Boy was I excited to find out that playwright Karen Zacarías penned our most recent South Coast Rep show, Destiny of Desire! One of my very first “professional” theatre gigs, was Assistant Stage Managing the POP Tour at La Jolla Playhouse – an educational tour that brings a 30-min musical to dozens of schools throughout San Diego County every year. Karen wrote the 2011 edition, Frida Libre!
Destiny of Desire has the same quirky ethnic immersion that I enjoyed while working on Frida Libre. Zacarías tells a “prince and the pauper”-type story in telenovela fashion, which made for a highly entertaining night. Production value was high, as we’ve come to expect from SCR shows. The cast was strong – every character “likeable”, and every actor convincing. I will say that Ella Saldana North, who played the “pauper” sister, overacted…or overprojected? I felt like she yelled all her lines, which got old quickly. My only other complaints are that it was a little long for what it was, and that the space was much too big for the show. While I admired the set design and creative use of curtains and moving set pieces, it felt like the cast was constantly galloping across the stage. I’m sure this piece will get mixed reviews from the very white Orange County audience, but I definitely enjoyed myself!
PS Trevor was excited that the piece was directed by a UCLA professor, José Luis Valenzuela.
PPS I did just binge watch 2 seasons of Jane the Virgin…so maybe I was a little more primed to like the telenovela parody feel.