Carpa de la Frontera
As Experienced at the La Jolla Playhouse’s 2022 WOW Festival
The Show & How it Works:
Described as a site-specific tent-like vaudeville show where entertainment is taken into communities, the show was actually performers on the grass in front of a trailer. They addressed current political, social and cultural issues.
Why it’s Interesting, IMHO:
As a comedy writer, I’m a sucker for anything with the word “vaudeville” in it.
Initial Impression & Critical Discussion:
This show was well advertised and delivered exactly what it promised… minus the tent. Perhaps what they really meant by site specific wasn’t that it incorporated the location, but that it is a roving show that plays to its audience and, therefore, changes depending on where it is. It may be “tent-like” in the sense that it is easily set up and broken down, but trailer it was performed in front of didn’t give a “tent-like” feel.
The show was topical and culturally specific and the performers nailed that circus-y, vaudevillian tone and successfully engaged the audience.
Experiential Viewpoint Expression (E.V.E.):
Disembodied, 3rd person visual, 2nd person narrative, entity/participant*, mortal.
*While most of the show didn’t involve audience participation—even though the audience was acknowledged—one act in particular asked for volunteers so that an acrobat in the show could jump over them.
Who Should See This?
Families should see this show. The show plays to Latinx families specifically and, thanks to the often-bilingual nature of the performance, the show is well-suited to a Spanish speaking audience.