Atlanta Ballet Gennadi Nedvigin | Artistic Director

Atlanta Ballet Gennadi Nedvigin | Artistic Director

January 21, 2015

Camino Real: Meet the Characters Part 2

The Antagonists

As promised: The Antagonists (Vincent Price evil laugh...)

Gutman!

The mayor with an iron glance, leading his town with a snake charmer’s mesmerism. He takes on a deranged ringmaster role. “Gutman, the sinister hotelier who controls his guests’ circumstances,” deafens the town with a rousing anthem, hoodwinks them by parading Esmeralda in the square, silences them with tyrannical acts (Lahr 255). He attacks sharply when acts of heroism and solidarity show on the CAmino Reel. When strapping, confident Kilroy enters, Gutman has a new target.

Gutman dresses sharply, tight black clothes, an air of the cocksure Toreador in his movements. He moves with piercing, musical accents, a challenge behind most moves. He is always in form, always ready to strike, always on. A red-lacquered villain, glossy and beautiful, and dangerous.

A.Ratt, the loan shark, a businessman with ulterior motives, resides on skid row. His slithery moves define his greedy agenda. His gaze darts. He moves soundlessly, knows when he sees a good thing and strikes. He works in tandem with the Gypsy, who is the handler of Esmeralda. Yes, the handler, because Esmeralda is a business, a diversion. The Gypsy knows how and when to bring her to the forefront. A.Ratt and the Gypsy are in league with Gutman.

The Officers patrol the Camino Real and do Gutman’s bidding. These henchmen do not question his authority, and do their job with alacrity. They keep the townspeople in line. And when Gutman needs someone erased, they do it.

Yes, the above characters are bad, but The Cleaners are B-B-Baaaad. They do the dastardly dirty work. Wonderfully sinister characters that serve up a healthy portion of the Grim Reaper seasoned with The Marx Brothers. The Cleaners move like a whirlwind triad scaring up mayhem whenever they scurry out of their holes. They wait for their prey in the shadows, pounce and then parade with their conquest! You do not want to meet these three. If you join their dance it will be your last!


Who lives where?

Olympe, Prudence, Lord and Lady Mulligan, and Jacques and Marguerite, of course, all reside at the Siete Mares. Olympe and Prudence, with shimmering mist in their eyes, have money to burn. Lord and Lady Mulligan find everything beneath them. They are just waiting to get to their next destination. Lord Mulligan’s end is not good.

The rest of the hapless souls stay on the other side of town, skid row. Except for Baron de Charlus, a fellow “Trapped Romantic," who drifts between the two sides of the street, going where his will takes him (Lahr 255). He along with Madracita, The Survivor, Rosita, and the Market Woman, all fight the good fight. Baron de Charlus lives by his own code, not bending to society’s rules. Madracita’s empathetic nature reaches for the lost souls. One of them, The Survivor, who she tries to help, thirsts only for a cup of water. Her efforts are thwarted, and his life is cut short. Abdullah, who answers to the Gypsy and Gutman, lives here too. His job: Intrigue Maker. The rest live their lives letting hope trickle in every now and then.
 

The townspeople take on their roles and accept them more or less, until Kilroy enters the scene. Kilroy is the catalyst to change. Hope comes to the Camino Real. Here the story starts.

- Helen

 

Previous Posts from Helen Pickett

Camino Real: Meet the Characters Part 1

Camino Real: What’s in a Name?
*Learn about the two pronunciations of Camino Real and their dual meanings.

Creating a Ballet Based on Camino Real with Choreographer Helen Pickett

 

Sources

Lahr, John. Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh. W. W. Norton & Company. iBooks.

 

Images: Gutman, The Cleaners, and The Lone Survivor. Costume designs and sketches by Sandra Woodall.

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