I ran behind my mother as she walked toward the front door. I followed her knowing she was headed to the market. She looked back at me and smiled; she knew I never missed Saturday grocery shopping. She held my hand tight as I jumped around, the sun guiding our path to the market. As we stepped on rocks to cross the train rails, I finally saw the women selling chicha morada (sweet purple corn drink) by the entrance.
Well-worn but never quite worn out, Pitbull classics like “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)” and “Hotel Room Service” are always a go-to for playlists if you want a song everyone can sing along to. He’s been around for a while now, having released his first album M.I.A.M.I. in 2004 and been on an up and up trajectory with many collaborations with big-name artists. In Climate Change, released Friday, Pitbull has (once again) gathered artists like Enrique Iglesias, Robin Thicke, J-Lo and Kiesza to do a lot of the heavy lifting in most of his tracks with their vocals.
Even before the show begins, the set at the Clark Theatre in Dillingham Center of Ithaca College is striking — clean lines, neat delineations of space with blues and whites, and solid colors immediately give a modern tone to Blood Wedding, the famous tragedy of Spanish playwright Federico Garcia Lorca. Set in twentieth century rural Spain, Blood Wedding tells the story of an on-going curse of a family feud and deception as it explores the story and aftermath of a young woman who abandons her own wedding for her former lover. Though such a story could easily slip into the realm of cliché, the clean aesthetic and direction of Ithaca College’s “Blood Wedding” keeps the narrative fresh and enthralling. Director Norm Johnson’s Blood Wedding remains contemporary in great part due to the set and costumes. The creative team (Scenic design: Emily Weisbecker; Costume design: Victoria Pizappi; Lighting and projection design: Steve TenEyck, assisted by Teddy Kosciuszek; Sound design: Don Tindall) does an incredible job with a nod to Lorca’s surrealist links — the look is simple but timeless.
Growing up in Puerto Rico I was taught two alphabets in school, English and Spanish. To most people they appear the same, but my classmates and I learned the subtle differences. We were taught the effect letters such as ch, ll, rr and ñ could have on a word. The letter that stuck with me was “ñ.” It is a universal symbol for the Spanish language and, to me, a unique part of my family name. For many years, the “ñ” in my last name was mispronounced, exchanged for an “n,” or simply ignored.