Every Love Bird

Needs a Nest

by Oscar Viale (Argentina)

directed by Mario Marcel (Argentina)

Feb. 25 - Mar. 13, 2010

at Gunston Arts Center  -  Theatre 2

2700 South Lang St., Arlington, VA 22206

In Spanish with English Surtitles

Comedy   -   Area Première   -    Ages: 13+

A young, lower-middle-class couple lives with the wife’s family, trying to create a separate life for themselves. Misunderstandings and misadventures ensue, including ill-timed entrances without knocking... Broad characters and broader laughs!


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Bob Anthony, by Bob Anthony

DC Theatre Scene, by Rosalind Lacy

The Examiner, by Barbara Mackay (Special to The Examiner)

Rich Massabny, by Rich Massabny

Washington Post, by Celia Wren

Bob Anthony
Drama and Dance
Best Acting: Karin Tovar Cardenas "Chumbale (Teatro de la Luna)

Teatro de la Luna is presenting "Chumbale-El Casado Casa Quiere" (translation: "Every Love Bird Needs a Nest") (To 3/13). It is really a farce but being played as a comedy which is not bad since it still garners lots of laughs as a young married couple living in a bedroom of her family's apartment can't seem to get any privacy as people storm into their bedroom without knocking. Of course, they might have easily put a lock on the door but in farcical mileau there would then be no delights following. Leyre Varela as the mother has to be credited with true farcical playing...meaning she "believes" in the reality of the situation. The other five players are skillful comedians who play upon each character's idiosyncracies. Alex Alburqueque is best as he needs to go to the bathroom but must make a "painful" decision to repaint their one bedroom before he can leave the bedroom and face family repercussions. Gerald Montoya is the brother-in-law who has bad training in "gun control". Karin Tovar Cardenas as the sister slowly warms to Enzo's dilemma and provides him sympathy. Livio Danna is the violent prone father-in-law who believes in the sanctity of his apartment and any decision to make changes is his prerogative. Marcela Ferlito Walder is the soppy wife who, after marriage, turns into a shrew. Although she has proven herself to be a fine young actress in other shows...she would have been more fun is she were more shrewish. Nevertheless the audience loved this situational comedy and the conflict scenes are huge and provide for many belly laughs. It is good family entertainment. A reminder: acted in Spanish but there is a screen providing English surtitles for audience members in the back two rows.

DC Theatre Scene

Washington’s Liveliest Theatre Website

Chumbale (Every Love Bird Needs a Nest)

When you consider that Facebook is banned in some communist countries today, Chumbale, an area premiere, is wickedly funny, and extraordinarily brave. Written in 1971 during military rule when it was extremely dangerous, even life-threatening to speak out openly, Argentine playwright Oscar Viale vents astonishing resistance to top-down rule that annihilates privacy.

Chumbale comes across as a black comedy that could be ripe fodder for filmmaker/animator Terry Gilliam, of “Monty Python” fame, who made Brazil about an individual who can’t quite conform. How does a free-thinking intellectual guy survive in a dictatorial household? The title, with accent on the first syllable, translates as “Hound me! Keep on hounding me!” based on a dog attack command used only in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Every Love Bird Needs a Nest was tacked on as a sub-title by Teatro de la Luna to universalize the need for personal refuge from invasion and respect for the individual.

Read more

The Examiner

Teatro de la Luna's 'Chumbale'

an insightful, serious comedy

In terms of its tone, topics and characters, Argentinian playwright Oscar Viale's "Chumbale" ("Every Love Bird Needs a Nest") at first glance appears to be a lighthearted farce, pure and simple. In the production at Teatro de la Luna, director Mario Marcel spins the action from one side of the stage to the other at breakneck speed. Conversations overlap. Chaos reigns supreme.

But not very far into the first act it appears that "Chumbale" is neither pure nor simple and that -- though the humor never stops -- Viale is dealing with significant social issues.

The main character, Enzo (Alex Alburqueque), is a street vendor who sells coffee. He and his wife of eight months, Mecha (Marcela Ferlito Walder) have moved in with her parents, occupying a room in their house in order to save money. Mecha's brother, Quique (Gerald Montoya) and sister Aida (Karin Tovar Cardenas), also live in the house, adding to the general overload.

From the start, Enzo has privacy issues. No one knocks before entering his and Mecha's room, a fact that infuriates Enzo. To him, a door is something to knock on. To everyone else in the house, a door is something to breeze through. Enzo and his father-in-law, Roque (Livio Danna) and mother-in-law, Mercedes (Leyre Varela), come to blows when Enzo decides to paint the shabby room he and Mecha occupy.

Roque insists the house is his and Enzo cannot paint without his permission. But Enzo's agony is not simply over being told not to paint. It's over the whole notion of property. To whom does the room belong? Enzo has heard that "property does not exist," and the fact Roque is so inflexible, so unable to see anything but his own ownership of the house sets Enzo to questioning the basis of property and of one individual's rights versus another's.

Marcel works with a worthy group of actors. Alburqueque is a gifted comedian, using Viale's broad comedy to illuminate the plight of the hapless Enzo. Walder brings just the right combination of naivete and manipulation to the role of Mecha. Varela and Danna make an excellent pair as the overbearing, dense parents. Cardena and Montoya are well cast as the insensitive brother and sister who could drive anyone crazy.

Even when Enzo is playing out the classic battle of the lone individual battling society, the comedy in "Chumbale" doesn't flag. It winds tighter and tighter, putting more and more pressure on Enzo until he seeks out a conclusion worthy of his frustration and failure. "Chumbale" ends with a nod to the theater of the absurd, Viale's clever suggestion that not every lovebird will fit into every nest.

Rich Massabny


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Chumbale (Every Love Bird Needs a Nest)

The comedy, “Chumbale” (Every Love Bird Needs a Nest), written by Argentinean playwright Oscar Viale (1932-1994), (and translated by David Bradley) is now playing at the Gunston Arts Center, presented by Teatro De La Luna. It’s a very funny story of a newly married young couple living with the wife’s family. As a fun show, “Chumbale” stands on its own, showing humorous conflicts with in-laws---yet, in the program notes we are reminded that this artistic work was produced in dictatorship Argentina. The father, Roque (Livio Danna), as ruler of the family domain, could be a subtle comparison to the Country’s dictatorship. Yes, it may seem to be a stretch, but perhaps not to those living under military rule for 50 years---and masked humor is their only release. Teatro’s artistic director Mario Marcel, a fellow Argentinean, credits author Viale for developing the theatrical movement. Marcela Ferlito Walder (Mecha) and Alex Alburqueque (Enzo) are the couple in love who draw battle—and laughs—with the father. The mother, Mercedes (Leyre Varela) tempers her buffoonish husband, as does the sister, Aida (Karin Tovar Cardenas). The son, Quique (Gerald Montoya) is a gun-toting cop. The couple have a small bedroom in the house with a very important door. I suspect some of Teatro’s older audience members get the understated message.

Washington Post

'Chúmbale,' Argentine farce at Arlington's Teatro de la Luna

Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, February 25, 2009; Page C08

"A can of paint always means something," a character broods in "Chúmbale: El Casado Casa Quiere (Every Love Bird Needs a Nest)," by Argentine playwright Oscar Viale. Boy, does that remark hold true in this 1971 comedy, which is larking about on an Arlington County stage courtesy of Teatro de la Luna. In Viale's mostly antic world, the discovery of a can of latex white in an overcrowded home prompts an avalanche of wacky schemes, family confrontations and physical high jinks. "Chúmbale" can be read as political satire, according to a Teatro de la Luna handout, but -- with the exception of a startlingly grim moment or two -- director Mario Marcel's energetic Spanish-language production skips along quite drolly on the level of farce.

The set's painstakingly cluttered and shabby domestic tableau (Marcel is scenic designer) clues you in to the characters' quandary. The underachieving coffee vendor Enzo (Alex Alburqueque) and his new bride, Mecha (Marcela Ferlito Walder), live with Mecha's parents and siblings. The young couple have virtually no privacy, even in their bedroom, which still harbors Mecha's girlhood toys and furniture: In this household, knocking is a foreign concept, and Mecha's policeman brother Quique (Gerald Montoya) sleeps in the hall, just yards away. When Enzo begins to think about painting the bedroom's grimy walls -- and even expresses skepticism about the sanctity of private property -- Mecha's tyrannical father, Roque (Livio Danna), feels his authority is being threatened. Bedlam ensues.

His expressions perplexed and exasperated, his posture boyishly awkward, Alburqueque creates a funny and endearing portrait of Enzo. Other entertaining turns come from Montoya, whose Quique is alternately bullying and childlike, and Danna, whose cartoonishly thundering Roque swaggers around with his thumbs hooked on his suspenders. Puttering here and there in a pale pink nightgown, Walder's Mecha is cajoling, anxious and giggly; and Leyre Varela and Karin Tovar Cárdenas are aptly nosy and bossy, respectively, as Mecha's mother and sister. Marcel has invented some clever shtick for the actors, particularly after Enzo has barricaded himself inside the bedroom. The production's atmosphere is so generally frothy, in fact, that it's shocking to encounter a subplot involving Quique and a horrifying sexual assault.

This narrative equivalent of a hand grenade, which takes up very little space in the script, is presumably Viale's signal that "Chúmbale" is social criticism in disguise.

Indeed, according to the Teatro handout, the dramatist devised the play as a subtle jab at the military regime then ruling Argentina: Roque symbolized the autocratic government; Enzo represented dreamers bent on self-expression, and so on. The allegory is far from obvious, at least in this production, which primarily plumbs the comic depths in that can of latex paint.

Wren is a freelance writer.

Chúmbale: El Casado Casa Quiere (Every Love Bird Needs a Nest)

By Oscar Viale. Direction and scenic and sound design by Mario Marcel; costumes, Rosita Becker and Nucky Walder; lighting, Ayun Fedorcha. In Spanish with English surtitles (translation by David Bradley).

Two hours. Through March 13 at Gunston Arts Center, Theatre Two, 2700 S. Lang St., Arlington. Call 703-548-3092 or visit http://www.teatrodelaluna.org. © Copyright 1996- 2010 The Washington Post Company

© Copyright 1996- 2010 The Washington Post Company











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