Reviews for Teatro Vivo Performances

Review: Cuento Navideno, or Bah Humbug in the Barrio by Rupert Reyes

Review: Cuento Navideno, or Bah Humbug in the Barrio by Rupert Reyes

by Michael Meigs
Published on January 03, 2012

The irony is that the dead Teodora as played by Yvonne Cortez Flores is far more lively and life-loving than the living Evangelina. Teodora has a big laugh, a sarcastic sense of humor and a inclination to tipple, to the point that she wakes up with new tatoos.

Rupert Reyes puts "home-made" theatre onstage.  And I mean that as high praise.

 

He and JoAnn Carreon-Reyes founded Austin's Teatro Vivo ("Live Theatre") in 2000, and the program notes for his Cuento Navideño which closed just before Christmas at the Rollins Theatre, Long Center, record that it was their 27th full-length production.

 

Rupert is friendly, serene and gently humorous, as is JoAnn. This pair stood before the audience at the December 18 ...

Read more »

Review: Austin  Latino New Play Festival 2011 by Teatro Vivo

Review: Austin Latino New Play Festival 2011 by Teatro Vivo

by Michael Meigs
Published on April 27, 2011

Garza's Dos Pocitos posits a hypothetical future in which the United States has de-accessioned an area of southern Texas, leaving it to drug runners, roving bands and the few stubborn Tejanos who refused to move to safer areas in Texas.

The three Austin playwrights showcased at the Autin Latino New Play Festival last week could not have had a gentler or more supportive audience.  Organizers Rupert Reyes and JoAnn Carreon-Reyes founded their Teatro Vivo about ten years ago, producing appealing, comic pieces, usually written by Rupert and featuring him.

 

Just the way that Austin has branded itself as the home of "live music," the Reyes' theatre group is known for its "live theatre."  "Teatro ...

Read more »

Review: Keeping Track by Teatro Vivo

Review: Keeping Track by Teatro Vivo

by Michael Meigs
Published on April 12, 2010

Saenz keeps the relationships at cordial boil throughout this piece, drawing for us with verisimilitude the tensions, affections and competing rivalries of family and friends in a middle-class assimilated Latino milieu.

Though there's a PacMan motif on curtains, on the stage and on the poster, Erica Saenz's Keeping Track is really a thoughtful family drama rather than a creepy-crawly sci fi piece.   Saenz uses as a plot device the supposition that well-meaning caretakers might implant "smart chips" in human beings, as vets already do with pets. 

 

In the context of this story, the smart chip is less a threat than a ...

Read more »

Review: Petra's Pecado by Teatro Vivo

Review: Petra's Pecado by Teatro Vivo

by Michael Meigs
Published on December 04, 2009

Petra's world is like that of playwright Rupert Reyes' youth: Manor, Texas, a community in which all the Spanish-speaking families knew one another. Petra is the simple, virtuous woman owner of a tortilla bakery.

First, a gentle admonition to the transcribers at the Austin Statesman: the title is not "Petra's Pescado" (Petra's Fish). Teatro Vivo's newest presentation is Petra's Pecado or "Petra's Mortal Sin," which makes for quite a different kettle of fish.

And it's not "Petra's Picado," (Petra's Nose-dive in Iberian Spanish), the version offered by the Salvage Vanguard in its weekly e-mail.

This is Teatro Vivo's flagship play, the ...

Read more »

Review: I [Heart] Walmart, by Capital T Theatre

Review: I [Heart] Walmart, by Capital T Theatre

by Michael Meigs
Published on August 26, 2009

This is vivid, exciting well-performed stuff. Too bad Capital T made the decision to bring all those gifted actors on at the end to harrangue us with factoids asserting that Walmart is, in essence, the most evil expression of repressive, heartless capitalism.

That great big pop heart in the title sends you the message: We're gonna send Walmart a great big exploding funny valentine, 'cause it's the place we love to hate!That fits very nicely with the demographic served by Capital T Theatre. Their Austin theatre public is generally young, generally irreverent, generally idealistic in a fuzzy Austin kind of way, and ready for amusement. Those of us who haunt the Hyde Park Theatre ...

Read more »

Review: No Se Paga! We Won't Pay!

Review: No Se Paga! We Won't Pay!

by Michael Meigs
Published on August 11, 2009

In Non si paga, non si paga! Fo provides us cardboard characters whose principal appeal comes from their foolishness and the upside-down values of the society around them.

On the evidence of this production alone, I would have to conclude that Rupert Reyes is a better playwright than Dario Fo, who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1997.Fo, a prolific and provocative theatre artist, was in the thick of Italian political debate from the 1960s through the 1990s. He and his wife Franca Rame were social activists and she was a member of the Italian Communist Party. They and others occupied ...

Read more »