‘Celestina’ Close to Greatness

What does a young man in love do when the one meant for him does not share his feeling?
Call the scam artist Celestina, of course! At least that is what Calisto, the hero of ‘La Celestina,’ does.
‘La Celestina,’ which runs from Nov. 9-11 and Nov. 16-18 at the Claire Trevor Theatre, follows the love story of Calisto (Jeff Parker) and Malibrea (Rachel Grate). The catch is that these two have very little to do with their own love story; rather, it is pushed along and made possible by not only Celestina, but also the hilarious antics of the servants.
UC Irvine professor Keith Fowler’s adaptation of ‘La Celestina’ shows signs of brilliance, but when put together, falls short of greatness.
Although very entertaining in parts, the play drags on for long periods at a time. At many points of the show I found myself in awe of the beautiful set design and costumes and not paying attention to what the actors were saying.
Another beautiful aspect of the show was the dance sequence during the finale of Act 1. A standing ovation should be given to dance captain Marissa Moses.
When Celestina is not on stage, the show is carried by the three servants Parmeno, Sempronio and Lucrecia, played by Nathan C. Crocker, Evans Jarnefeldt and Denver Vaughn respectively.
The perfect comedic timing of these three actors paired with the ‘Wait a minute