‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’ is quite a ‘sister act’

Norma Palacios

Maria Lopez, who played Rosencrantz, had a way with her sense of humor during the opening performance on Oct. 27 of Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern” at the Burnight Theatre.

Lopez displayed a sense of humor that was both funny and clever and she had no problem filling in the role that was originally written for a man. The same could be said for her twin sister Barbara, who plays Guildenstern.

Both take command of the stage as the play opens with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern betting as to how many times a coin can flip to heads (that turned out to be 92 times in a row) and also takes both of their perspectives of their role from William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.”

Being that the play focuses on both Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, there is also a focus on The Player King played by Tony Bartolone.

Perhaps an audience member might take an exception to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern having the spotlight, however, I beg to differ. Why you might ask? Well, this play is about them in not only wanting to know what their role is in such an important play as “Hamlet” but also it teaches one to take a introspective look at life and death.

Rosencrantz starts with the question, “Do you ever think of yourself as actually dead, lying in a box with a lid on it?” and then follows with his conclusion that “there’s only one direction, and time is its only measure.”

In doing so, Rosencrantz not only begins to question death but asks Guildenstern whether or not this is symbolic and with symbolism that is also featured throughout; just as the famous line of “To be or not to be, that is the question” from the Shakespearean play.

The Lopez twins carry themselves in such grace that it shows on stage throughout. Who knew that both can be the soloist of a play that features just them as well as The Player?

Both are comfortable in front of an audience because as they look out while they state their lines they know the mood they must transmit and both know the amount of volume that needs to be given to each line.

However, the most important thing is to know what is going on throughout the play itself because if someone doesn’t see the performance of “Hamlet” they would not know what was going on.

As for the performances themselves throughout, despite the fact that Hamlet, played by Gilbert Martinez and the rest of the “Hamlet” cast are in a lighter spotlight, to know where or to try to figure out where Rosencrantz and Guildenstern fit in is what this play is all about.

What am I saying? Watch it because both of the Lopez sisters successfully take on a man’s role and despite it they create it into their own.