Julia de Burgos: Child of Water | UrbanTheater Company | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Julia de Burgos: Child of Water The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 15 2014

Julia de Burgos lasted only 39 years, from 1914 to 1953, but she packed a lot of ferocity into that short time. A poet, feminist, and agitator for the cause of Puerto Rican independence, she fought hard and drank harder. "One can never have enough anger," she tells an admiring Pablo Neruda in this 1999 biographical play by Carmen Rivera. Rivera puts a magic-realist spin on De Burgos's story, framing it as a struggle between the "little girl from the mountains" (Guadalis Del Carmen), who longs for a conventional life, and that little girl's formidable soul (Tamika Lechee Morales), committed to upending the world. Oddly, the magic feels more real than the reality in Juan Castañeda's production for UrbanTheater Company. The body/soul dynamic comes through vividly, but basic information about locations, times, and De Burgos's coughing (it's never explained that pneumonia killed her) isn't so clear. Another odd thing: while the show is performed in English, a potentially helpful exhibit on De Burgos is presented entirely in Spanish. —Tony Adler

Price: $20

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