By the time 12-year-old Latino homo Sissy holds a dance-off with his sneering older sister — she and her girls break it down to the Sylvers’ “Hot Line”; Sissy and his boys dust off and remix classic Jackson 5 moves for “Blame It On the Boogie” — Ricardo A. Bracho’s play has settled into a raucously charming groove of digestible Marxist theory, redemptive Negro pop culture and odes to the uncharted complexities of Latino identities. The story — a day-in-the life tale set in Culver City, 1978, on Sissy’s 12th birthday — whisks us through scenes of sibling rivalry, parent-child conflict, cholo bullies, tranny whores dropping wisdom and show-stopping musical sequences set to the gamut of ’70s black music. (Ameenah Kaplan’s inspired choreography is largely era-correct.) Bracho wittily threads the Marxist politics of Sissy’s parents through the boy’s struggles to hone not just his queer sexuality but also his Latino identity, when the absence of large-scale Latino representation made black culture the default setting for nonwhite identification. Running throughout is a sometimes prickly harmonizing between black and brown folk that’s at odds with contemporary media-stoked tensions. Xavier Moreno is generally excellent as Sissy, though the sheer volume of words packed into some of his monologues had him rushing through them, swallowing some of the jokes. He’s matched in skill by the rest of the cast, who all play multiple roles. Director Armando Molina’s inventiveness in having props also play multiple roles (a bunk bed doubles as a city bus, a clothesline demarcates city borders) folds neatly into the play’s thesis that multiple identities are housed in every person or thing.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sun., June 15, 7 p.m. Starts: June 13. Continues through July 20, 2008
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