You Don't Know Me
As the title of playwright-poet Patricia Zamoranos Chicana coming-of-age tale suggests, there is much that her hardscrabble East L.A. characters choose not to reveal to each other or even to themselves. For 17-year-old Santa (Erika Beas), it is her budding poetry talent and longing for her best friend, Sonia (Alma Deras); for Santas mother, Jovita (Jennifer Lora), it is the demons she tries to keep at bay with drugs, booze and sex. Like her plays denizens, Zamoranos heartfelt work is rough around the edges, which has its benefits. Director Emmanuel Deleage elicits sturdy performances from most of his cast, though Beas doesnt display the emotional range needed for Santas angst-driven journey. Problematic also are the unlikely contradictions of Zamoranos characters, such as the alternating disgust at and encouragement of Jovitas drug use by her dope dealer/lover Joey (Eddie Diaz). What keeps it all appealing, though, is the interspersing of Santas fiery and deeply revealing poetry, verses that could well serve as her ticket out of the barrio. Opening the evening is Zamoranos short play Juvy Sunday, also directed by Deleage, a spoken-word monologue concerning an adolescent juvenile-hall inmate (Maggie Gutierrez) yearning for her mothers weekly visit. Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: April 11. Continues through May 11, 2008
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