Despite a 7.0 earthquake, Seattle's Empty Space Theatre will open its production of Jose Rivera's References to Salvador Dali tonight, Feb. 28. Arlette del Toro stars as Gabriela, a woman seeking love in a mystical world in the West Coast premiere. Directed by associate Empty Space artistic director Rod Piloud (Hanging Lord Haw Haw), Salvidor Dali began peformances Feb. 23 for a run through March 24. A work of magic realism a la novelist Gabriel Garcia Marqez, Salvador Dali gazes at the loves of lonely army wife Gabriela, her soldier husband Benito home on leave and the 14-year-old neighbor boy Martin who has fallen for her. Surrounding their desert home in Barstow, California is the magical world of nature, where a hungry coyote tries to love a wary house cat, the moon plays the fiddle and the cacti creep closer and closer. Rivera is also the author of Each Day Dies With Sleep, Giants Have Us in Their Books, Cloud Tectonics and Sueno.
Joining Toro are Mark Dias (One West Waikiki) as Benito, Jose Abaoag as Martin, Daniel J. Chercover (Dealer's Choice) as the Coyote and Bhama Roget (Under the Gaslight) as the Cat.
The design team features Torry Bend (sets), Chloe Chapin (costuems), Timothy Wratten (lighting) and Nathan Anderson (sound). Nathan Anderson and Human Folly composed the score.
Tickets in Seattle are $28-$20. The Empty Space Theatre is located at 3509 Fremont North. For tickets, call (206) 547-7500. The Empty Space Theatre is on the web at http://www.emptyspace.org.
-- By Christine Ehren