Dominican theater: “Clú”, the art of easy laughter

Hell is full of good intentions. Common place to which we frequently resort, to deduce that something did not go quite right, no matter how much effort was put into it. Sometimes, using euphemisms so as not to seem too cruel saves us from many misunderstandings.

Necessary preamble to comment on the staging of the theatrical piece in a comedy key, “Clú”, which as its own producers called, is a parody of the entertaining board game Clue, or Cluedo, as it was originally called in England, developed by Anthony Pratt, and which, let’s be honest, was a complete success with the public in all its presentations in the Manuel Rueda room of the School of Fine Arts.

And the librettists of “Clú” resorted to common places, in their intention to achieve the easy laughter of an undemanding audience, which is content with the simplicity of a compendium of hackneyed jokes used too often, of those that require the minimum of reasoning.

The “sitcoms” or situation comedies brought to the theater work, as has been the case with “Clú”, for the great masses, for those people who generally would not go to see a play with a text by Shakespeare or Lorca , because they find them boring, but, on the other hand, they feel so attracted when, in addition to the triviality of the representation, the additional element is added that the cast is made up of two or three thriving figures from television, radio, or “influencers” of social networks.

From the synopsis of the work we summarize the following: a group of very particular people are summoned to a mansion to determine who among them is blackmailing the others (due to dark issues of their private lives), but a crime occurs in the meeting.

From there starts a kind of police, detective and “hilarious” plot, to determine who the murderer was.

What is the main objective of a comedy? Amuse. Starting from this postulate, we can infer that “Clú” has hit the target. Now, does that same audience, who cracked up with laughter with each outing of the characters in the play, deserve such a level of nonsense? We will never know.

Does “Clú” deserve to be described as a play? It will be necessary to ask the most orthodox, the purists who refuse to accept the currents other than those that follow the so-called Theater of the method or, simply, that made by the graduates of traditional schools.

“Clú” is a pretentious staging, from the visual point of view. A lavish scenery, with costumes, hairdressing and accessories very well cared for.

Production-wise, they spared no effort. The weakness was in the argument. A dotted plot, what to say dotted, full of absurdities and clichés for no reason.

But nothing, that in these peculiarities lie the marked differences between pure theatre, the one that is based more on the content, basically, than on the form, and the one that, as is the case with this production, which bets on the trivial to capture the largest number of audiences in theaters.

It is clear that the success or failure of a montage does not depend at all on the quality of its content, or the preparation of its cast. But, rather, of the evaluation given by the public that attends each function.

+ The cast

As this is a free and parodied version of the game, the librettists Irma García Moore, José Gregorio Rodríguez, Nicolás Hernández and Jean Villanueva (El Panda que anda) recreated characters with special characteristics and we will now name them with the artists or personalities who gave them life : Gabi Desangles is Scarlet; Jean Villanueva, Mr. Green; Gracielina Olivero, Celeste; Alejandro Espino, Mr. Black; Miguel Lendor, Colonel Mostaza; Chabela Estrella, Lady White; Liondy Ozoria, Purple Professor; Estefany Pineapple Miss Orange; Miguel del Villar, The Butler; Nicolás Hernández, Marino and Rosmery Herrand, Rosita.
Under the baton of Rosa Aura, its director, the performers defied any forecast of failure and took over the stage of that rarely used room, which, if we have anything to thank her for, is to reactivate a space that from now on could have more activity and not only be limited to the graduation acts of promotions of the National School of Dramatic Art, or performances of emerging groups, aimed at a small audience.

Due to the success of the first performances, all of them sold out, new performances were announced for October 13 and 14 in the same Manuel Rueda room, from the Schools of Fine Arts.

Dominican theater: “Clú”, the art of easy laughter