“Blade of Jealousy” Delivers a Paper Cut

By Ernest Kearney  —  I can’t say I am very conversant with the 17th century Spanish Playwright Tirso de Molina.  He was a fascinating contradiction of passions and pursuits.  Joining the Mercedarian Order at 21, he spent his life as a friar rising to levels of authority within its ranks; yet his commitment to Holy Orders could not dampen his love of theatre.  The author of at least 80 plays and perhaps hundreds more, the sexuality and philosophical impedance of his work was constantly leading to his superior banishing him and trying to stifle his writing.  But until his death in 1648, de Molina wrote on and today is regarded as one of Spain’s great playwrights.

The Blade of Jealousy by Henry Ong is a reworking of one of de Molina raucous comedies La Celosa De Sí Misma/Jealous of Herself (1622).

Ong has taken the piece from the courts of Spain and transferred it to downtown L.A.

Geronimo (Juan Haro), Melchor( Terry Woodberry), and Ventura (Eddie Mui) (Photo by Ivelisse Photography – Courtesy of Whitefire Theatre)

The story is a bewildering mix-up of lovers and suitors; chock-full of mistaken identities and lovers’ spats.

I can’t say there is much of a play here, and Director Denise Blasor doesn’t do much to bring one forth.

There’s a lot of sweetness and a very personal sense that radiates from the cast, so while the evening is mildly amusing it comes across like a private joke among friends.

If you’re in the mood for something sweet, fluffy and with the impact of wet cotton candy, this may be a show for you.

Longo Chu provides music on stage and is about the liveliest aspect of the evening.

(Pictured in Featured Image: Angela (Carla Valina) and Magdalena (Natalie Amendula) – Photo by Ivelisse Photography)

♦     ♦     ♦

The Blade of Jealousy is at

The Whitefire Theatre
13500 Ventura Blvd,
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Performances every Sunday
7 p.m.
June 24 to August 26, 2018

For Tickets and Information Go To: www.whitefiretheatre.com

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An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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