August Strindberg’s late-19th-century play Miss Julie was the inspiration for Julia, the incendiary one-act written and directed by Claudio Raygoza, Ion Theatre’s executive artistic director. But don’t go looking for too many clues in Strindberg’s naturalistic work, which was twice made into a film. Raygoza’s Julia is not the oppressed daughter of a Swedish count, but a wronged wife of a Mexican politician who flouts her liberation (so she thinks) and exacts her revenge (sort of ) by way of unseen hubby Ruben’s valet and cook.
It’s full-throated, sexy, gun- and knife-wielding melodrama, with Catalina Maynard (in the title role) madly shifting, like a Formula One driver in a chicane, from haunted to seductive to explosive. The placid 1970s trappings and the presence of a telescope aimed at a starry night sky (a prop for an ongoing, cryptic eclipse allusion) belie the sense of desperation inside Señora Julia.
While the locale is the Coronado Cays, there’s nothing soothing or laid-back in Raygoza’s script machinations...
Read the entire San Diego CityBeat review here.
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