My Audition for Almodovar
nytheatre.com review by Martin Denton
June 5, 2011
My Audition for Almodóvar is a solo show built around the talents of Inma Heredia, a Spanish-born actress/flamenco performer/comedienne now living in New York. Heredia can do many things well, and her stage persona, while a tad aggressive for my taste, is certainly likeable (and she seems to be building up something of a following, judging from the fans present at the performance I attended). The show gives her the chance to sing several songs in Spanish, dance, maneuver a fan impressively in one number and make like lightning with a pair of castanets in another, engage in some congenial and non-threatening interplay with several audience members, and tell some jokes while delivering a throughline-monologue about her frustrations trying to become the big star she knows she ought to be.
The framing device for all of this is that Heredia is practicing for the eventuality of what the title suggests—a chance to strut her stuff for renowned Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar.
The main theme in the piece—and the advertised hook, per the press materials and posters—is that Heredia can't make it in America as an actress because her accent is too thick. (It kind of is, too.) Comic bits in the show center around notions like Heredia performing a monologue from Gone with the Wind or playing Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady—funny ideas, both, that are not sufficiently developed, unfortunately, in the script by Heredia and Alberto Ferreras.
But what kept bothering me is the disconnect between the two main threads of the show. On the one hand, an exploration of discrimination against people who speak with an accent feels timely and ripe. But surely, I kept thinking to myself, if Heredia wants to audition for Almodóvar, she would do so in Spanish, not English. Wouldn't she?
So while the show highlights Inma Heredia's skills credibly enough, its central idea made very little sense to me.