The Grey Automobile
The Grey Automobile provides the inspiration to enjoy an unusual theatrical experience - a particular staging of a combination of the Marx Brothers, Gilbert & Sullivan incorporating an early Japanese film tradition. The event devised by an avant-garde theatrical director from Mexico City, Claudio Valdes-Kuri, is slapstick, surrealist, charming and light-hearted.
The performance quickly jumps the rails into sublime zaniness. But this description fails to do justice to the technical virtuosity of the verbal performers. For long stretches, they create perfect lip-synch with the actors on screen while talking at breakneck speed, never missing a cue or a beat; what they do is so difficult, and done so effortlessly, that it suggests a Zen-like identification with the material. I avoid clichés like "You've never seen anything like this before," but the fact is, you haven't.
—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago
For Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes it is a perfect project. Director Claudio Valdés Kuri and his company have always been inclined toward projects whose goal it is to dissemble and reconstruct language. They have equally shown an interest in the semi-permeable membrane between opera and avant-garde theater. Mr. Barker's libretto is a perfect union of their diverse sensibilities and a showcase for their world-famous talents.
El Gallo is quite unlike anything you've ever seen. Designed for those who hate opera and those who love opera both...
—Omar Willey, Arts & Events Seattlest.com
Here, I cannot detach myself from my inner music lover when I say that I believe the most beautiful musical moment of the whole play took place: an intricate harmony of voices in which all were one and each distinguished itself as well. After applause and cheers, the infection was inevitable: didn't you come out of the theatre singing too?
—Claudio Solano Sandoval, Muestra Nacional de Teatro, Guadalajara
Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes is one of Mexico's most internationally renowned groups and its plays are acknowledged by critics and audiences alike. El Gallo is a bet for the fusion of theatre, dance and music that unveils to us an enormous work that captivated spectators from the very first scene. The actors, all masters of theirs craft, offer and exhibit of scenic qualities in which singing, interpreting and dance are combined in a kind of configuration of the triple-threat performer.
...An original spectacle, filled with nuances that provoke an instant communion with that which is produced on stage. The greatness of El Gallo lies in its vision of total scenic art, they achieve the sensation of receiving a spectacle that has been written, designed and interpreted with capital letters.
—Javier Paisano, Diario de Sevilla
And, not satisfied with brilliantly having made us laugh and reflect, after the intermission - that today almost nobody remembers that this used to happen at the movies- they danced, sang and gave the audience the complete experience of seeing a live accompanied film. They trapped the Sunday theatre goers in a delicious and fantastical evening.
—Silvia Ruano, El Norte, Monterrey
The result enchants and at the same time surprises. What Claudio Valdes Kuri did with this film is not just a historic remake for specialists, it is a modern and agile production for the general public, in which we find humour, song and drama intertwined. It is a memorable experience in which the old and the new combine brilliantly.
—Luis Bernardo Perez, Ovaciones, Mexico City
A surprising result… what these actresses do is totally revolutionary as they perform true marvels on stage. Amusing, touching, surprising and new are but a few of the words one can use to describe this production.
—Manuel Lino, El Economista, Mexico City
Above all, the voices of the actors. The performance is, was and essentially is an ingenious and amusing combination of various artistic expressions.
—William Venegas, La Nación, San José
A chimerical show.
...It has good rhythm and feeling, black and white high quality cinematography, humour, suspense, and that irresistible blend of truth and reconstruction. In a few words, the result is a weird and wonderful atmosphere that seduces us.
—Armelle Heliot, Le Figaro, Paris
Life is a Dream
Life is a Dream is shown in all its magnificence overwhelms the spectator. A staging that is essential to see.
—Hugo Hernández, Milenio, Mexico City
Once again, Valdés Kuri surprises with a reading that approaches the twenty-first century viewer into a text written 500 years ago.
—Hugo Hernández, Milenio, Mexico City
It highlights the power of the group and the undoubted ability of its director. A splendid feast of theatrical maturity.
—Bruno Bert, La Escuela del Espectador, Mexico City
...Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes, the infallible machine of doing good theatre. El Gallo: an opera with its own personality. Says a lot. Teaches more. Fascinates. The team that has staged very important turning points in the contemporary theatre, repeats the feat of achieving an artistic factdeep and high.
—Pablo Espinosa, La Jornada, Mexico City
The clear originality of each of its productions is characteristic of this group…shaping a new horizon, deeply worked. Each work marks personal tendencies and a whole exploration field...an original product.
—Bruno Bert, Tiempo Libre, Mexico City
The music is delightful. ...The actors: emotion, definition, technique in each character. They made us laugh till we cried (and in more than one occasion they almost had a couple of theatre goers in the near edge of a laughing fit), and then they removed all empathy from us and confronted us.
—Claudia Solano, El Telón, Ocio, Guadalajara
A high level multidisciplinary performance with an excellent acting and vocal work. There are no dialogues, only their singing together with good acting and physical theatre work, that made them worthy of a standing ovation.
—Sergio Campos, El Sol de León