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One Hour Without Television

One Hour Without Television (Theatre/Teatro; 99 seats; $ 17 top) The Bilingual Foundation of the Arts Presents a play in two acts by Jaime Salon, translated by Jack Agueros. Directed by Miriam Colon. Set, Estela Scarlata; lighting, Robert Fromer. Opened April 16, 1997; reviewed May 17; runs through June 1. Running time: 1 hour, 45 min. Cast: James Victor (Edward), Margarita Stocker (Patricia). Spanish playwright Jaime Salon has fashioned a war of accusation, intimidation and manipulation between a marriage-weary couple who have suffered through 18 years of conjugal dysfunction. The fireworks never ignite as intended, however, because Jack Agueros' English translation doesn't quite flow as conversation, and director Miriam Colon fails to establish a believable, emotional rapport between James Victor's Edward and Margarita Stocker's Patricia. In the deceptively cool and serene environment of a modern, big city apartment (impeccably designed by Estela Scarlata), middle-aged, successful ad exec Edward has once again forgotten this evening, Oct. 9, is his and Patricia's 18th wedding anniversary. He has opened his customary bottle of beer and anchored himself, as is his nightly ritual, in front of the television set. After reminding hubby of his forgetfulness, Patricia, a minor league concert pianist, brushes aside all his apologies and requests a single anniversary present --- that he turn off the TV and have a one-hour conversation with her without interruption. Once she has Victor's undivided attention, Margarita informs him that she is leaving for good; but there is a mountain of unresolved angst that needs to be shoveled away before she can get out the door. Salon has set up an intriguing, multidimensional verbal combat zone between the viciously amoral Victor, who will go to whatever extremes necessary to keep his property and pride intact, and the aesthetically superior but emotionally fragile Patricia, who is fighting for the survival of her soul and her sanity. Reminiscent of George and Martha from Edward Albee's "Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," a raging undercurrent of hidden agendas underlies this macabre pas de deux. Unfortunately, something has been lost in the translation; Agueros' arch and overly expositional dialogue never sounds like the conversational interplay between two interdependent souls who have lived together for almost two decades, bearing and raising two children. And if Colon understands what the throughline of the text is, she hasn't managed to impart it to Victor and Stocker. Part of the problem lies in Victor's inability to stay on the same communication level with the only other person on stage with him. His ranting and raving, seducing and pleading are performed at his discretion no matter what is being communicated by Stocker. For her part, Stocker makes Patricia a totally understandable and sympathetic character, but she is performing in a vacuum. And since there has not been a logical evolution of her situation throughout the play, Patricia's final decision about what she is going to do with her life makes no sense. As is the tradition of the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts, performances of "One Hour Without Television" are presented on alternate weeks in Spanish and English. In the Spanish-language performances, Stocker continues as Patricia but Victor is replaced by Armando Di Lorenzo.

With:
Cast: James Victor (Edward), Margarita Stocker (Patricia).

One Hour Without Television (Theatre/Teatro; 99 seats; $ 17 top) The Bilingual Foundation of the Arts Presents a play in two acts by Jaime Salon, translated by Jack Agueros. Directed by Miriam Colon. Set, Estela Scarlata; lighting, Robert Fromer. Opened April 16, 1997; reviewed May 17; runs through June 1. Running time: 1 hour, 45 min. Cast: James Victor (Edward), Margarita Stocker (Patricia). Spanish playwright Jaime Salon has fashioned a war of accusation, intimidation and manipulation between a marriage-weary couple who have suffered through 18 years of conjugal dysfunction. The fireworks never ignite as intended, however, because Jack Agueros’ English translation doesn’t quite flow as conversation, and director Miriam Colon fails to establish a believable, emotional rapport between James Victor’s Edward and Margarita Stocker’s Patricia. In the deceptively cool and serene environment of a modern, big city apartment (impeccably designed by Estela Scarlata), middle-aged, successful ad exec Edward has once again forgotten this evening, Oct. 9, is his and Patricia’s 18th wedding anniversary. He has opened his customary bottle of beer and anchored himself, as is his nightly ritual, in front of the television set. After reminding hubby of his forgetfulness, Patricia, a minor league concert pianist, brushes aside all his apologies and requests a single anniversary present — that he turn off the TV and have a one-hour conversation with her without interruption. Once she has Victor’s undivided attention, Margarita informs him that she is leaving for good; but there is a mountain of unresolved angst that needs to be shoveled away before she can get out the door. Salon has set up an intriguing, multidimensional verbal combat zone between the viciously amoral Victor, who will go to whatever extremes necessary to keep his property and pride intact, and the aesthetically superior but emotionally fragile Patricia, who is fighting for the survival of her soul and her sanity. Reminiscent of George and Martha from Edward Albee’s “Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” a raging undercurrent of hidden agendas underlies this macabre pas de deux. Unfortunately, something has been lost in the translation; Agueros’ arch and overly expositional dialogue never sounds like the conversational interplay between two interdependent souls who have lived together for almost two decades, bearing and raising two children. And if Colon understands what the throughline of the text is, she hasn’t managed to impart it to Victor and Stocker. Part of the problem lies in Victor’s inability to stay on the same communication level with the only other person on stage with him. His ranting and raving, seducing and pleading are performed at his discretion no matter what is being communicated by Stocker. For her part, Stocker makes Patricia a totally understandable and sympathetic character, but she is performing in a vacuum. And since there has not been a logical evolution of her situation throughout the play, Patricia’s final decision about what she is going to do with her life makes no sense. As is the tradition of the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts, performances of “One Hour Without Television” are presented on alternate weeks in Spanish and English. In the Spanish-language performances, Stocker continues as Patricia but Victor is replaced by Armando Di Lorenzo.

One Hour Without Television

Theatre/Teatro; 99 seats; $17 top

Production: The Bilingual Foundation of the Arts Presents a play in two acts by Jaime Salon, translated by Jack Agueros. Directed by Miriam Colon. Set, Estela Scarlata;

Creative: lighting, Robert Fromer. Opened April 16, 1997; reviewed May 17; runs through June 1. Running time: 1 hour, 45 min.

Cast: Cast: James Victor (Edward), Margarita Stocker (Patricia).

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