Presented by Otherland Theatre Ensemble
Devised and performed by Rebecca Finney, Tushar Mathew, and Lucius Robinson
August 24 and 25, 2023
255 Elm Street
Review by Maegan Bergeron-Clearwood
SOMERVILLE, Mass. — I have seen lots of theater over the past few years, but I still find myself encountering the occasional post-lockdown firsts. In this case, Forgive Us, Gustavito! marked the first production I’ve seen since 2020 that succeeded in being consistently, unabashedly funny – from snorts and chuckles to full-blown guffaws, the three-person ensemble elicited a spectrum of laughs from its audience, myself joyously included, marks itself as the darkest production I’ve seen since 2020.
The devised piece was inspired by a 2017 Washington Post article about the grisly death of hippopotamus, the most famous resident of the now-defunct National Zoo of El Salvador. Speculations as to the cause of Gustavito’s death ran rampant: the original theory, that he had been beaten and stabbed in an act of possible gang-related violence, was replaced by the more mundane (and in some ways more tragic) theory of poor health coupled with inadequate care. Continue reading