Altonya Longmore reviews The Diplomatic by Nelson Diaz-Marcano; as part of the Fresh Fruit Festivals’s 15th Anniversary season
The Diplomats is written in a well-worded realistic style representing how world events can change the world around friends – creating complications with the aforementioned friendship. Something like a “new president” being elected can cause others to feel conflicted about something as deep as lifelong friends. There is light amid dark as the historical and surreal election of 2016 brought these friends to their depths and gave them a way to rise again. Maybe this is a parable for the results of the election? Maybe we are now looking for a way to rise? The Diplomats represents that friendship is greater than politics … or most anything for that matter.
The triumvirate of talent sprung out from the stage to the audience making it a very satisfying experience. The blunt force of Nelson Diaz-Marcano’s lines – both humor and its counterpoint – were well executed. Each individual was going through some form of hardship that made it easy for we, the viewers, to relate. I, for one, initially was enticed into disliking the character of Annie (thanks to a tour-de-force performance by Ricki Lynee) who handed us an over-intellectual intellectual (just too smart for her own good!) that inferred a condescending attitude to Carlos and Gary (Carlos Ángulo and Chris Callahan) assessing their beliefs as naive. Karma forced her to judge not lest she be judged and the men were more important in her world than world affairs. By “boo” turned to brava by the lay’s end as she opened her heart. Carlos Ángulo’s own bluntness and attitude spiced things up in the play. Chris Callahan’s Gary revealed the message of the piece as those with such free and happy spirits can feel the guilt of survival among the fittest.
Kudos to Diaz-Marcano for his representation of ethnicity and feminism.