- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 3, 2001

''Almas Gemelas (Soul Mates)" addresses simply and humorously one of the most complicated dramas in a middle-aged couple's life: the conflict between a comfortable but boring life with a longtime spouse and the excitement but uncertainty and fear aroused when other potential partners enter the marital scene.

The Argentine play, based on Eduardo Rovner's script "Compania," is being presented by Gala Hispanic Theatre.

Directed by Abel Lopez, the cast explores the conflict in a realistic style that skips sophistication, all for the better. The round stage, set as a simple apartment, turns out to be a plus. The design reduces the distance between the actors and the audience and helps make the spectators feel the characters' grievances and thoughts as their own.

The longtime dormant desires of Ana (Cynthia Benjamin) and Osvaldo (Hugo Medrano) emerge when the pair meet by chance other potential romantic partners — Magda (Florina LeMaitre) and Luis (Bienvenido Martinez).

Miss Benjamin does a convincing job — even when losing track of the script a few times — in the role of a devoted housewife who resists all the temptations, even when her husband reveals that he is in love with another woman. As the drama evolves, the spectators have to decide if what they are watching are the real feelings of the characters or rather a reflection of middle-class Argentine behavior.

So far, so good.

But when the public is prepared to assist in an interesting discussion, Woody Allen-style, about the consequences of uncovering the real feelings, some bizarre things take place. These distort the atmosphere and change it into a farce.

Even so, the play is worth seeing and causes viewers to reflect on their own circumstances.{*}{*}{*}WHAT: "Almas Gemelas (Soul Mates)." In Spanish with English interpretation.WHERE: Gala Hispanic Theatre at the Warehouse Theater, 1021 Seventh St. NWWHEN: 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 4 p.m. Sundays, through March 18TICKETS: $25, and $18 for students and senior citizensPHONE: 202/234-7174


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