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El Ogrito (The Ogreling)

Jesús Castaños-Chima stages Suzanne Lebeau's dark fairy tale (performed in Spanish with English supertitles) with sweetness and depth. It concerns a mother (Julieta Ortiz) trying to protect her young son (the adult Gabriel Romero) from the heredity and instinct of blood lust. His father, you see, was/is an Ogre, or one who eats children. After going through six of his own daughters, he fled to give his infant son a chance. Dad hangs offstage in the forest, watching with admiration as his son struggles with hereditary, demonic passions to eat little animals and, eventually, little children, while his mother strives valiantly to ban the color red from the house, and serve him vegetarian fare grown in the garden — in these plays, gardens always serve as an antidote to the horrors of who we are. 24th Street Theater, 1117 24th St., L.A.; Sat.-Sun., times vary, call for schedule; through June 21. (213) 745-6516.
Sat., May 9, 8 p.m.; Sun., May 10, 3 p.m.; Sat., May 16, 1 p.m.; Sat., May 23, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m.; Sat., May 30, 1 p.m.; Sat., June 6, 8 p.m.; Sat., June 13, 8 p.m.; Sat., June 20, 3 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: May 9. Continues through July 26, 2009

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