POST: 'Burundanga' - a bit of an acid trip

What's it about?

Berta is pregnant, her baby daddy isn’t who he said he is, and then her bff somehow convinces her that a psychedelic drug is the solution for this sh*t storm...

What'd I experience?

Flying solo for my next trip to Repertorio Español proved a bit different. The first time I had the chance to go, I was seeing Doña Flor y sus Dos Maridos with my mum. As amazing as that time was, it seems that for this outing I was a bit more invisible. I’m not claiming any directly negative behavior aimed toward me, but it's in the small things (like not caring if I get a playbill, or not getting my seating questions answered). Regardless of those trivial things, the excitement present the first time I was there was still very much part of this experience. This time there was a bit of a ‘cocktail’ hour before the show started, that included some wine and cheese platters. The lobby area for Repertorio is pretty small so the people were packed in.

I’ve always found the idea of dressing up for a play of musical a bit strange. But once I actually think it through, in a lot of ways, going to a theatre show is a bit like going to church. It’s the fact that it isn’t an everyday thing, but also the arts aren’t generally something people indulge in as often as I get the chance to. Just like having church clothes, people wear their best pieces for an event like this.

I know that my family has a bit of a love-hate relationship with art. They don’t fully understand it’s metaphorical qualities, so often they assume it isn’t something they’d understand or enjoy. At some level I’d like to consider myself responsible for showing them that there is something out there for everyone.

Burundanga is a bit of an acid trip. People who don’t know anything about santeria, may consider this play as a realistic fantasy. Luckily, since the age of 4 (at least that’s as far as I remember) I’ve been exposed to those practices. I don’t wanna make this sound like I grew up in some black magic cult, it’s actually the complete opposite. My family's roots predominantly lie in Ecuador, so natural medicine is always the first thing my mum has reached for when I was sick or what they like to also consider a hex for lack of a better English word. For example, if I were physically ill (stomach ache, fever, or a cold) my mum would grab an egg and rub it all throughout my body, but focus mainly on the area of pain. This sounds completely bizarre, but I think in combination with my mum’s genuine belief in this and the psychological effect it had on me as a kid, often times I really did feel better after my egg cleansing. So, to me Burundanga (a truth serum/date rape drug) isn’t necessarily a fantasy, but a reminder of the power that sincere belief can have on someone.

Berta is college student that find herself in a lousy ordeal when she gets pregnant by Manel, her boyfriend. Unsure of how to break it to Manel, she reaches out to her roommate Silvia who seems to have the solution to their problem. Burundanga, the ultimate truth drug, a substance strong enough to make whoever takes it lose all their willpower and cause authentic sincerity to come out of their mouth. Her only chance at getting the truth out of Manel is by administering the drug, soon enough the drug leads to some very unexpected truths. Like her boyfriend's true identity. Let’s just say it’s not the kind of baby daddy Berta wants.

There is sooooo much weird sh*t that happens.

There is a scene where Berta’s bestie, Silvia, legitimately imitates jacking off a dude with a whisk and crème fraîche. I didn’t think that image would ever be witnessed by my eyes, but it has. And I kinda liked it. I mean food is funny as is - especially after seeing Sausage Party - but Silvia herself is a pretty eccentric girl. It’s not everyday your friend tells you a psychedelic drug is the solution to life’s problems. I have a Silvia myself - she’s pretty freakin’ great.

I refuse to spoil the show, because I can confidently say that Burundanga is now on my top 5 plays list. I laughed to the point I felt my insides move to make space for oxygen flow. Even if it’s just a fantasy to someone it’s an incredibly funny play, but if anyone that comes from a ‘magical’ background like myself gets to see this - almost 80% of the things said in reference to the abilities of Burundanga have left my grandmas’, mother's, aunts’, godmothers’, ladies who I guess are ‘good witches’...mouths. And they have said some of the most ridiculous and out of this world things, that somehow I still believe to be true.

Want to see it?

Sorry, this show is not currently showing :(

What did you experience?

Let PXP know in the comments below