Full disclosure here: I saw the 20-minute version of Gabriela Munoz' show two years ago and loved it. I also helped Ms. Munoz and Audrey Crabtree a little last year on their piece called “Flocked.” Now that the disclosures are out of the way, let me tell you how much I loved the expanded, hour-long version of “Perhaps, Perhpas...”
This show heaves with equal parts gentleness and strength. Everything is so simple, yet so lived in. A ridiculous-yet-not-to-be-trifled-with creature has staged an event in the the theatre that she hopes, beyond all reasonable possibility, will actually turn into her wedding day. It doesn't, but not, maybe for the reasons one might initially suspect. It is a journey of folly that explores the nature of...what? Relationships? Love? Love as an object? The way in which we are always projecting the desire to become a particular image of ourselves onto our partners? Yes, maybe that. And maybe also the black hole that this tendency can sometimes lead us to.
In her search for the perfect wedding day, this silent charmer with gigantic hair and a white wedding dress starts simply: a wedding path gently laid on the floor with white toilet tissue, to a squaeky-voiced self-accompaniment of the marriage march. Then onto a wedding cake that she cannot resist eating, taking more with each bite, which, of course, leads to self-consciousness and a meager attempt to hit the gym, and then, because the “gym” she imagines is right next to the cake, a return to eating even more cake. There are some beautiful images here, and the situations build simply, starting with one proposition that eventually spills over into an absurd extreme without pushing.
Then onto working the audience to find a suitor, again with the same gentleness, artistry, and integrity.
Her softness has a hard core – always giving more than it asks for. And her images echo sometimes of the kind of distilled bleakness you expect more in Beckett's “Happy Days.”
I don't want to give away too much, as you should soak her journey in yourself.
I will mention that Ms. Munoz provides an example to us all in trusting the simplicity of both her approach and her narrative. She never describes, she simply does. And she never does too much. If you come to her show expecting juggling & acrobatics, you will leave disappointed. But if you come to her show hoping to get your soul juggled in amazingly contoured routine, then you will leave as full as a gorged boa constrictor.