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A CurtainUp Review
By Les Gutman
For it is clear that the last thing Diqui James and his colleagues want from an audience is too much analysis. That glossy brochure also informs us, "Fuerzabruta doesn't have a purpose. It is."
Anyone unschooled in De La Guarda ought to read the warnings linked below. They apply with equal (or even more brute) force here. Fuerzabruta is not for spectators, or those seeking exclusively vicarious thrills. It is more spectacle than theater in any conventional sense, with a heavy dose of "dance club& thrown in for good measure.
The experience is at its best when it shocks and surprises, which is does in quite a few ways, some familiar to those who saw De La Guarda, but many that are new. Because of this, as a corallary, the show is least successful when it goes on too long without anything new or different.
As a feat of technical mastery, Fuerzabruta is pretty astonishing. The line between on-stage and backstage are as blurred as those between stage and audience, but it's fair to say it takes more folk backstage than on to realize each performance. Much of the surprise is of course best left undescribed, though it's no secret that for a good chunk of the show the audience is looking overhead through the transparent floor of a swimming pool that's as large as many off-Broadway theaters.
To those of us who saw De La Guarda almost a decade ago, Fuerzabruta may not seem quite as essential. (Then, I described it as a "must-see".) But it may be just the infusion of brutal fun you need to clear your head for more sedentary visits to the theater.
De La Guarda
Fuerzabruta in London