The idea of putting Casanova, the legendary lover, and Madonna, the pop singer and sex symbol, together in the same play is funny all by itself. But can a writer go political with such a pair?
That seems to be the intention of Puerto Rican playwright Roberto Ramos-Perea in "Mistiblu," which gets its American premiere in the Spanish-language Teatro de la Luna's production at the Gunston Arts Center.
Casanova (Mario Marcel, in a characteristically impish performance) comes to Puerto Rico in search of the Count of St. Germain, who has fashioned a potion called mistiblu ("misty blue"). One drop can add 100 years to whoever drinks it; the aging Casanova, who wants his youth and virility restored, is desperate for a swig of the magical stuff.
St. Germain (played with a pompous glower by Hector Jimenez) won't give it to him, however. St. Germain no longer believes in life; he drank five drops of mistiblu a few centuries back and is now tired and cynical. On top of that, he and Casanova have a dispute that goes way back, so the great lover's chances of copping a drop or two of mistiblu are slim, despite his begging tantrums.
How does Madonna fit into this? The material girl, acted with the requisite pouts, leers and self-caresses by Mary Teresa Fortuna, seems to function as one corner of the playwright's triangle of vanity. But she also seems to be a stand-in for the frivolous youthfulness of the Americas. There is an allegory of Puerto Rico in here somewhere; you can hear it in the disparaging rhetorical banter that Casanova and St. Germain (Europeans, it should be noted) slip into when they aren't squabbling over the potion.