Jose Mercado isn't prone to taking on easy projects. The local actor, theater director and educator, who's dug into tough territory through the years by producing Zoot Suit with students at North High School and other edgy works, and worked tirelessly to bring back the old Elitch Theatre, is now taking on a translation of Federico Garcia Lorca's Blood Wedding by the American poet Langston Hughes -- who was fluent in Spanish -- with his students at the University of Colorado Denver.
"Blood Wedding is ninety minutes of passion, poetry and death," Mercado says. "It's Lorca's first tragedy, based on a true story he read in a newspaper about a woman who ran away with her lover on her wedding day. It didn't end well. It's really an exploration of what happens when you don't follow your passion." It's a surreal, naturalistic and metaphorical vehicle, he adds, that makes for a "rich and visual spectacle."
The play, which opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the King Center, 855 Lawrence Way on the Auraria campus, and continues through March 3, includes some of Lorca's "more passionate verse" in the original Spanish (a guide will be provided for non-Spanish speakers). For tickets, $5 for students with a current ID and $15 for the public, visit www.ahec.edu/kingcenter/tickets or call 303-556-2296.
Feb. 23-25, 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 29-March 3, 7:30 p.m., 2012