Entertaining, Funny, Great music & band, Quirky, Fun
See it if
you're Latino and/or love the Buena Vista Social Club-era of Latin music & performers; well-performed in a pretty silly narrative setup.
Don't See it if
you're expecting a straight concert or cabaret, don't like puppets or things bilingual; no Spanish ok, but you'll miss much humor & flavor
In front of a bandstand set that could well be Ricky Ricardo’s Tropicana, a caped, over-the-top Archangel (the very funny Manuel Morán) meets, greets & interacts with the new “arrivals” that have been shepherded into the comfortable bleacher seats in front of him, after bell chimes & "now boarding" announcements have made it clear that the present locale is a heavenly if glitzy limbo.
La Gloria — or the Glory — refers not just to fame, but to the Divine, and it's soon explained that God, bored & often grumpy in His celestial eternity, is only soothed by music, specifically the boleros, rhumbas & mambos of Puerto Rico & Cuba, but most especially of the Sonora Matancera era.
The souls (and strangely, puppets) of Myrta Silva & Daniel Santos by turns bicker, entertain & annoy the offstage Almighty, until Celia Cruz arrives from the ether to remind all that to sing is to be alive.
The veteran singers Jeannie Sol, Mario Mattei and Lina Sarello are fine, but the good-looking dancers Daniel Fetecua and Milteri Tucker are sadly disappointing, the weakest link in this otherwise energetic tribute.
Though La Gloria may have problems, it’s hard to knock much about the Teatro SEA (Society of Educational Arts), whose educational outreach in the Latino community and work with children and Latino children's Theatre is so vital and important, and should be supported, so go: good music, a great band, weird puppets, over-the-top costumes, a wine bar with Cuban tapas, audience dancing onstage after — and two fine art gallery exhibits; fun.