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HAPPENINGText: Rei Inamoto

If you think of this show “De La Guarda – Villa Villa” as one of your normal theater experiences, think again. If you haven’t seen this show in New York City, go get your tickets right now. “De La Guarda – Villa Villa” at Daryl Roth Theater is a definite must-see, not-to-be-missed off-Broadway theater event.

Upon entering the theater, you notice something different about the setting of this show: there is no stage or seat. The audience is crammed into a dark, rather bare-looking space with no seat or stage. Yes, everyone stands up, throughout the show.

The show starts rather poetically and quietly (“show” may not be an appropriate word since it is an extremely unique theater experience that you would have never seen). The ceiling of the room slowly gets filled with stars and you see shadows of people flying by. Then suddenly, the performers break through the ceiling, screaming, yelling, and shouting. From there, this show is on acid. All the way through.

Yes, the stage is everything above you. All the performers are hung from the ceiling. They fly above you and sometime, you fly with them. Performers come down to the audience and pick them up into the air. The audience participates and contributes to the overall energy of this theater experience.

What is even funkier about this show is that as the show has been going on since last year, the audience participation has also grown with it. There are many returning audience members, some of who volunteer to be picked up. Some even come with a few surprises.

There is no definite story line to “De La Guarda – Villa Villa.” There is no absolute meaning behind it either. Yet, this experience leaves you with extremely intensive satisfaction. The strongest thing about this show is that there is nothing like this you have ever seen. It’s a theater. It’s a performance. It’s art. It’s music. There is no one word that can fully describe or categorize “De La Guarda.” If you are in New York City, go see it. If you have seen it, well, go see it again.

De La Guarda – Villa Villa
Date: June 16th, 1998 –
Place: Daryl Roth Theater
Address: 101 East 15th St., New York, NY 10003
Tel: +1 212 239 6200

Text: Rei Inamoto

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