“Viva El Zorro!” are exactly my sentiments about the United States premiere of this new musical playing at the Hale Center Theater in West Valley City.
The pyrotechnics in Hale Center Theater shone brightly during the production. A man’s tortured conscience torments him with a dream that has real flames blazing around him, the heat of which the audience could feel. A burning “Z” comes alive in the middle of the stage with flames dancing. One actor had to stomp out a persistent spark that refused to go out on queue during my visit.
Aristotle’s six elements of theater, theme, action, characters, language, music and spectacle were all present. The colorful characters and lifestyles of the Gypsies add a culture that can capture the imagination with magic acts, passionate flamenco dancing and rich, colorful clothing of greens, purples, reds and more.
Inez is a beautiful Gypsy woman who captures the stage, the sergeant’s heart and is a close friend to Diego. Inez is similar in quality to Esmeralda from Disney’s “Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Aiding in Diego’s secret and adventures, Inez tries to keep everyone safe and out of harm’s way.
The theme, as director Dave Tinney wrote in his director’s notes, was to depict the hero’s journey. I believe another theme is the much needed role mercy plays in true justice.
The action is here at “Zorro” in high dosages for anyone yearning for an adventure with the great plot of the making of a hero. Diego creates that masked figure with sword, whip and carrying the hope of the people. Also, the dialogue had periods where the entire audience was laughing.
The music from the Spanish guitar made it toe-tapping enough for me. The young girl next to me was probably wondering why, because she keep looking over at me as if I was crazy. I just could not restrain myself. I would have loved to get up and learn how to dance.
The spectacle is amazing and something I would not recommend passing up while it is here in Utah. It is on my list to go see again if the possibility presents itself.
“Zorro the Musical” will be playing at Hale Center Theater until April 11. It is for audiences ready for action, sword fighting and music. For more information students can go to halecentertheatre.org.