One Small, Illegal Woman/Una Pequena Mujer Illegal | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

One Small, Illegal Woman/Una Pequena Mujer Illegal 

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One Small, Illegal Woman/Una pequena mujer ilegal | M. Litwicki's new two-hander is certainly passionate about illegal immigration, bristling with intertwined issues: drug trafficking, violence against poor women, assimilation into the dominant Anglo culture. What Litwicki hasn't done is provide a convincing dramatic framework for the encounter between Charlie, a Mexican-American border guard in Arizona's Sonoran Desert, and Ana, an undocumented immigrant. The former in particular remains a shadowy figure--we know he's divorced and frustrated about not receiving a promotion, but not much else. J.J. Romero's tentative performance adds to the character's vagueness. Ana has the opposite problem: Litwicki has burdened her with so many melodramatic yet generic tales of woe that it's hard to find the flesh-and-blood woman beneath them, and they're delivered with excessive vocal intensity by Beatriz Jamaica. Somewhere in all of this there's a story worth telling, but neither Litwicki nor director Chad Eric Bergman has dug it out yet. Through 3/27: Sat 8 PM, Sun 4 PM. Meztli Gallery & Cultural Organization, 556 W. 18th, 312-226-0754. $10-$15.

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