‘August G’ sweeps streets

By Keyla Lopez

Casa 0101 presents the American Premiere of “The Imaginary Life of the Street Sweeper, August G,”originally written by Armand Gatti.

The play was originally written in French and first premiered in France in 1962.

This English version of the play was translated and also directed by Emmanuel Deleage and is the first time the production has been presented in English.

The play runs concurrently with and art exhibit entitled “Revolutionary Visions,” featuring mixed media and contemporary photography.

In the play, we meet August G at age 46, Serafin Falcon, a World War I veteran and street sweeper who receives a hit to the head while out fighting for better work conditions.

Following that is what can be interpreted as what people describe as your whole life flashing before your eyes in near death experiences or right you pass on.

This is when August G, is flooded by a sea of memories coming from significant years and points in his life as he travels to each time frame and relives those accounts that remain with him throughout his life.

He takes it as his last chance to spend time with those memories and talk to those friends that are no longer with him.

The production includes live music from a band, whose members double as riot cops, and video projections.

“The Imaginary Life of August G.” stars Serafin Falcon as 46 year old August G and is aided by a cast of 31 actors, musicians and dancers.

Even though the play has serious undertones, they were able to include some comical characters and dialogue, keeping it from getting doom and gloom.

The live music provided by the band, consisting of Howard Bee, Josh Duron, Erik Gavica and Mark Krause, brought to life these events being portrayed, really trying to make you feel like you were right there with these characters.

The production provided entertainment to the audience with a dance marathon. In it the cast was also able to show case their dancing skills in music dance routines coming from the swing era as they crowded center stage.

With the large cast, caused some space problems since the Casa 0101 theatre didn’t seem like it was big enough for such a big cast, especially during the dance marathon.

The set design opened up the place for them having the main stage, along with two additional stages that were leveled a few feet higher and on either side of the main floor. There were actors on every stage at all times, but the lighting helped guide you and let you know which scene to pay attention to at the time.

While the original is based on the life of Gatti’s father, Auguste Gatti, Deleage found it relatable to his own roots that he wanted to bring it to life in the states.

“The Imaginary Life of the Street Sweeper, August G.” at the new Casa 0101 Theater on 2102 E. First Street in Boyle Heights on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. now through May 13, 2012.

For more information  Casa 0101 Theater Box Office at 323-263-7684, e-mail them at tickets@casa0101.org or buy online at www.casa0101.org.

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