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Touched by an Anglo

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TOUCHED BY AN ANGLO, ¡Salsation!, at Idiot Box and Donny's Skybox Studio, Second City E.T.C. The ¡Salsation! troupe bills itself as "comedy with a Latin flavor," though the flavor of their show at Piper's Alley might not be as picante as the flavor of the one in Pilsen. Crossover themes dominate the material in Touched by an Anglo. There's the "Who Wants to Be an American Citizen?" game show, in which immigrants from various countries compete against one another for prizes ranging from visa extensions to full citizenship. And the sweetly serious testimony of a farmer determined to master computers--he vows, "I will not let my children leave me behind, as I left my father behind." And the extended title scenario, in which divine intervention leads a father to reveal the secret of his daughter's multiethnic lineage.

"Cooking With Frida Kahlo," with its exaggerations and inside references, is hilarious, and the ensemble's sharp-edged timing and concentration make even such comedy-revue staples as an interviewer's search for a sufficiently stereotypical "ethnic" candidate ("Latinos--the other dark meat!") both funny and thought provoking. These wry observations of universal human foibles display real intelligence. --Mary Shen Barnidge

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