Hell's bells

Teatro Dallas roots out sin with The Holy Inquiry

The Holy Inquiry is a doozy of a meditation on how governments use both sex and religion as weapons to keep a citizenry subjugated. In this case, the melodrama that keeps Blanca fairly busting out of her bustier warrants the fevered pitch that director Cora Cardona and her actors apply to Alfredo Dias Gomes' script. My experience with Latino theatrical conventions--thanks almost exclusively to Teatro's work--reinforces the impression that Latino playwrights wear their hearts on their sleeves when addressing the big issues. I've probably seen more characters die on Teatro's stage than that of any other single area company.

This kind of florid confrontationalism is hardly exclusive to Latino writers, but Hispanic cultures in general seem to have absorbed the duality of life and death into their everyday dialogues in a way Anglos have not. More's the pity for Whitey; as The Holy Inquiry proves, when the subject matter is so catastrophically important to our individual and cultural identities, an extra layer of greasepaint on the actors makes the audience catharsis that much more satisfying.

The Holy Inquiry runs through May 17. Call (214) 741-1135.

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