I´ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting English-language theater to be a huge thing in this coastal Mexican town when I first stepped off the plane at PVR all those months ago. Regardless, anyone who has spent more than a week in the city is aware of the local emphasis on the arts in all forms, and part of this ever-expanding creative community is the Boutique Theater, perched above that temple of sports fans and jazz lovers known as Nacho Daddy on Basilio Badillo.
The Vibes: Advised of the 6pm sharp curtain time, I strolled in off the strip and up the stairs to the theater itself just in time to snag one of the preferred tables in the rear of the hall…if theater plays to the back of the house, I was going to park myself where they were aiming their act.
The presentation for the evening, a production of Pulitzer Prize finalist ¨The Clean House,¨ centered on Matilde, a Brazilian comedienne whose career path led her up through the Americas to serve as a maid. Without giving too much of the goods away, she doesn’t really enjoy cleaning all that much. Common issue among us creatives.
Not that lady of the house Lane is in love with the idea either. You see, by her own admission she doesn’t want anybody interesting cleaning her house, which is exactly why you hire a hilarious woman from another hemisphere to do the job. Lane´s sister Virginia, no less irrational, believes that anyone who gives up the privilege of cleaning their own house is insane.
As is the case in some of the most interesting stories, the only party that seemed pleased with the situation was the audience.
The Vices: According to Matilde, the perfect joke is not written by one person, which kinda sucks to hear for a guy who sorta writes them for a living. Fortunately she went on to say that such a novel association could make the listener ¨forget life,¨ and that’s a sentiment I can more enthusiastically appreciate.
You see, part of the enduring appeal of exhibitions such as theater shows and sporting events is that they offer an easy and appealing opportunity to strive for presence, to actually exist in and engage with your current surroundings…to be where you are.
The unfolding drama had this effect on its spectators. The sickly blue glow of individual indifference was not to be seen anywhere in the room, and so I respectfully took analog notes by the light of my Pax.
The trance was only broken by the arrival of dinner, a perfectly medium filet mignon served with garlic mashed potatoes. The meal also featured a surprise cameo from bacon, which was wrapped around the steak because people appreciate initiative.
As the tale came to a conclusion and the cast took their triumphant bows, I couldn’t help but to feel a strong appreciation for being a part of this moment of collective involvement. If only for a couple of hours, it didn’t matter what was going on outside or online…and indeed, a present mind can be the cleanest house of all.
The Verdict: I´ve always had a particular appreciation for the acting skill set…hell, a lot of people can’t even portray themselves convincingly, let alone playing anyone else in front of everyone else. The Boutique Community Theater gives the inspired a platform for expressing what moves them, and share their dedication with an appreciative assembly. If you´re looking for something different to do this weekend, why not go and be a part of the experience…maybe I´ll catch you there.