Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
La Corte de Faraon is a romp of a zarzuela ("operetta" is a loose translation) that first appeared in 1910 (original libretto by Guillermo Perrin and Miguel de Palacios, original music by Vicente Lleó). The Pharaoh rewards his victorious general Putifar (Josema Yuste) with a new bride, Lota (Ana Belen), but the general is more intrigued with his own ego on his wedding night, and in the morning he dashes off. Along comes Friar José (Antonio Banderas) with his soulful eyes and innocent sexuality, and Lota aggressively goes after him. He escapes, but when brought before the Queen, she follows Lota's precedent and the poor Friar barely escapes a second time with his virtue intact. (In the original the Friar is none other than Joseph of the colored coat.) In this updated version, the troupe of zarzuela players gets in trouble with the police, and the whole lot of them are hauled in for scandalous behavior. Between the on-stage and off-stage insanity, the singing, the dance numbers, the music, the slapstick, and the slams at censors, police, and political repression -- this zarzuela upholds the tradition of pleasing all types of viewers. Except Franco, that is -- he banned the operetta.
dance [art], arrest, censorship, dance-troupe, police-station, priest, police, bride, ego, escapades, escape, General, invasion, scandal, sex, virgin, virtue