From “The Memoirs, Volume Two” –
And then Maria was in town
at the time I was doing another play with Sergio and his Teatro Vivo de
Oaxaca, and she visited a couple of rehearsals and met the cast, who
were all very sweet and liked her a lot, of course.
“That’s some kind of play
you got there, Bill!” she said after seeing a rehearsal one night.
And it was. A contemporary
comedy in three acts by the well-known Mexican playwrite Hugo Argüelles,
it was called “Los Amores Criminales de las Vampiras Morales.” Though
set in the present, the action takes place in a big, gloomy, gothic type
of house where live two elderly spinster sisters who live in the past. They dress in elaborate Victorian gowns and fancy themselves to be
vampires. A succession of ridiculous male callers come visiting,
apparently to satisfy their own borderline psychotic desires and
accommodate the sisters’ increasingly sinister machinations.
The audience always liked
it and Sergio directed it with gusto and not-too-subtle sexual
And I had the chance to
work again with two of my favorite actresses in Oaxaca, the two old gals
who played the sisters; they absolutely ate up the scenery! Chela Moreno
I’ve always loved, a blowsy redhead with a big mouth and great stage
presence. She had had a small but memorable role in “Agua Clara” and we
always enjoyed working together.
The other sister was played
by Emy Colmenares, a crazy old gal I had known for awhile who lived in
one of “los Arcos” in the Aquaduct not far from Nancy’s and who tended
her (ancient) mother for years and sat in the window and talked with
passers-by. Sergio has mentioned a number of her past achievements,
especially a long career on the stage in Mexico City. She could barely
walk but somehow got up on the stage and became a powerhouse! In her
long black tattered weeds, tottering through her gloomy rooms and a
voice which shook the rafters, she, as I said, chewed up the flats and
curtains and very furniture and spit them out again!
When I drew the poster for
the show with the two evil shrews peering around the Victorian stage
curtain in their black shrouds, I gave them both big, rounded boobs.
Well, I couldn’t stop them from exclaiming and giggling and flirting
with me and just everybody else at the sight of those two big, buxom
chests, I tell you.
For the heads of the
vampires, I recalled an image I had drawn years before. At that time I
had called them “birdmen.” They seemed appropriate and everybody thought it was a good fit.
A couple of my guys were
helping me with the sets and, as I say, being with Sergio and all, we
had a wonderful time working again in the theater. The cast decided to
designate one night of the run to be a benefit for the Frente Común and
donated that night’s gate to our group, a decision which would become a
tradition with all Sergio’s plays.
* * *
...NEXT: BILL WOLF'S "LUCHA LIBRE"