Decir Lluvia Y Que Llueva (To Say Rain and Have It Rain), which opened last night at the Arsht Center, is like a Pink Floyd album cover come to life.
With visually arresting set pieces and opulent sound and imagery, Decir Lluvia, which is part of the month long International Hispanic Theatre Festival, is full on performance art for the senses that effectively walks a fine line of theatrical experimentation and dreamlike story telling.
The entire production, which comes from Spain, is a beguiling mixture of
soliloquies (spoken in Spanish) and extravagant visuals; starting with
the striking Phillip Glass-like set design by Alicia De Miguel and
technical effects that featured, among other things, tiny umbrellas
raining from the sky, endless streams of sand falling from a man's
trench coat sleeves, storm showers inside umbrellas, and water spouting
from a woman's hand.
All the while, Decir Lluvia features the angelic voices of the Ivies (Yolanda Bustillo, Maria Goiricelaya, and Sara Gonzalez), three ghostly women singing bewitching chant-like hymns throughout like a haunting Greek Chorus.
Set in a yard where imagination makes its home, Decir Lluiva's characters hastily travel into and through the yard, mumbling to themselves and struggling to recapture the wonder of imagination. The entire performance is a celebration of imagination: How it starts off as the place of dreams, only to eventually crumble under its own weight of trivial matters and moments lost in time.
The challenge each character seems to face is capturing the yard of imagination with adult eyes, and to make it a place where the miraculous happens -- a place where one hopes for rain, and it rains.
In between the dreamlike scenes, we hear mainly from a bearded fellow named Sar (played by a charismatic Iosu Florentino). Sar speaks to the audience as his shadow (played by Joseba Uribarri) literally follows him around, mimicking his every move and, at times, moving independently from Sar. The two become an amusing odd couple that guides the audience through suspended time and surreal moments that can only exist in dreams and imagination.
There's no clearcut linear storyline here, however. Just a beautiful assault to the senses through magic, dance, music, and soliloquies. Decir Lluvia is certainly dazzling to look at and hear, and it's a piece of visual performance art that even non-Spanish speaking audiences can appreciate.
Catch an encore performance of Decir Lluvia Y Que Llueva tonight at the Arsht Center Carnival Studio (1300 Biscayne Blvd.). Show starts at 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $29 ($24 for seniors and students). Call 305-949-6722 or visit arshtcenter.org