Opinions »

La Colmenita at American University: Of “And yet” and “just in case” (+ Videos)

The children from La Colmenita sing "El Mayor" by Silvio Rodríguez, to René González, who spoke with them by phone. Photo: Bill Hackwell

By Carlos Alberto Cremata,* Special to Cubadebate

On October 15, the first performance of Abracadabra by La Colmenita [The Little Beehive] was held at the Kay Chapel at American University in Washington DC.

It was a gorgeous performance, where the public was entertained by its beauty, and moved to tears (just as we’ve experienced in Cuba).  But the real surprise of the evening was a last minute phone call that came right at the end of the performance, and the cry went up:

“Everybody, hurry up, Tin is talking with Rene!!!”…

It was a call from Rene González, who was kind enough to call us and spend almost an hour speaking with the 22 children who make up the La Colmenita troupe that is touring the U.S. And every possible decibel of human emotion (as one would expect when a child’s authenticity meets up with the wisdom, security, and tenderness coming from the Cuban Five) was registered in the conversations.

The only comment from the children afterwards was that they “tried to lift Rene’s spirits, and they ended up having their spirits lifted and re-energized by him.”

But the most beautiful note of the evening came when a young member of the troupe named Olito was the last to have the privilege of speaking with Rene, after Robertico, Andy, Muma and Ernestico, the actors from Habanastation [a recently released Cuban movie] had their turns. Before putting him on, I explained to Rene that Olito who has the leading role in the upcoming Cuban film, debuts as Rudy Mora with La Colmenita. The film is titled And yet and all the music is by Silvio Rodríguez, sung by the children along with the songwriter in his debut as a supporting actor.

Rene asked lots of questions about the movie and Olito answered in an especially kind manner, especially when Rene asked Olito if he knew when the film would open in Cuba. The boy moved the phone away from his ear to ask me. I said “tell him that we still don’t know, but it might come out in December or January.” And Olito, quick as an arrow, spoke into the phone: “Listen, Rene. Tin says in December or January, so just in case, I’ll save you a seat at the Chaplin cinema, in the front row.”

*Carlos Alberto Crimata (Tin) is the director of the Cuban theatre company La Colmenita, which is on tour in the United States.

Make a comment

Your email address will not be published. The mandatory fields are marked. *