October 25, 2008

Boleros Audience Reviews



Some of our audience told us what they thought about the show. What do you think makes for a good marriage? Did you see it? How would you rate the marriage of Flora and Eusubio ?

Feel free to reply and let us know...

More Boleros content can be found by clicking on the Boleros link in the index to the right.

The Huntington Theatre Company's production of Boleros for the Disenchanted by José Rivera. Playing through November 15, 2008 at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA - 527 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116. Tickets 617 266-7900

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

My husband and I saw the show together and really enjoyed it. After the show, we talked a lot about what makes a marriage work, and both feel strongly that being great friends is the most important thing – being able to laugh at the same things, sharing interests, being supportive of each other. I thought the couple had a very strong marriage, but I felt sad for her, that the only thing she really wanted was absolute fidelity and she didn’t get it.

Anonymous said...

I had mixed reactions to the performance. I thought some of the dialog in the first act (especially involving the father) was more of a series of speeches. I did not get a sense of the characters interacting with each other. They stood beside each other and made speeches to the audience.

The second act was much better, both in terms of acting and the script itself.

Anonymous said...

I took my husband for his birthday to see Boleros. We were terribly disappointed by the performance. I have been going to the Huntington for 25 years now and always had an excellent theatrical experience. Given the price of the tickets, we expect professional level acting and directing. We are reluctant to go again until we read a reliable review of any future show.

Anonymous said...

The play came and went leaving me little time to digest it and explore
my feelings until a couple of days later.
I guess things don't have to be perfect to be perfect in this imperfect world we live in.

Anonymous said...

I thought the play was beautiful - well written - well performed. I think maybe it was a better marraige for Eusebio than it was for Flora, but that is what marriage is, compromise and acceptance.

Anonymous said...

I am a passionate fan of the Huntington, and have seldom been disappointed during almost 20 years of attending its productions. But I was thoroughly disappointed in the quality of the writing and acting represented by this play. Moreover, the Puerto Ricans I know from that generation (including from Ponce) would have found the characters at best, shallow caricatures and at worst, "foreign" and repugnant.

Anonymous said...

I found the play quite moving and instructive - about the realities of a long marriage, of the difficulties of immigrating, of important aspects of Puerto Rican history and culture and of coming to terms with death. Who can say if they had a good marriage? They had a difficult life and they stayed together. I felt very badly that their adult children were spread all over the country; when one is old and frail, one needs ones children to be around. If the play is indeed autobiographical, the author may have some well deserved guilt feelings.

language said...

Both we and the couple who go to theater with us found this production moving and rewarding. We found the second act better than the first but this, perhaps is because we are long in the tooth. We simply don't understand the negative comments.

precaffeinated said...

My wife and I saw the play together right after our book group read Joan Didion's Year of Magical Thinking and Abigail Thomas's Three Dog Life. While the books we read explored the nature of loss, the play poked at the hopes and disappointments of marriage, but also its immediacy -- that it is constantly redefined and its meaning depends on each moment. In one scene Flora rages against her husband, not for an old infidelity, but for not mentioning a second one on his 'deathbed'. In another scene Flora discards the euthanasia pills she is ready to take with Eusubio and accepts that he wants to be with her NOW. I felt the play was much stronger in the second part, but I think theater is magic even when it tries too hard to say too much.

Anonymous said...

Play and acting get a B minus. Characters not well developed, more like symbols of characters rather than real people.

Too long, too preachy too unrelentingly moralizing. Editing needed!

Loved the stage set, though.

Not one of the Huntington's best efforts but not the worst either.

Anonymous said...

I liked the play.Very nicely expressed.Thinking of watching another play very soon. Good marriage is a combination of love,commitment and understanding.Flora and Eusebio did have a good marriage but one of the ingredient ' commitment' was missing from the guy which didn't make it a sweet one for flora, as there was too much love for each other, the mistake faded away.....

Disenchanted said...

Incredibly overracted. Dialogue was unimaginative and so ostensibly sensational it was senseless. Actors had poor command of timing and weren't even consistent with their accents. Felt like a high school play audition. We searched and searched for even the tiniest thread that could pull us into this production but after fifteen minutes we saw no potential for improvement and left.

Todd Williams said...

Wow - This is great! I love that you are all leaving comments. It's always amazed me how differently people experience a play. I guess this is just more proof. By my count we have six positive reactions, two mixed, and (with the addition of the one below that came to my mailbox) four negative. Keep them coming!

Todd

Here's the email from Ms. Stein:

I found the play completely lacking in what I like in the theatre. It was just one speech after another I never cared who grew old and why. Where was the no point no denouement. I saw it with a substitute performer and perhaps
that added to the amateurish acting of them all. I do not go to the theater for such drivel.
I expect better of the Huntington. Rosanne Stein

Anonymous said...

I thought "Boleros" was a good play because it was provocative and caused us ( a group of four 60+ professional women) to think about and discuss many things. For one, how society has changed, how it was "acceptable" for a man to verbally and physically abuse his wife and daughters not too many decades ago; how men have for many years been "excused" for their infidelities, because it is their "nature".
Was it a good marriage? It depends on one's definition.What role does trust and forgiveness play in the definition of a good marriage. Eusebio's betrayal enraged and hurt Flora more than the years of care-giving or the absence of their children.
Anyone who has lived through years of marriage develops their own definition of a "good" marriage, different from a long marriage.

Charlene said...

I am Puerto Rican so after reading everyone's comment's this is what I have to say. First let me say that all those characters were on point with the way "we" Puerto Ricans are or were during a more simpler time. I am 45 years old and grew up with my grandparents in the middle of the "campo" of PR. So, those were typical scenes that I personally saw played out in real life. No doubt about it. Examples, arriving drunk to the house on a Friday after a long week of laboring in the land, pulling out the belt, or at one point the daughter kneels down next to her dad for something. Heck, I thought the writer was going to make her rub her dad’s feet! Just like I was made to take off my grandfather's boots at night after a long day of laboring the land and rub his feet, I was around 9 or so…Something that a lot of girls back then had to do…It was a form of “training” the girls to be subservient. Anyway, I digress. So, now, as for the play itself, I found myself immediately translating all the lines in my head because I realized that all the "language/lines" the writer used were direct translations of typical sayings we use in our language and it is difficult to translate the "feeling" behind words from one language to another. I feel that those lines would have had been more passionate in feeling if done in Spanish (sorry). Example, the word "whore" is a direct translation of "puta" but the meaning/passion/feeling behind both words is totally different. Now as for the meaning of marriage, sticking it out through thick and thin, (something my grandparents did) again, on point and a message very much needed nowadays! All in all, Loved the Actors! To be able to cry at the drop of a dime--now that is good acting! I say hurray to this play!

George Klavens said...

For me, this was a disappointing theater experience. The highlight was the set design, which was the only point of professional excellence I could identify. The directing and acting was amateurish. The accents ebbed and flowed, were distracting and felt forced. The pacing was poor. The playwright's dialogue was as inconsistent as were the accents; at one moment clever, touching, funny, and engaging, and at another: awkward, shallow, inauthentic, and boring. Usually, a glimpse into another time, place, and culture is a treat for me. This wasn't.

Anonymous said...

I loved the play in the fact that there isn't too much of my culture in the main stream. I did see alot of what it is and was to be a Puerto Rican. As I sat in the theatre with my daughter, I thought to myself, how much my daughter and I could relate vs. the people sitting in the theatre. I do have to say that the portrayal of a Puerto Rican man as to all cultures and ethnicities, are not all the same. I spoke to a good friend about the play and he didn't like that at the few opportunities that the Puerto Rican culture is viewed, it is of the Puerto Rican man who cheats on his wife, who is a drunk, and is pretty much a machista. Not all Puerto Rican men are like that. Other than this one opinion, it was a real story where life happens and we deal with things as they happen. Hopefully people will have taken the strength of a people who have struggled against the indignities of a race back in the 1950s and throughout. Best of all is that the Puerto Rican people have come through this and are still true to their family values. Family has always been their biggest strength, for family we do all that we can. No price is too high.

Anonymous said...

I thought the play was excellent! I felt that the people who posted negative comments did so because they don't understand the Puerto Rican culture. This play was difficult to pull off because it was played in English. Had the play been in Spanish it probably would have been more enjoyable to those folks that posted negative reviews. Of course they would have had to understand the Spanish language. I felt all the actors played their roles excellently and that the play was well written given the fact that it is very difficult to translate one's culture into an English play. As for marriage they portrayed it lovely and showed that true love will keep you together through good times and bad. That is very important given the fact that in this day and age too many people are willing to call it quits when things start to get a little rough.
I commend the writer and all the actors!