7:30 pm Thursdays, 8 pm Fridays-Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays through Jan. 25., Friday January 24 | $17-$26.
Milagro Theatre kicks off 2014 with Cuéntame Coyote
, a play written and directed by Dañel Malán that follows the plight of Mexican immigrants seeking a better life north of the border. The show—it’s bilingual but easy to follow for non-Spanish speakers—is only an hour, but the simplistic story line can make it feel longer. We first meet the main characters in a Mexican factory. Maria (Alida Holguín Gunn) has a passion that’s mesmerizing, and she speaks with a loud, quick voice, conveying emotional intensity and even shedding a few tears. Her gay cousin José (Ajai Terrazas-Tripathi), who originally suggests the journey to the U.S., is lighthearted and quick on his feet. Mariel Sierra and Erubiel Valladares Carranza round out the cast, moving capably between a variety of roles. As Maria and Jose make their way across the border, they encounter coyotes of both the two-legged and four-legged varieties: smugglers who help them sneak through the desert and into the U.S., and performers clad in rubber masks and bushy tails who linger around the desert, finishing off human remains. At one point, there’s even a literal dance with death: Dressed in a black robe and skull mask, Terrazas-Tripathi sways seductively with one of Sierra’s fallen characters. A simple backdrop of desert scenery, minimal props and modest costumes keep the focus on the straightforward and intermittently funny story, even if the pacing occasionally lags.
525 SE Stark St.Website: http://milagro.org/