The grandest presence onstage at Repertorio Español belongs to the smallest creature there: a handsome rooster with luxurious plumage in fiery tones and a strikingly comfortable rapport with his principal scene partner.
That would be the human star of the show, the excellent Germán Jaramillo, who plays the title role in “No One Writes to the Colonel,” adapted by Verónica Triana and Jorge Alí Triana from the novella by Gabriel García Márquez. But it is Horatius, a sweater cock, who most commands our attention — because animals onstage are never performing in the same sense that people are, and because he seems so remarkably at home. A frightened animal is a misery to watch, but Horatius appears to trust Mr. Jaramillo. This chicken is doing just fine.
So is much of the rest of this intimate, transporting production, though the level of Mr. Jaramillo’s acting is a rarity. Directed by Mr. Triana, the play is performed in Spanish and handily subtitled in English, if you want, on the seatback in front of you. (The English translation is by Jack Bustos, the subtitling by Edna Lee Figueroa.)
At 75, with an ailing wife (Zulema Clares), the colonel is retired and in desperate need of a promised pension from the Colombian government that will not come. The couple’s son, recently dead, left behind the rooster, and this is where the colonel places his bet on their future.
It is only rainy October now (the sound of that downpour, by Jimmy Tanaka, is deeply atmospheric), but come the cockfights in January, the bird will be a moneymaker. Provided, that is, that the colonel and his wife don’t starve to death spending their scarce money to keep their winged hope alive.