Teatro de la Esperanza | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Teatro de la Esperanza 

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The theater component of "Del Corazon: Mexican Performing Arts Festival 1994," sponsored by the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, kicks off this weekend with two shows by this bilingual, family-oriented San Francisco company. One of the oldest Chicano theaters in the U.S.--and the only one that tours regularly--the group purveys a distinctive mix of performance and educational components. The highlight of its repertoire is Rosario's Barrio, a whimsical, sometimes campy satire on multiculturalism and commercialism in which a woman who's hired to host a Nestle-sponsored children's TV program spices the show with streetwise commentary about immigration, drugs, unemployment, and other ghetto realities ("Can we say 'eviction notice'?"). The group also performs Macario, a 45-minute kids' show based on a folktale about a peasant who learns the value of generosity when Death asks him to share his meal. Concluding Teatro de la Esperanza's three-day stay is a lecture-demonstration providing an overview of Mexican American theater. Latino Chicago Theater Company, in the Firehouse, 1625 N. Damen, 738-1503. Saturday, April 9, 7 PM (Macario); Sunday, April 10, 7 PM (Rosario's Barrio); Monday, April 11, 7 PM (workshop). $15 for each show; $35 for a pass to any three shows in the festival, which runs through June 12. The workshop is free.

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