It’s hard to imagine a more tender, more lyrical or more captivating work than this three-person piece from Kulunka Teatro, a company originating from Spain's Basque Country.
Performed with mime, masks and music, Andre and Dorine revolves around an elderly couple: Andre (José Dault), a writer, and Dorine (Garbiñe Insausti), a musician. When we meet them, time and sameness have eroded their affection for one another; their lives have become a stream of endless bickering and frustration, a competition to see who can best irk the other. Occasionally they are visited by their son (Edu Cárcamo), an ambassador from the outside world who does his best to humor his finicky parents.
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Everything changes after Dorine is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Andre must care for her as she grows steadily more childlike and gradually drifts into another sphere. As that happens, he recalls the past: the first time they met, their first tryst, their wedding and the birth of their son — scenes played out as a joyful counterpart to the grim reality that Andre stoutly wrestles with.
The story is a familiar one, but its execution is unique and exquisite, relayed with humor and pathos. The three writer/players — who collectively perform 15 roles — can reflect a universe of experience with a single gesture or turn of the head.
Performed with music composed by Yayo Caceres and directed by Iñaki Rikarte, this is 90 minutes of wordless eloquence.
Los Angeles Theater Center, 514 S. Spring St., downtown; through June 7. (866) 811-41111; thelatc.org.