As I walked into Goodman Theatre I wondered what the production of Mendoza I was about to see would be like. An adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, I tried to think back to my Junior year of high school when we read the story in English class. The key things I could remember were ambition, blood and battle. I was looking forward to seeing this adaptation of a classic as a now adult.
Presented in Spanish with English subtitles on TV screens above the audience on four sides, the tale is set in the time of the Mexican Revolution. General Mendoza comes across a witch who prophesies what seems to be power and glory for him but of course is it really? Backed by his ambitious wife, Mendoza commits murder which leads to a domino effect of blood and gore.
Mendoza is a production by Antonio Zuniga and Juan Carrillo and directed by Carrillo. In the small intimate space of the Healy Rehearsal Studio, the audience was was very close to the actors. As the play not only were the actors integrating themselves as part of the audience but the audience became part of the story as well. I couldn’t keep my jaw closed as I saw the “blood”. It was as ardent and as gory as it should be but no less shocking as it was to me or a few others to see “blood” splatter so close.
The ensemble cast including Martin Becerra, Monica Del Carmen, Erandeni Durán, Roam León, Ulises Martinez, Alfredo Monsivais Gonzalez, Yadira Perez, Marco Vidal, German Villarreal and Leonardo Zamudio is talented and brilliantly used a small space and little to no props resulting in raw intensity. The two hours with no intermission flew by for me.
Highly recommended, Mendoza is one of the best plays I’ve seen. Although gory, it is a classic chilling tale that I appreciate more now than I did when I was in high school. And the themes of ambition and power are still relevant in many ways.
Mendoza by Los Colochos Teatro of Mexico City ran a limited engagement from October 2-7 which was presented by Goodman Theatre and the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA).
As part of DESTINOS, the 2nd Chicago International Latino Theater Festival which runs September 20 to November 4, 2018 shows, panels and performances will be given throughout the city showcasing Latino theater artists and companies from Chicago, U.S. and Latin America. For more information visit clata.org or call 312-631-3112.
For more information about Goodman Theatre located at 170 N. Dearborn visit their website here.