"There are people who
think "Camino Real" was Tennessee Williams best play, and I believe that
they are right!
It is a play torn out of
a human soul."
~ Clive Barnes, The New
Off The Wall Theatre ended its
most successful season with "Camino Real!"
Camino Real is a dead end, a police state in a vaguely Latin American country.
And an inescapable condition. Characters from history and literature inhabit
a place where corruption and indifference have immobilized and nearly destroyed
the human spirit. Then, into this netherworld, Kilroy arrives...a
sailor and all-American guy with a "heart as big as the head of a
A play of unusual comedy,
tragedy, power and hope, written during a time of American political turmoil,
Real" is in many ways more potent today than when it was created.
It argues for Romance in a world gone cold and heartless. It argues for
equality in a world of classes, and it argues for dreams in the harsh light
of deception. The play takes the form of a poetic fantasy to illustrate
that " Fact is misleading, only in ART is there truth! "
wealthy tyrant Gutman, played by the enigmatic Claudio Parrone Jr.,
rules the town with an iron fist and an equally corrupt police chief played
by Thomas Welcenbach.
Marguerite Gautier, (Camille) longs
to escape from this Town of Death where the spirit of life had dried up!
White played the most challenging and daunting role of her long
and illustrious career. Her lover, an aging and melancholy Casanova
was portrayed by the ever-talented
Jeremy C. Welter. Together, they
plot and scheme and try to squeeze love from a hopeless existence.
the former Golden Gloves champ, now demoralized and homeless was played
by Nathan Danzer. He attempts to win the admiration of Esmarelda, the Gypsy,
played by the vivacious and multifaceted Alexandra Bonesho,
only to be thwarted by her mother, Carole Herbstreet-Kalinyen.
Others in the large, powerful
cast included Milwaukee favorites; Robert Hirschi; James Strange; Patrick
McCann; and Lawrence J. Lukasavage; Songs, dances, comedy and
a bit of horrifying violence were ingredients contributed by Barbara
Zaferos, Barbara Weber, Mark Ninneman, and Sandy Lewis.
Gutzman played the role of "The Poet" who dreams the nightmare
we see on the stage before us. Gutzman reworked Williams various versions
of the show, wrestling it down to an acceptable length and form.
It was two hours of unforgettable theater!
Roper created an environment that surrounded the audience.
The aidience was caught up
in the festivals, the fear, the humor, the humiliation, the erotic tension,
and most of all, the magnificent poetry of a man who may be America's greatest