@ The Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Main St.
 

The Mystery of the Rose Bouquet

By Manuel Puig, directed by Ceil Herman

  • Wynne Broms (Nurse) and Amy Carpenter (Patient)
  • Wynne Broms (Nurse) and Amy Carpenter (Patient)
  • Amy Carpenter (Patient) and Wynne Broms (Nurse)
  • Wynne Broms (Nurse) and Amy Carpenter (Patient)

Sep 22-Oct 08, 2006

FRI SEP 22,29 OCT 6 | 8:00 PM
SAT SEP 23,30 OCT 7 | 8:00 PM
SUN OCT 1,8 | 2:30 PM
THUR OCT 5 | 7:00 PM

Description

Credits

Nurse
Patient
Assistant Director
Assistant Stage Manager
Costume Design
Director
Hat Artisans
Hat Artisans
House Manager Coordinator
Light Board Operator
Publicity
Set & Lighting Design
Set Construction Crew
Set Construction Crew
Sound Board Operator
Sound Design & Stage Management
Written By

Reviews

Two women search for meaning in their lives
'The Mystery of the Rose Bouquet' is a classic tale of self exploration

- By Joel Courtney, Las Cruces Bulletin

As you advance through your life, will you look and be happy with your decisions? Will you have learned from your mistakes? Will you have chased your dreams, no matter how farfetched they may be?

In "The Mystery of the Rose Bouquet" by Manuel Puig with English translation by Allan Baker and directed by Ceil Herman, two women from different worlds find themselves at a point in their lives in which they feel unfulfilled.

Manuel Puig is most well known for "Kiss of the Spiderwoman," which like "Mystery of the Rose Bouquet," brings together characters from different worlds who look for escape from their life in the realm of fantasy. "Kiss of the Spiderwoman" was made into a film and a Broadway play.

The characters from "The Mystery of the Rose Bouquet," the patient (Amy Carpenter) and the nurse (Wynne Broms), have numerous secret shames that they keep hidden, but those secrets helped forge them into who they are. Through the course of the story, the darker parts of their lives are exposed through a series of dream sequences.

The patient is a rich woman with nothing to show for her life than loved ones that died before her. She begins the story so depressed that she will not eat and enjoys driving off nurse after nurse.

The nurse, with her optimistic outlook, provides a great foil for the patient, but eventually they begin to rub off on each other.

Ultimately, the story is about hope, but it dredges through the depths of humanity's worst parts to get the audience there. Rather than leaving the theater in a happy mood, you are more likely to find yourself analyzing your own life for the key relationships that have damaged and molded your personality and reactions to the world.

The cast, although only made up of two actresses that play a variety a roles throughout the dream sequences, is quite strong. The women have long monologues that let the audience have a glimpse of their sordid pasts and character shifts that call for a change in speech and outlook.

Carpenter slides easily into the role of the embittered patient, filled with resentment for the world and used to having control over people and situations. She holds the air of authority that characterizes the patient, as well as the vindictiveness of a woman scorned numerous times.

Broms has the more difficult role of playing a woman torn between staying upbeat in order to cheer up a depressed patient and fighting off the pain of a failed relationship and possibly even a failed career. The far-away gaze that she adopts while smelling jasmine in the air is enough to draw fully into the patient's imagination.

The bond between Carpenter and Broms is palpable by the end of the performance, as though the women have truly shared painful experiences and grown from the ordeal together.

The set, though minimalistic, is beautifully designed as the patient's hospital

room. It also performs double time as both characters' . homes and an exotic Spanish patio.

As usual, the sound and lighting at the Black Box Theatre were superb, with just the right touches to bring the audience more into the moment without becoming distracting.

"Mystery of the Rose Bouquet" opens in Las Cruces
- By Melissa Nicholson, NMSU RoundUp

ake a break from the hectic routine .arid stop to smell the "roses" at the Black Box Theatre located in the Las Cruces Downtown Mall.

"Mystery of the Rose Bouquet," presented by No Strings Theatre Company, and directed by Ceil Herman, opened Friday at the Black Box Theatre and continues through Oct. 8.

Contrary to its namesake, the play has little to do with roses.

Saturday's performance began with a clash of personalities. Focused on the haughty bantering of two elderly women, the play is both-humorous and dramatic.

Originally written in 1987 by Manuel Puig, "Mystery of the Rose Bouquet" tells the story of two women struggling with tragic pasts.

One is a 48-year-old lower class nurse played by actress Wynne Broms, and the other is the bossy, wealthy and elderly patient played by actress Amy Carpenter.

The elderly patient is heartbroken and bitter over the betrayal of her cheating husband and the death of her grandson.

Convinced that she is ill, the patient pays the nurse to care for her in a private hospital.

At the same time, the nurse is bitter over a failed love affair with a married man, familial betrayal and the deaths of her mother and father.

The play unfolds through witty and engaging dialogue, as the nurse seeks to cure the patient.

After several conflicts and misunderstandings, both women begin to realize they are not that different from each other.

"Do you think it's important whom one chooses to be with them at the-end?" asks the, patient pondering tier husband's request on his deathbed that she be present.

"It is the person one cherishes the most," said the nurse, in a climactic moment of understanding between the two.

Consisting of only one set and two actresses, the play lacks action and change of scenery. However, the close and intimate atmosphere of the theatre and the experienced performance of Broms and Carpenter, engage the viewer more often than not.

Carpenter, who recently appeared in the NSTC "Nickel and Dimed," delivered a phenomenal performance as the cantankerous patient and triggered chuckles from the audience throughout the play.

The play was a challenging performance, however, Herman demonstrates her directing expertise by composing and communicating all the elements of the play fluidly and clearly.

"Mystery of the Rose Bouquet" is far from an adrenaline pumping, action packed performance. However, the sweetly refreshing and entertaining-performance appeals to the ladies and is worth viewing.

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