Review: Be swept away by APT's fantastical 'River Bride'

Posted June 27, 2022

RB Cap Times Photo

By Lindsay Christians, The Capital Times

It would be so easy to hate Belmira, the younger sister in “The River Bride.”

The emotional center of Marisela Treviño Orta’s marvelous mythological romance, now running in American Players Theatre’s Touchstone Theatre, is arguably older sister Helena (Melisa Pereyra).

Helena is thoughtful and practical, a bit of a wallflower. “My only sister,” Belmira says, “who hides her true feelings. Who’s too afraid to go after what she wants.”

In the storied tradition of younger sisters onstage, Belmira is a lot more fun. “Love is for the bold!” she cries. Played by Gabriela Castillo with a heart-shaped face and a light step, Belmira’s name means “beautiful sight,” and she’s as restless to fly her tiny Brazilian fishing village as Belle was to quit the French countryside.

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