Arts & Culture » Performing Arts Review

The Sun Always Shines for the Cool

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Nuyorican poet, playwright, and self-proclaimed "junkie Christ" Miguel Pinero, who died of cirrhosis in 1988 at the age of 41, still inspires controversy. Champions see him as a kind of Lower East Side Genet, a defiant voice of the Puerto Rican underclass. Detractors say the addict and unapologetic ur-gangsta merely reinforced a host of racist stereotypes. Either way Pinero had a hustler's authenticity, which comes through in UrbanTheater Company's electric production. The machismo metaphysics and displaced oedipal conflict of this 1975 piece unfold in a 70s ghetto bar, a setting enlivened by James Nash's pimped-out period costumes and wigs. And under Madrid St. Angelo's masterful direction, the charismatic, commanding, utterly cohesive cast navigates Pinero's collagelike script with deceptive ease. Through 4/30: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, Aguijon Theater Company, 2707 N. Laramie, 773-347-1203, $20.

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