Time changes everything. Or at least it does when it comes to this show, a Nightswimming production directed by Brian Quirt.
I saw it last year at GCTC’s undercurrents festival and liked it. Delivered in storytelling fashion, it seemed a fresh, funny and smart retrospective on a young woman’s entree into the very adult worlds of political action (the narrator was a resistance fighter in General Augusto Pinochet’s Chile), love (she was drawn irresistibly to a dim but sensually magnetic Mexican she called “Vision Man”), and sex (she does enjoy it and worked in the sad, tawdry phone sex business for a spell).
My reaction to seeing it again, this time as part of GCTC’s regular season? The show is self-congratulatory, emotionally tepid and far too long.
Was it the intimate space of GCTC’s Studio theatre that helped make the show captivating last year? Was Aguirre just having an off-night when the show opened on the much larger main stage last week?
Hard to say, but revisiting the show was a disappointment. The terror that we should have felt when she was being followed by Chilean bad guys, for instance, was almost non-existent. The crazy affair with Vision Man? A little dull, actually, maybe because Aguirre’s sexual frankness – she immediately dispenses with the euphemism of “box,” for example – quickly loses its shock value, becoming predictable and (am I missing something here?) pointless.
There are some good moments when the narrator’s deeply felt anger about social injustice emerges, but such scenes are rare.
This remounting suggests the show should have just remained on the festival circuit.