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BROADWAY WORLD Review: THE HOMBRES at Two River Theater Brings Dynamic Male Relationships to the Stage

by Marina Kennedy

“We don’t tell each other, remind each other, that there’s love between us.” By Julián in The Hombres

A new play, The Hombres by Tony Meneses is now on stage at Two River Theater in Red Bank. This view of emerging male friendships will be performed through April 10 in the Marion Huber Theater. The show enjoys superb direction by Annie Tippe and top-notch choreography by Jon Rua. The Hombres was co-commissioned by Two River Theater and the NJPAC Stage Exchange, a program of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and New Jersey Theatre Alliance. See it while you can!

The Hombres tells of five men who learn about each other through unpredictable circumstances. Julián is a gay Latino and an aspiring dancer who teaches yoga at an upscale studio in New Jersey. He admits to struggling with his male relationships and makes every effort to be professional with his contacts. Working nearby on a construction site are three men, Hector, Beto and Pedro. It is Hector who wants to take classes in exchange for cleaning the studio. And there’s also a congenial student attending group classes, Miles who offers Julián genuine friendship. Unexpected events and conversations develop between the men that can be volatile or humorous, but always affecting.

The cast for The Hombres features the acting talents of Victor Cruz as Pedro; Noah Gaynor as Miles; Eddie Gutierrez as Julián; Gerardo Rodriguez as Héctor; and Jon Rua as Beto. This troupe is ideal to bring the complex, yet relatable story to life. Memorable scenes include Beto and Pedro watching the “gringos” go to work from their construction site; Julián’s first meeting with Hector at the yoga studio; Miles telling Julián about becoming a father; Hector and Pedro bringing salad for lunch to the construction site; Miles inviting Julián for a drink; Beto coming to the studio drunk to confront Julián, Hector, and Pedro; and Julián practicing his modern dance routine.

The creative team has done a great job of creating just the right the mood and setting for The Hombres. The peaceful aura of the yoga studio contrasts with the construction site on its exterior. They include scenic designer by Amy Rubin; costume design by Haydee Zelideth; lighting design by Alejandro Fajardo; sound design by Germán Martínez. The Fight Director & Intimacy Consultant is by UnkleDave’s Fight-House; Dialect Coach is Rosie Berrido; Assistant Choreographer is Rebecca Corrigan. The show has been cast by Binder Casting/Chad Eric Murnane, CSA.; Cultural Consultant is Markus Rodriguez; and Production Stage Manager is Megan Smith.

The Hombres thoughtfully addresses the bonds that people create, but also touches upon other issues that include struggles with identity, the plight of Latino workers in the U.S., and setting personal goals. This is a modern play that will both entertain and provoke important conversations.

Two River Theater is located at Performances of The Hombres will be through Sunday, April 10. Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or by visiting https://tworivertheater.org/. Please also visit the web site to learn about the Covid-19 safety protocols in place for patrons, staff and artists.

Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson