The Fanta Menace | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Fanta Menace

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Fifteen minutes of improv follow an hour of sketches in this iSalsation! production, whose message can be reduced to "How the Gringos Stole Texas," also a heavy-handed bedtime story enacted in one scene. The diminutive Eva Rios, whose energy is inversely proportional to her stature, and Esteban Andres Cruz, who's often cross-eyed and cross-dressed, anchor the cast; Cruz sparkles in the show's best bit, a musicalization of Scarface. The nine writer-performers represent a refreshing range of shapes and sizes but are myopically preoccupied with exposing ethnic stereotypes: Latin lovers, labor workers, Che Guevara (here a stand-up). Here's an idea: rather than fussing over the "white man's" views of Latino culture, celebrate it on its own terms. Through 4/30: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 4/23 and 4/30, 5 PM, Meztli Gallery & Cultural Organization, 556 W. 18th, 312-670-8496, $10-$12.

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