See it if Dark comedy of exaggerated spanish melodrama. Act 1 had an interesting premise that was subtle, magical, & spiritual.
Don't see it if Act 2 was an angry unpacking of family grievances that didn’t match the gentle setup from Act 1. I felt disconnected and confused.
See it if Cruz's drama concerning illusive nature of love vs obsession Rich, poetic language ofttimes overwhelms story Zayas' staging wisely discreet
Don't see it if Act 2 spins wildly out of control becoming a violent & often shrill pyscho-drama about family greviences Borders on a telenovela Big letdown
See it if You want to see an interesting an unusual take on how family reacts after a loved one receives a heart transplant
Don't see it if You do not understand Spanish and don’t want to read subtitles. But that should not stop you from seeing this Read more
See it if you are interested in the somewhat unique concept of transplant surgery and the effects on the recipient and the donor's family.
Don't see it if you are not Spanish language literate, have problems reading subtitles while trying to watch the play and like to be emotionally involved.
See it if You have yet to see a play performed in a language other than English. You enjoy tense family dramas.
Don't see it if You are looking for something "light." You do not enjoy family dramas. You do not enjoy melodrama. Read more
See it if you want to promote Spanish speaking theatre and know a cast member to support.
Don't see it if you want to see a well acted and well written play on an important subject.
See it if You enjoy family drama shows. Note: The show is in Spanish. There are subtitle screens at each seat.
Don't see it if You don’t like repetitive dialogue that asks the same question without answer.
See it if You like a tale well told
Don't see it if You hate reading translations in front of you
"A poetic tangle of a new play...As the family’s clashing feelings about Lorenzo come to the surface, the play turns unwieldy. Beautifully strange at the start, it gets as messy and confused as the emotions it contains...She never does learn much about this young man in whom her husband’s heart is taking root, changing him in unexpected ways...Neither do we, and that feels like a missed opportunity all around."
"An explosive first production...As in several of Cruz's previous works, drama ignites from the friction between the banal and the magical...Pulses are sure to quicken over the course of two hours thanks to Zayas's taut staging, which takes a delicate situation and refuses to treat it delicately...Cruz has a talent for sustaining such doubt, the exquisite agony of which will linger in your mind long after you leave the theater."
"The first act is charming but a tad listless...The combination of a flightly, flirty first act with the savagely hurled accusations of the second act does verge on soap opera at times...Then again, it is never dull, and Zayas' cast manages the hairpin turns in tone with the lightest of touches...My one reservation about 'Exquisita Agonia' is that the material may be a tad too carefully, casually handled here...Nevertheless, this is a lively, well-acted affair that builds to some genuine dramatic fireworks."
"It’s beautifully written...There’s rueful humor, Chekhovian reveries and a sense of the mystical all with a demonstrative Latin sensibility. The dialogue is filled with passionate eloquence and is made even more pleasurable by experiencing it in Spanish...From the film noir opening to the combative finale, director José Zayas has staged this arresting production with visual flair. Mr. Zayas’ sensitivity for the material enables the cast to mine all of the play’s comedy and emotion."
“It doesn't always feel like the characters wholeheartedly believe what they're saying...In the midst of these interesting investigations of emotional overindulgence and generosity, Flores is a graceful, sensitive Amér...Nicolás’s Millie is sensual, even earthy, making her flights of fancy a little jarring. Some blocking choices are difficult to decipher, but if concessions must be made to Abrego's gorgeous lightbox-and-aortic-red-tree set, it is worth it.”
“A complex drama that’s both provocative and poetic...A significant new work..Brisk, no-frills directing style...Until the explosive moments toward the close of the second act, the production has the aura of a mild-mannered family dramedy. It brings out the comedy and a smattering of pathos but eschews the mysteriousness of the magic realism that gives much of Cruz’s writing its seductive appeal...The performers are commendable in their verisimilitude.”
"Conceptually, I thought 'Exquisita Agonia' was brilliant...Cruz’s writing, along with Jose Zayas meticulous direction, make sure Lorenzo is the ghost that haunts everyone...Admittedly, the second act is A LOT. It is a heavy act that takes the noble curiosity of the first act and erupts it with familial pains and secrets...Yet, there are a lot of laughs and prompters of enlightening thoughts. Cruz’s words on love could move a rock to bleed."
“A thought-provoking and entertaining new work...Centers on the unsaid, the unfinished and what is known as cellular memory...Cruz’s plot flirts with science fiction...It also toys with the concept of transference...The cast is superb, particularly Nicolas, who delivers an energetic and comical performance: it’s engaging on all levels...Through the dialogue, crisp and fluid, Cruz tells a fascinating story of where humanity really lives and where it ends.”