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Life “Raft”

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IMG_8283.jpegRaft of the Medusa By Joe Pintauro
Planet Connections Theatre
The Clemente, The Flamboyán
107 Suffolk St, New York, NY 10002
Review by Alexa Garcia

An explosive AIDS support group session, where the members of the group discover the diseases they share can divide as effectively as it conquers. Each member differs from one another: homosexuals, heterosexuals, and bisexuals, conservatives and liberals, black, white and Hispanic, rich and poor. Together they discuss, discover and hope for what is happening in the present and future.

Raft of the Medusa sports powerful direction by Francisco Solorzano (PCTF director of a staged reading, 2017), assisted by Bianca Puorto. The electrically charged ensemble included Gil Ron (Jerry Rizzo); Jeremy Brena (Michael McDermott); Perri Yaniv (Donald Miller); Delissa Reynolds (Nairobi); Charles Everett (Doug Forester); Christopher Whalen (Larry Smith); Zac Porter (Tommy Carson); Czarina Mada (Cora Dobbs); Bobby Daniel Rodriguez (Alan Hernandez); Francisco Solorzano (Jimmy Horando); Michael Billingsley (Bob Garfield); Robert Montana (Alec Quinn); Raiane Cantisano (Felicia Fuentes); and Anthony Michael Irizarry (Alan Hernandez (U/S).

Dramatic and deeply, deeply moving; alarming, depressing, inspiring, painful, witty and the list goes on to describe this play – both as a play and as a production. The intensity and commitment was such that the play seemed to end and reality began. I felt like I was sitting in on a group session and not a theatre. Even after decades in the public consciousness, Pintauro’s words enlighten and create a renewed sense of empathy regarding this awful disease.

A successful piece makes you root for the characters. Here, we pray for their survival.

Raft of the Medusa is dedicated to the memory of longtime collaborator and Barefoot Theatre Company Advisory Board member (and playwright), Joe Pintauro.

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