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Hispanic Theatre Festival

‘Calígula’: disturbing, richly provoking, void of hope

 
‘Calígula, el musical’ (‘Caligula, the Musical’) from Buenos Aires is the opening show of the XXIX International Hispanic Theatre Festival at Miami’s Arsht Center.

Caligula, the nihilistic modernist classic by Albert Camus, seems an utterly unlikely candidate for a musical. There’s not even a glimmer of hope, much less a happy ending, in this 1945 play about an insanely brutal ruler and the terrifying consequences of dictatorial power. But the Argentine production Calígula, el musical (‘Caligula, the Musical’) throbs with dystopian melodrama and booming ballads. It’s Evita meets Mad Max on steroids and methamphetamines.

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