yesteryear (a half century ago and more) was not a good thing.
There was Orson Welles as Charles Foster Kane celebrating the 80th anniversary of the "best all-time ever" film, Citizen Kane; there was Jessica Chastain as Tammy Faye Bakker in a new release about Tammy Faye's Eyes (Jessica Chastain is a shoo-in for Best Actress nominee!) and here comes Doña Rosita, a woman left behind by a man in the age-old story of a woman in plight (when she should be in flight) and she waits.
And waits. On the stage of GALA Hispanic Theatre.
Doña Rosita (Mabel del Pozo) resides with her uncle (Ariel Texido, in one of several confusing roles) and her domineering aunt (Luz Nicolas).
I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Rosita, kind and gentle, fades like the flowers and her dull apparel (by Silvia de Marta).
The rose it had opened
with the light of morning;
so red with its hot blushes
the dew had burnt away;
so hot there on its stem that
the breeze itself was burning;
so high there! How it glowed!
If you haven't grasped by now, Doña Rosita la soltera (Dona Rosita the Spinster) is not an uplifting play. García Lorca frequently wrote about women who suffer the pangs of unrequited love and his setting here at the turn of the 19th century confines Rosita to a meandering self-doubter who questions her being.
"Act!" I wanted to cry out: "Do not tarry!"
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry;
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry
(Robert Herrick [1591-1674] To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time)
Let the sun shine in the corners! Let us hope for many years of cutting roses!
Lighting and sound (by Jesús Díaz Cortés) never miss an entrance or a beat.
A roving table is a critical prop, the centerpiece of most scenes. The actors wheel it from place to place, covering it, uncovering it as it transitions to a chair, a desk, a bed, a piano, a nun's habit, even a table, and more, a metaphor for Rosita!
Mother, take me to the country
in the light of morning
to see the flowers open
on their swaying stems.
A thousand flowers are speaking
to a thousand lovers,
and the stream is murmuring
now the nightingale has ceased.
What: Doña Rosita la soltera (Dona Rosita the Spinster)
Masks: Masks and proof of vaccination or recent negative COVID test required for all public performances. Temperatures taken at the entrance.
When: Now through Oct. 3, 2021, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m.
Where: Gala Theatre, 3333 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20010.
Tickets: $48; $35 for seniors (65+), military, and students; $35, group sales (10 or more); $25 ages 25 and under. To purchase, call (202) 234-7174 or visit www.galatheatre.org.
Duration: About two hours with one intermission
Metro stations: Columbia Heights or McPherson Square. From McPherson Square, take a bus up 14th, or walk two miles and save money and expend calories! Lots of places to eat along the way.
Parking: Discounted at the Giant around the corner and additional parking at Target ($1.50/hour), both on Park Road, NW.