But let us take each show separately. At the beginning of June, I was at the opening night of “Solteira, Casada, Viúva, Divorciada”, a full-length play where four different authors (Regiana Antonini, Maria Adelaide Amaral, Noemi Marinho, and Luiz Arthur Nunes) have each written a monologue, all to be performed by a single actress. These four monologues blend into each other, showing different types of behaviour by different women – even if the actress playing all of them is always the same one. These short plays go from the comic to the sad, from the dramatic to the funny. Under the direction of Alexandre Contini, Stella Maria Rodrigues moves seamlessly from one character to the next, playing Vilma, Do Carmo, Celeste Aída and Catarina, each of them with a different civil status (single, married, widowed, divorced) in a way that the audience recognizes without any doubt which of the roles she is playing. This play is scheduled to run until 30th of July. Performances take place Saturdays at 08:00 P.M., and Sundays at 07:00 P.M. It lasts for seventy-five minutes. The price of tickets is R$ 60,00 with a 50% (fifty percent) discount for students and senior citizens. Censorship is for young people under the age of fourteen.
But this is only one of the performances that this actress/singer is doing at the moment. Under the direction of Sueli Guerra, Stella Maria Rodrigues is also acting and singing in “Emilinha”, a pocket musical, where she shares the stage with Fabrício Negri, and brings the audience a totally different performance from the monologues I reviewed above. I spent a delightful evening mid June, when I watched this performance!
Back in September 2012, I reviewed for “The Umbrella” readers “Emilinha & Marlene – As Rainhas do Rádio”. In this musical, Stella Maria Rodrigues also played several small parts, as well as being the understudy of both Vanessa Gerbelli as Emilinha, and Solange Badin as Marlene. However, during the run Stella Maria Rodrigues took over the part of “Emilinha” when Vanessa Gerbelli had to leave the production. And now she is playing “Emilinha” again! In this pocket musical by Thereza Falcão, she revives emblematic episodes in the life of Emilinha Borba, a famous Brazilian radio and show singer, and presents classic songs from Brazilian popular music, romantic boleros and Carnaval “marchinhas”, all of which were successful in the voice of Emilinha Borba. This is a well-deserved tribute to this famous singer. Born in 1923, she died in 2005, after having had an eventful career and enjoyed considerable fame. On the night I went to see the play, there was a large number of senior citizens, women and men who had been Emilinha’s fans in the old days when she was a famous radio star.
If you have never gone to the theatre in Brazil, give these two plays a chance. I quote Mary de La Rivière Manley (1663-1724) when she said: “No time like the present”.
“Emilinha” also plays at the Teatro Maison de France. Performances take place on Thursdays and Fridays at 07:00 P.M. Price of tickets is R$ 60,00 with a 50% (fifty percent) discount for students and senior citizens. The show lasts for seventy-five minutes and there is no age restriction. The run is scheduled to finish on the 28th of July.
Once again I wish to praise Marcelo Marques for his work as set and costumes designer. Although rather basic, due to the fact that there are different plays performed on different days on the same stage, both sets work well. The costumes are excellent, particularly the “Emilinha” costumes that are all within the period when this singer was a famous name on the musical scene. A joy to remember those old days! And there are many moments when Stella Maria Rodrigues’ voice reminds the audience of Emilinha herself. So, if you wish to see one or both good shows, this is the tip I am giving you now. Don’t miss this excellent entertainment!
- Box office telephone number: 2544-2533.
- Valet parking (plenty of taxis waiting after the performance.)
- Small café for drinks and snacks before the curtain goes up.
(*) Ewa Procter is a writer and a theatre translator, and
Vice-President of the Instituto Cultural Chiquinha Gonzaga.