Immediately on walking into La Mama Galleria, Coyote, Take Me There! set up the spectator with contradictory images - before the play began. For instance, paintings of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were on one wall, with a ticket line formed in front of them; on the stage was a projection screen, and two Nazi soldiers were handing out tickets and demanding to see papers as the audience was seated.
This play is about the migration experience and the dark side of the American dream. The central image of the play is the Creeping Coyote (Fulvia Vergel), who is interwoven in two stories: the Jewish experience in Nazi Germany and the Mexican migration experience.
The evening begins with monologues and then with the story of two girls: one Jewish (Dagmara Dominczyk), one half-Jewish/half-Hispanic (Nicole Gomez), who are found slain. They are mysteriously brought to life, and what follows are scenes alternating between the two experiences, with the Coyote character as the American Dream who seduces the Rabbits (the Jews) and the Porcupines (the Mexicans.)
Ms. Murashkovsky has a talent with words and images but tends to get caught up with an overwritten literary style. The dialogue of the play seems more suited for a novel than the stage. Also, the play can't decide whether it is narrative, performance art, or surrealism. The play tends to go in and out of all three without achieving the vision its pre-show expectations set up.
On the plus side, she does set up some lyrical images. Her Coyote is a strong and witty creation that helped sustain the evening's two-hour-and-forty-five-minute length. It also helped that Leslie Lee directed her words like poems that flow with a dancer-like grace. Ms. Vergel as the Creeping Coyote was excellent; likewise Walter Krochmal, Javier Krochmal, and Erik Singer. They transcended the stereotypes the other members of the cast slipped into.
The music by Alexander Zhurbin, choreography by Jennifer Copaken, set design by Daniel Hubp, lighting design by James Dalemi, and sound design by Jeffrey Jones were first-rate. Others in the cast included: Alex Johnson, Ana Marie Jomoica, Marilyn Ruth-Moore, Aaron Samson, Rachel Shwayder, and David Winston.
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Copyright 1999 Andrés J. Wrath