In spinning Federico Garcia Lorca's tale of a union that isn't meant to be, director Mark Wing-Davey doesn't quite bathe the stage in blood, but given the general air of doom, revenge and retribution, you get the sense he should. Get an earful of the groom's mother (played Greek tragic by Ivonne Coll), who has already lost her husband and a son and smells the stink of discord in an upcoming union. Or check out that we-are-of-the-earth scenery of red clay-like sand, tire parts, wooden poles, white curtains and a blown-out pickup.
Tragic, musical and at times bizarre, this production of Blood Wedding is for audiences who like their Garcia Lorca stylized. Douglas Stein's set and Marina Draghici's costumes suggest a 1930s Spanish village (or, for that matter, a Mexican one), but things get positively postmodern when the bride (Onahoua Rodriguez) and her childhood sweetheart Leonardo (Bobby Plasencia) flee to the forest. That's where the jump-suited, chain-saw-toting woodsmen hang out along with weird spirit-like creatures who seem to have stepped out of Macbeth. These scenes may seem a radical departure from the more traditional stuff that precedes them, but it's a jolt the audience is likely to appreciate. Credit Wing-Davey for his creative handling of a classic and for assembling a score that brings depth and focus to the play. Spanish dirges, South African chants, peasant songs from Georgia—it's a collection that follows you into the lobby.
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Blood Wedding at La Jolla Playhouse, 2910 La Jolla Village Dr., La Jolla, (858) 550-1010. Tues.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 & 7 p.m. Through July 2. $19-$39.