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De La Guarda



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Updated 04/03/2001
De La Guarda (CLOSED)
By Chuck Rounds
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De La Guarda is playing at the Rio Hotel and Casino. The performance takes place in a warehouse-like structure that supports the cables and ropes from which the cast members swing, float and spin above the audience's heads. It is a club-like atmosphere inside this "theatre." All of the audience members stand, dance, and essentially just party for the 70 minute production. The performance occurs both above and amongst the audience--to help promote the idea of "theatre with no boundaries." The show is definitely for the younger club going crowd.

The performance is not really "about" anything. There are no characters, no characterization, no plot, no story, no development of anything. The cast members simply express themselves through various images, and the performance is all about image--unfortunately with no substance behind it. Image is everything.

The performance is filled with a lot of different images--mostly centering around sexuality or anger. The use of the ropes makes these images visually interesting, but there is a lack of depth to any of the images, and there is nothing to help inform us or heighten our awareness to a greater sense or understanding of anything.

The novelty of the club scene wore off several years ago for me, and so I am certainly not part of their ideal or target audience, but then again, no one has done anything to inform the public of what a kind of audience should see this production, as well as those who shouldn't...I guess that's where I come in. The idea of standing through a production was not very appealing, nor was the idea of getting soaked with water. I felt sorry for several older couples that didn't want to be pushed around in a crowd, and soon realized that this production was just not for them. They left shortly after it was visually possible for them to find the exit. I felt sorry for the woman who didn't want to get her hair and clothes wet, but it was too late. I felt sorry for the person that wore the wrong shoes and didn't realize that they would be standing in a puddle of water for a large portion of the show. I felt badly for the shorter person that was having a hard time seeing things because she was amongst a taller crowd. The fact is, I spent a large part of my evening watching, and feeling badly for, audience members that didn't know what they were getting into and wishing that they hadn't come in the first place.

On the other end of the spectrum, though, there were those audience members that were part of the ideal and targeted crowd. These audience members were really able to embrace the spirit of the production, and they danced, cheered, and celebrated as if they had just discovered a new religion. For the right audience, this can be an incredible production.

If you spend your week thinking about the weekend and the opportunity to go hit the club scene, then this could be a production that brings about an epiphany for you and somehow informs your life and shows you a higher plain of existence--that may be stating it a bit strongly, but there are those people that seem to be addicted to this production.

If you've moved past the club scene; if you've chosen substance over image, if you prefer the eighty's radio station over the radical contemporary station; then this is not going to be a production that you'll enjoy. It is really that simple to decide whether this will be a good or a bad production for you.






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