Capsule Reviews

Our critics weigh in on local theater

Yankee Doodle is a dandy--in Act 1, anyway.
Yankee Doodle is a dandy--in Act 1, anyway.

La Lupe Long before J.Lo, Christina Aguilera and Shakira, Cuban-born spitfire La Lupe was shakin' it to a Latin beat on TV and in the hottest nightspots of NYC in the '50s and '60s. Born Guadalupe Yoli, La Lupe performed and recorded with Tito Puente. She earned and lost a fortune, just as predicted by a voodoo priestess. She was an unpredictable diva given to shedding shoes and clothes while she sang and capable of igniting a crowd to hysteria with a shake of her fist. In the musical bio produced by Martice Enterprises now onstage at the Latino Cultural Center, a tiny titan of talent named Delilah takes on the title role. She's a wonder, with a voice and personality big enough to warrant her own fan following. Backing up Delilah on 14 high-energy songs from the La Lupe catalog is the dynamite Latin Jazz Ensemble from Booker T. Washington High School. If only the whole show were up to the quality of its individual parts. The script by Carmen Rivera is wooden and talky. And when Delilah's not singing and throwing herself into La Lupe's dance steps that require hips that are piston-fired, the show drags. The supporting cast isn't all that strong either, and some of the directing decisions by usually reliable Rene Moreno don't make sense. Continues through June 24 at the Latino Cultural Center, 2600 Live Oak St. 214-750-7435. (E.L.)

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