Destiny of Desire
By Karen Zacarías
Directed by Melissa Crespo
Starring Nadya Borno, Tamir Navaro, and Sonia Roman
¡Sexo! ¡Traición! ¡Asesinato! ¡Puntos de Exclamación! Yes, this show has it all, and every line spoken has an exclamation point. Most telenovelas run for months; this one crams everything into two frantic hours. Babies are switched at birth, an evil doctor performs un-needed surgery, lovers cheat, cheaters love, and there’s a good bit of illegal DNA exchanged. The plot is too intricate to render correctly here but we begin with the poor yet honest chorus of Hortensia and Ernesto del Rio (Stephen Lima and Alina Alcantara). We jeer the rich yet evil plot drivers Fabiola and Armando Castillo (Sonia Roman and Demi Castro) as they trifle with their daughter and her ill-classed friend (Navarro and Borno.) But all injustice vanishes by the curtain, and the evil-doers get their comeuppance, up to and including a proper de-wigging.
The anguish is in English and the songs tend toward Spanish; yet there’s no confusion not intended by author Zacarías. The show begins with us in a desolate movie house in Bayarica, Outer Hispania. The screen is torn; we can peer into the back stage as actors warm up, stretch, smoke and hang out. Ancient B&W silents illuminate us as wait for the show to begin in this Cinema Infierno. Once the acting starts, it’s direct and fast. The duo of Navarro and Borno glow with the intense friendship reserved for young women Of A Certain Age. Lima and Alcantara whine and manipulate; they are poor but never completely blameless. Our villainess is blonde peruked Roman; she’s a deadly margarita of a goofy sexuality and bitter social climber. Her husband Armando (Demi Castro) needed one more gold chain to achieve full Jersey Shore Goombahood, and our two romantic leads (Andrew Romano and Esteban Vilchez) emit a goofy well intentioned energy that made the resolution satisfying. I’ve never been a soap fan but this sort of soap is condensed, focused, and not packed with ads. The house was packed the day I caught this fun show; reserve early as they are bringing in busses from The Villages.
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