This contrived one-act by Joshua Mikel puts a kinky, magic-realist spin on the Arthurian legend of the sword in the stone. Two Spanish kids, Arturo and Kay Kay, compete to fulfill their bullfighting dreams when the local celebrity matador, La Muerte Negra (“The Black Death”), is killed in the ring. While humble Arturo prays for the matador’s spirit to enter him, arrogant Kay Kay,a mortician’s assistant, tries to merge with La Muerta Negra—who turns out to have been a woman–in a more direct way.
Adam Webster’s world premiere staging for Tympanic Theatre Company runs 80 minutes but feels much longer due to poor pacing, awkward acting, and patience-testing scene changes. Inventive use of puppetry and mime to depict the bullfighting scenes is its only redeeming aspect. –Albert Williams