A shortened version of Homer Barrera’s play, Waiting for Callas to Sing examines how dreams of love and happiness often end in deception and betrayal.
Lucy (Hebe Barrera) writes poetry and immerses herself in the arts. Along with her friend Tony (Homer Barrera), she contemplates grand loves and heroes – actor Victor Mature as Samson, Maria Callas gloriously singing the role of Dalila in the opera, “Sanson et Dalila.” She waits in glorious anticipation of Callas singing, as well as for a better life.
Playwright Barrera ably stepped in at the last minute, replacing the leading man. For such short notice, he did a fine job, bringing depth of feeling and teasing humor to the role, along with fine timing of the jokes and asides.
Stephanie Williams belts out her aria with a large, expressive voice, similar to that of Callas, which blends well with her warm fluid tone.
Hebe Barrera flirts and teases as she playfully spars with Tony, but remains too one-note most of the time.
While the story is a conversation between two people, action remains too passive, with the actors basically standing in place to declaim their roles. More movement and onstage business would add energy and visual interest to the production.
The one act contains poetic discussions of life; it also contains adult language and situations, suitable for mature audiences only.
Waiting for Callas to Sing blends past and present, real and unreal, as it reveals how hope helps us survive tragedy.
Waiting for Callas to Sing plays Saturday nights through June 29 at Studio C Artists located at 6448 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood. Tickets cost $12. To buy tickets, visit hollywoodfringe.org/projects/1386.