Dusty, derelict Tucson in the 1930s doesn't exactly yield the same media appeal as one of those placid, unflappable suburbs that recurrently appears in news features about violent abductions. All the same, it's the site of one of the most horrific child kidnappings in American history. Playwright Octavio Solis joins forces with the moodmakers of Campo Santo to bring us June in a Box, a groundbreaking performance that blends live music (composed by lyrical Renaissance woman Beth Custer) with a constantly morphing Rubik's Cube narrative. Based on a Mexican corrido, or narrative ballad, about the kidnapping of six-year-old June Robles in 1934 (two years after the Lindbergh kidnapping), the play is largely narrated by 75-year-old June, who relives the grisly ordeal through snatches of song and recollection. Solis breaks down Robles' story by examining how identity and events get distorted by time and memory. The older June breaks bread with her six-year-old self and confronts a host of other characters, including her parents, her kidnappers, and media beasts of prey. The production looks to be enchanting, pulsating with subtlety and mystery, not to mention the kind of perceptual shifts you might expect from a magical realist novel.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: March 6. Continues through March 31, 2008