Consuming alternative theatre in Buenos Aires can make you feel like being lost in a maze: just when you think you may have found the correct way out – via the most touching play ever – the green bushes drag you back in and point you around the corner to another contender.
Such is the case of ‘La Pilarcita’ by María Marull, a chef d’ouvre among the never ending offerings our city boasts. Small but immersive, unpretentious but meaningful, bitter but exquisite… a play that makes the spectator feel somehow at ease, pleased, and whole-hearted.
La Pilarcita tells the story of two girls, Celeste (Lucía Maciel) and Celina (Paula Grinszpan), who run a modest hotel in the Litoral region. Their characters are as different as their dreams – one wishes to become a doctor, the other to dance in the carnaval parade. Conflict arises when Selva (Luz Palazón) and her enigmatic husband come all the way from the big city to pay homage to the local popular saint, La Pilarcita. The feminine energy and hysteria is interrupted by the presence of Celina’s brother Hernán (Juan Grandinetti) and his guitar.
The way both Maciel and Grinszpan manage to set the rhythm to the play and increase it whenever needed is astonishing. They mark the tempo and the others are led by it. Their two antagonistic manners- the always patient Celina and the energetic Celeste- provide the balance and let the rest of the characters find the equilibrium in the middle.
From the staging to the acting, it is the warmth of this proposal that has kept it running for almost a year now. Its sweetness enchants the audience and keeps it intrigued from start to finish. Who would not be drawn in by the pinkish sheets that hang at the background? Or by the pelopincho (paddling pool) that stands in the middle of the scene? Not to mention the altar of an improvised saint. However, the homely setting is just the tip of an iceberg: once your eyes get accustomed to the tender scenery, the true depth of this project emerges through the plot and impeccable acting.
La Pilarcita is an undeniably unmissable organic play. A graduate of Emad (Escuela Municipal del Arte Dramático) and after 10 years of preparation with great maestros such as Serrano, Daulte, Kartún, Monti, Bachilón, Szuchmacher, among others, María Marull is now a clear example of what hard work and a great passion can lead to. The script’s coherence and complexity allows the actresses to dive into complex characters whose dreams and ambitions may sometimes imply disappointments and bigger efforts. Humane, touching and minimalistic. A real beauty.
La Pilarcita by María Marull, Fridays and Saturday 8pm and 10pm, El Camarin de las Musas, Mario Bravo 960.