By Tennessee Williams

 
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presented June 2015


"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 York Times
Off The Wall Theatre ended its most successful season with "Camino Real!"

The 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 baby!" 

A play of unusual comedy, tragedy, power and hope, written during a time of American political turmoil, "Camino 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! " 

The 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! Marilyn 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. 

Kilroy, 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.

Director Dale 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! 

Technical Director David 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 playwright.