Sparkles is a beautiful young 17-year old about to turn 18 Latina motorcycle riding, hard working and love struck girl. Her boyfriend Sang is a handsome slightly older guy who comes from the wealthiest family in the neighborhood and he is madly in love with Sparkles. But despite his great looks and seeming wealth Sparkles is not totally convinced that she really wants to marry Sang.
Much of her hesitation we discover comes from her own family experience where for many years her father drank heavily and often cheated on Sparkle’s mother. Yet, Sparkles realized her mother didn’t leave her cheating drunk husband because she needed his support, or did she? Sparkles saw marriage in some ways as a trap that she wanted very much to avoid.
On the other hand she did love Sang. What was she going to do? It only got even more confusing when she met a mysterious woman digging in the dirt near her home. La Llorona had her dark story to tell and gradually it came out including the loss of her children who were being held hostage. Was there any possible link between Llorona, her children and the evil men who had taken them hostage and Sang? What would be the future of Llorona and her children?
All of these questions form the essence of Sparkles & The Black Weeping Woman a play that examines the many often less than pleasant realities of traditional marriage and how sometimes what on the surface seems a good marriage could hide a deep dark painful side.
The cast Barkley Romero as Sparkles, Lena Marie as Luisa, Michelle Castillo as La Llorona, Jaime Aymerich as Jose Angel and Kevin Young as Sang all performed with conviction and delivered the story well with just one element that could be improved. Too often the portrayals were just a wee too melodramatic.
Overall the show was excellent and I am confident that as the run continues that element will rapidly resolve. And kudos to playwright, director and producer Alicia Madrid for creating a show that grabs and holds the audience.
The venue, McCadden Place Theatre is petite but cozy and comfortable. There is plenty of parking around the theatre but do read the signs because the City of Los Angeles just adores writing tickets. Nevertheless with signs read and sometimes with a dollar or two donated to a parking meter parking does not present a problem.
Sparkles & The Black Weeping Woman is at the McCadden Place Theatre, 1157 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood, California 90038 now through November 13th. Showtimes are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. Admission is a bargain at only $20 general and a mere $15 for seniors and students.
For reservations call: 800-838-3006 and tickets may also be purchased online.
Photos by Ehrin Marlow — Top photo: Barkley Romero and Kevin Young
Ron Irwin was born in Chicago, Illinois a long time ago. He served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, became a trial lawyer, TV and radio host, CEO of a public company and once held an Emmy. He never won an Emmy he just held one. Ron has written and published twelve books. His most important book to date is “Live, Die, Live Again” in which Ron tells of his early life and his unexpected and very temporary death in 2012. That experience dramatically refocused his life and within the pages of that book Ron reveals how he achieved a much healthier life, ridding himself of Diabetes, Cancer and Heart Failure. Now Ron enjoys writing about many things including health topics, travel [he has circled the globe several times], adventure, culinary experiences and the world of performing art. Ron’s motto is “Live better, live longer and live stronger because it feels great and annoys others.” Contact the author.