Monday, November 25, 2019

Classics Without Inspiration: Quixote Nuevo and An Iliad

Emilio Delgado and Hugo E. Carbajal in Quixote Nuevo at the Huntington Theatre Company. (Photo: T. Charles Erickson)

Octavio Sollis sets Quixote Nuevo, his updated version of Don Quixote, in Texas, substituting a town called La Plancha for Cervantes’ La Mancha. In this version, a co-production of the Huntington Theatre Company, Hartford Stage and Houston’s Alley Theatre – currently playing at the Huntington – the hero, Jose Quijano (Emilio Delgado), is a retired literature professor sinking into dementia who, as Don Quixote, rides around on a bicycle with the skull of a horse hoisted on the handlebars – the horse, when it was alive, was the companion of his lonely childhood – performing heroic deeds in the name of his muse, Dulcinea. His sister Magdalena (Mariela López-Ponce) and his niece Antonia (Sarita Ocon), who have been caring for him, chase after him in the hopes of getting him into assisted living; his other pursuers are his parish priest (Orlando Arriaga) and his therapist (Gisela Chípe). His Sancho Panza is Manny Diaz (Juan Manuel Amador), who drives an ice cream wagon and whose anxious wife (Krystal Hernandez) is also trying to track down the pair of fantastic adventurers.