09/13/2018 – The Washington Post
A baby who cries so much that her tears flood a room. A bedspread knit over many years until it’s large enough to cover a whole ranch. A meal so sensuous that it propels a woman to run off to make love to a strange man on horseback and abandon her family. It’s moments like these that make “Like Water for Chocolate” so captivating — and a challenge to present on the stage.
Laura Esquivel’s 1989 novel “Como Agua Para Chocolate” was a best-seller in her native Mexico and in the United States after it was published in English translation the following year; the 1992 movie based on the novel was at the time the highest-grossing Spanish-language film in U.S. history. Yet, after having first been theatrically adapted in Spain in 2004, the work is only now having its U.S. premiere as a play, at GALA Hispanic Theatre.
“It is challenging to transform,” director Olga Sanchez says. “Theater has to do a whole lot of backbends to fulfill everything that people get out of a novel, which is so incredibly rich, and people read over months’ time. And a play, you basically have about two hours.”