- When one hears the title “Enfrascada,” one wonders what
it means, unless one is familiar with the Spanish language.
I took French in college, I was curious, so I consulted a
Spanish-English dictionary only to discover a mishmash of
meanings for the term. After seeing the play performed by
Renaissance Theaterworks that bears that title, I’ve decided
that “immersion” and “jarring” both describe the
narrative quite well.
Latino friends are very immersed in each other’s lives, and
the solutions they offer to solve the problems of one member
of the group are as jarring as they are humorous.
play starts with a meeting of three friends taking some time
off to spend a weekend together
to enjoy each other’s company. When Alicia calls her
boyfriend Diego to touch base with him and a woman answers the
phone, she is thrown into a maelstrom of disbelief and horror
- her companion of nine years, the man she intends to marry,
is betraying her with a woman named Bethany. This disturbing
event instigates all that follows.
of seeing Diego for what he really is and severing her
relationship with him, Alicia instead consults her friends,
Yesenia and Carolina, as to a strategy for getting him back.
Since she does not want to return to her house under present
conditions, she temporarily stays with her cousin Lulu, so a
fourth party enters the mix of “counselors.” Each of these
three women provides some rather bizarre advice, and in
desperation, Alicia, who is a bit naive and misguided, falls
for all of it and visits three people with special magical
powers to seek their counsel.
of the humor of the play comes from the meetings with these
three superstitious, persuasive women, but there is plenty to
go around with Alicia’s three very distinctive friends, as
Correa as Yesenia is an absolute hoot as she struts about
doling out her forceful opinions on everything and everybody.
In my mind, she delivers the most rational line in the play
when she questions women’s sick dependence on “dudes.”
But this observation is lost on Alicia (and many other women,
I might add). Rana Roman creates a lovesick, heartbroken,
pitiful, too-forgiving deceived
woman very plausibly.
Estrada delivers her usual quality performance in her varied
roles, and Yunuen Pardo is wonderful as the ditzy Carolina.
Anna Henk is utterly convincing in her kooky roles as the
“spiritualists” able to conjure up potions and several
other strange suggestions for re-securing Diego.
somewhat bothersome feature of the script is the frequent
inclusion of Spanish words and phrases. I’m sure that those
who are fluent in Spanish had many more laughs than those of
us who are unilingual.
playwright Tanya Saracho certainly captured the flair and
flavor of these dramatic women, passionate about their lives
and their beliefs. It is a very entertaining piece with a
cache of characters hard to imagine, much less forget.
is directed by Michelle Lopez-Rios with a clever set design by
Rachel Finn and costumes by Samantha C. Jones.
is the Renaissance’s first production of three in the
2012-13 season, a company dedicated to women’s issues.
runs through Nov. 11 in the Studio Theatre in the Broadway
Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway, Milwaukee. Call 414-291-7800
to secure tickets.