Teatro Vista presents the world premiere of WHITE TIE BALL.
The first 60 seconds of this show captivated me. Director Edward Torres introduces the two main characters with a sequence of blackouts. A business man is in the forefront. A convict is in the background and behind a cage-like wall. As the lights go up and down, the two men move in a suspended fashion. It’s dramatic. And I’m immediately riveted.
Unfortunately, the drama isn’t sustainable over the next 89 minutes. Playwright Martin Zimmerman tells the tale of two brothers on the opposite side of the law. Their lives take different turns. The turns should be twists but the surprise element is missing. The plot is familiar. Because the set up is predictable, the build-up lacks intensity. We’ve seen this, do that. It’s not gripping. It’s formulaic. My mind wanders. I never make an emotional investment.
The acting is good. Torres casts and directs two guys, Gabriel Ruiz (Edward) and Nate Santana (Beto), committed to their roles. Their passion is well-placed. It’s just their roles are fairly stereotyped... Latino or otherwise. Ruiz and Santana seemingly have the capacity to explore a wide realm of feeling. It’s just they are stuck in these conventional roles. The essences of the story is only mildly interesting because of it has so many cliched elements.
WHITE TIE BALL peaks quick. It dazzles and then becomes more dance than ball. It’s not a grand affair as much as a pedestrian outing.
Running Time: Ninety minutes with no intermission
At Victory Gardens, 2433 N. Lincoln
Written by Martin Zimmerman
Directed by Edward Torres
Thursdays, Fridays at 7:30pm
Saturdays at 8pm
Sundays at 3pm
Thru October 13th
Buy Tickets at www.victorygardens.org