Orlando Fringe 2022 Review: 'Raquel'

You don’t need to be fluent in Spanish to be hooked by the emotional arc in this chilling one-woman tale.

Raquel Espinoza (Karina Gentile) searches for her vanished lover, Desiree, with the aid of a telephone psychic, but her quest to find justice for trans victims of police violence will shatter her mind and soul in this striking Spanish-language solo show from Chilean playwright Claudia Vargas Vega.

My four years of high school Spanish failed to help me follow Raquel’s fast-paced flood of words, and the English audio narration (delivered via a limited supply of earpiece receivers) was too sporadic and elliptical to shed much light on the plot, so I’ll have to leave it to a native speaker to judge the writing. But you don’t need to be fluent to be hooked by the murderous roller-coaster of an emotional arc in this chilling one-woman campfire tale.

Gentile emotes fearlessly with an operatic range fit for an old-school Argento giallo film (with the aid of a moody Simonetti-esque soundtrack to match) but the source of Raquel’s trauma is tragically contemporary. Recommended for anyone who appreciates intense intersectional dramas, especially if you hablas espanol.

Tickets and show info: Raquel


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