Review: ‘Leonora and Alejandro’ and One Rather Trippy Encounter

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Leonora and Alejandro: La Maga y el Maestro

NYT Critic's Pick

Off Off Broadway, Play

Closing Date: March 24, 2018

Montclair State University - Alexander Kasser Theater, 1 Normal Ave.

973-655-5112

By Elisabeth Vincentelli

  • March 19, 2018

MONTCLAIR, N.J. — The Chilean-born artist and director Alejandro Jodorowsky is most famous nowadays for “El Topo” and “The Holy Mountain,” a pair of mind-melding, mystico-absurdist westerns that lit up midnight screenings worldwide in the early 1970s. Mr. Jodorowsky is a singular character, to say the least, but a few years before making those films, in the mid-1960s, he more than met his match in Leonora Carrington, a painter, sculptor and writer who had hobnobbed with the likes of Max Ernst.

Their first encounter kicks off the Double Edge company’s trippy show “Leonora and Alejandro: La Maga y el Maestro,” part of Montclair State University’s Peak Performances series. Jodorowsky (Carlos Uriona) is here depicted as an apprentice on a quest, looking like a hybrid of psychedelic magician and glam-rock shaman in platform boots and a long black robe — an outfit not unlike the one he wore in “The Holy Mountain.” He is nervous entering Carrington’s home in Mexico City, where they both lived at the time. “That morning I washed my hands three times more than you normally do,” he says. “I could not decide which was more courageous: to stay here or to leave without saying anything.”