De la navaja de



Keywords: reviews, theater,cabrera pablo,verdadera historia de pedro najaja la (play)
Description: ALTHOUGH it flays more malefactors than a medieval morality play, ''La Verdadera Historia de Pedro Navaja,'' Pablo Cabrera's crackling musical, is beneficent; you walk away from it convinced that salvation by sin may not be an unreasonable undertaking after all. The folly of the crooks, prostitutes and hypocrites harms only themselves, and not much. The musical - in English, ''The True Story of Pedro Navaja'' - is being performed by Teatro del 60 of Puerto Rico at the Delacorte Theater to open the Public Theater's Festival Latino - as it did last year. It is based on the character Pedro Navaja (Pete the Knife) in a Ruben Blades song and on John Gay's ''Beggar's Opera'' and Bertolt Brecht's ''Threepenny Opera.''

ALTHOUGH it flays more malefactors than a medieval morality play, ''La Verdadera Historia de Pedro Navaja,'' Pablo Cabrera's crackling musical, is beneficent; you walk away from it convinced that salvation by sin may not be an unreasonable undertaking after all. The folly of the crooks, prostitutes and hypocrites harms only themselves, and not much.

The musical - in English, ''The True Story of Pedro Navaja'' - is being performed by Teatro del 60 of Puerto Rico at the Delacorte Theater to open the Public Theater's Festival Latino - as it did last year. It is based on the character Pedro Navaja (Pete the Knife) in a Ruben Blades song and on John Gay's ''Beggar's Opera'' and Bertolt Brecht's ''Threepenny Opera.''

Pedro (Jose Felix Gomez), king of crooks, is doomed - by his fatal attractiveness to women and by his family connections. He marries Mapi (Daisy Rosario), the daughter of the one-man political machine in his town, Don Pastor Buenaventura Santos (Manolo Gonzalez), but he later also sleeps with Betty (Evelina Quilichini), the daughter of the town's biggest and most corrupt businessman, Rafael McKenna Arellano (Ramon Saldana).

Don Pastor and McKenna have many alliances with Pedro, in their pursuit of money, but his philandering gives them a reason to have him jailed. They then hire a prostitute, Diana La Maromera (Idalia Perez Garay) - her epithet means acrobat - to do him in. She does. Or does she?

As the uproarious commentator on the action, El Lince de la Barandilla (The Lynx of the Railing), points out, the play is really a soap opera and things are not always what they seem.

This is a richly nostalgic play set in the early 1950's; the music, costumes, sets and language recapture much of the era. And it is richly textured. The intricate relationships involving the 30 or so characters are swiftly explored under Mr. Cabrera's direction, and the bolero, tango, mambo and salsa music is superbly performed by Pedro Toledo Rivera and his orchestra.

In one Diana, collecting her blood money in Don Pastor's office, lets loose a torrent of self-justification, deceit and false gratitude that is breathtaking, tongue-twisting and hilarious. In another prostitutes battle at a bar over their standing in the profession.

The many songs are ironic and ingenious, and they further the action. A prostitute's ballad laments the danger of a woman's taking a ride in a car with a man; Don Pastor and his wife celebrate poverty as God's gift to the rich. There are many more.

The Public should have provided a much longer English plot summary. This rapid, idiomatic dialogue is difficult to follow, even for those with some knowledge of Spanish. For those with little or no knowledge, the only recourse to go with a Spanish-speaking friend.

Salvation by Sin LA VERDADERA HISTORIA DE PEDRO NAVAJA (The True Story of Pedro Navaja), written and directed by Pablo Cabrera; choreographer, Eddy Vazquez; musical direction and arrangements, Pedro Rivera Toledo; orchestra direction, Oscar Cartalia; scene design, Pedro JuanTexidor; lighting design, Enrique Benet; costume design, Idalia Perez Garay; costume consultant, Gloria Saez; sound design, Joseph Albino. Presented by Joseph Papp. At the Delacorte Theater, Central Park at 81st Street.

El Lince de la Barandilla. Antonio Pantojas; Don Pastor Buenaventura Santos; Manolo Gonzalez; Ramon (Moncho) Tarralla. Pedro J. Texidor; Dona Rosa. Marisocorro Perez; Libertario Fuertes Labrador. Freddy De Arce; Dona Pura Virgen Martir de Buenaventura; Darysabel Isales; Lindbergh. Victor Alicea; Jalisco. Ramon Albino; Glostora. Rey Pascual; Chan el Caro. John Bas; Maria del Pilar (Mapi) Buenaventura de; Navaja. Daisy Rosario ;Pedro Navaja. Jose Felix Gomez; Rafael (Falo) McKenna Arellano. Ramon Saldana; Betzaida (Betty) McKenna Arellano Evelina Quilichini; Policemen. Jorge Dueno and Julio Court; Diana la Maromera. Idalia Perez Garay; Miss Rheingold. Belen Rios; Piola. Marta Anette; Maria Felix. Nelly Jo Carmona; Colectora. Cristina Soler; Tutti Frutti. Ileana Ciena; Dos Gardenias. Dilliana Dareal; Guincha. Mari Socorro; Clirille. Alexis Gueits; Marine. Nestor J. Torres; Sailor No. 1. Jorge Dueno; Sailor No. 2. Julio Court.






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