MEMORY IS A CULINARY AFFAIR
Reviewed by Susan J. Maskin
Librarian, writer and composer
An historical event is never more poignant than when it is seen through the eyes of those living through it. It is also true that these events, especially traumatic ones, affect future generations.
In the late 1970's to the early years of the decade that followed, a dictatorship ruled Argentina, and the resulting consequences on the lives of many thousands were to be tragic. For reasons difficult to understand -or for no reason at all- perhaps at least 30,000 people were abducted, tortured and killed.
For all the families of "The Disappeared" the trauma was extreme, and passed down through the generations. The play, Memory is a Culinary Affair, written by Argentinean Graciela Berger Wegsman, shows the emotional effect the era of "the Disappeared" had on some young people living in the aftermath.
Carina, a 36 year old woman, brilliantly played by Mariana Parma is caught between two worlds: her new life in New York with her boyfriend Marc, portrayed by Ben Joseph and her life, family and former boyfriend still living in Argentina. Marc is insistent that Carina make a commitment to him and share an apartment. Carina is hesitant. The problem comes to the surface when Carina's sister Flor played by Ydaiber Orozco visits Carina.
The drama is excellent; the acting superb. When riding home with other people who attended the performance, there was a discussion about the characters as if they were real people that we all knew. My husband and I were talking about Carina and Flor several days later. What could be a better testament to the quality of a play than the audience reacting in such a way?
I am hopeful that this drama will be produced again so that others can have the same meaningful experience that I and my husband had.
Reviewed by Mariela Dreyfus, PhD
DGS, Creative Writing in Spanish
New York University
"Memory: you have the key"
Cito de memoria un verso de T.S. Eliot en el titulo para decirte que me gusto mucho tu obra; el modo en que la memoria se vuelve el eje para hilvanar una historia rica, compleja y sobre todo, bastante intensa y conmovedora. Excelente la manera en que elegiste las canciones para tu obra, desde el dramatismo de la Negra Sosa hasta ese final divertido con el estribillo mas famoso de Blades: "La vida te da sorpresas". Me gusta mucho tambien como manejas los distintos registros emocionales, desde la risa (muy bien dosificado el humor) hasta las lagrimas.
Reviewed by Barbara Haimowitz, PhD
We wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed "Memory is a Culinary Affair." The play was outstanding, the dialogue lively and intense, the actors entrenched in their roles...loved Blanca as mother and "ghost" steering her daughter Carina to make her own decisions in her life. Great portrayal of the tight-knit bond between the sisters carina and Flor. What an excellent use of voice overs in the letter from Jorge! Striking contrast between the Buenos Aires -born and typical American Marc!
We think that this play should be adapted for a movie...
Many thanks and much continued success, here is to Broadway!
Barbara and Ira