!Salsation! | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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There's an undercurrent of anger in The Pinata Strikes Back, a new sketch revue directed by Keith Privett. This Latina-themed show by ÁSalsation! targets societal structures that frustrate individual needs, from families to community bureaucracies to the federal government. Unfortunately the anger doesn't always meld with the show's wackiness--in one sketch a pinata talks to the audience before attempting an escape--partly because the anger is downplayed. And most sketches have a wandering, unfinished quality. The performers create strong characters, however, especially Beatriz Jamaica in a wide-eyed satiric take on Dora the Explorer and Sylvia Alvarado in a variety of roles, from hip-hop fairy princess to a coed bringing her boyfriend home for the first time. The long-form improv at the end of the show has a bite not present in the sketches. Through 12/18: Fri-Sat 10 PM. $10-$12.

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