Produced by Carlos Bracho and Antonio Calvo, the Mexico City production of the West-End horror hit play The Woman in Black (La Dama de Negro) celebrated 1000 performances Mar. 5 at the Teatro Rafael Solana.
It's a tradition in Mexico to celebrate each 100 performances of a show by inviting special guests to unveil a commemorative engraved plate that is later hanged in the foyer of the theatre. With this tradition, foyers of Mexico City's theatres are like museums with plates honoring all successful productions that have played at each theatre.
This time the special guests were Mexican film diva Elsa Aguirre and Mr. Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, Governor Chief of Mexico City (Jefe de Gobierno del Distrito Federal). Mr. Cardenas was pleased with the show and gave a standing ovation to its stars, German Robles and Jorge Antolin.
Among the celebrities that showed up at this special celebration were Olivia Bucio (Me and My Girl, 42nd Street) and Manuel Landeta, who is currently rehearsing the role of Bobby Child for the Mexican premiere of Crazy For You.
Based on the novel by Susan Hill and adapted by Stephen Mallatratt, La Dama de Negro opened in Mexico City Feb. 17, 1994 starring Robles as a lawyer obsessed with the belief that his family has been cursed by a Woman in Black, and Rafael Perrin as a sceptical young actor who helps the lawyer to recount his experiences. For The Woman in Black German Robles won the 1994 Heraldo Award for Best Actor in a Play, and that same year the Mexican Critics' Association awarded Rafael Perrin as the Best Supporting Actor in a Play.
On Jan. 17, 1997, Rafael Perrin (who also directed the show) suffered a heart attack as a result of the stressful role he was playing. Guillermo Sauceda took over Perrin's part, but he left the show in August to be replaced by Jorge Antolin.
Fortunately, Rafael Perrin is completely recovered, he recently directed the new Mexican musical hit Houdini: La Magia del Amor (Houdini: The Magic of Love) and is directing the Mexican premiere of Crazy For You, scheduled to open Mar. 26.
The original London production of The Woman in Black is playing since 1989 at the Fortune Theatre, where it continues to terrify audiences eight times a week.
The Woman in Black haunts the Teatro Rafael Solana in Mexico City on Fri. at 8:30PM, Sat. at 6PM & 8:30PM and Sun. at 6PM.For tickets, call (52-5) 554-1633.
--By Claudio Carrera