Mariana is having an awful time. Her Miami gallery was all set to exhibit the work of a successful artist when it all went missing. Every single painting was stolen. To make matters worse, her mother has shown-up clearly in need of something. Family drama mixes with beautifully idiosyncratic comedy in Laughs In Spanish. Playwright Alexis Scheer’s cleverly-crafted 90-minute party satisfyingly opens the season for Milwaukee Chamber Theatre.
Isa Condo-Olvera makes a deeply appealing appearance as Mariana--the coherent center to all of the rest of the chaos which seems to be orbiting around her. Rána Roman summons a strong presence to the stage as Mariana’s mother--a Hollywood actress who looks to get closer to her daughter at a rather difficult point in her life. To make matters a bit more complicated, the only solution to the suddenly empty gallery seems to be employing the paintings of her assistant Carolina (an emotionally dynamic Ashley Oviedo) who happens to be dating a police officer who has boldly put himself in charge of investigating the theft. Arash Fakhrabadi had an earthbound charm as a man who is caught-up around the edges of an extended family in flux.
Director Anna Skidis Vargas keeps the crazy energy of the show moving without ever overwhelming the audience. The offbeat energies of the comedy inhabit a very appealing visual world. Costume Designer Jazmin Aurora Medina does a beautiful job of dressing the contemporary Miami art world against a very clean and bright backdrop by Scenic Designer Em Allen. Emotionally endearing comedy moves through an appealing visual world.
Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s production of Laughs In Spanish runs through Oct. 8 at the Broadway Theatre Center’s Studio Theatre on 158 N. Broadway. For ticket reservations and more, visit Milwaukee Chamber Theatre online.