’ “The Happiest Song Plays Last,” directed by Edward Torres, April 13 to May 12, and a reprise of “Home/Land” written and directed by the Albany Park Theater Project teen ensemble and staff, July 18 to July 28.
For more information and tickets, call 312-443-3800 or go to goodmantheatre.org/latinotheatrefest.