One day last week, an actor named Marco Rodriguez was explaining what things used to be like in Dallas. "Every time they were doing Latin theater here, it was always very much about the blood and the guts and all the pain of the Latin people," he says, a memory so unwelcome that its unpleasantness compelled him to rap his knuckles on the table for emphasis. So this young firebrand (even firebrands come dressed in neat slacks and button-down shirts) and a friend filled the void of Latino comedy in Dallas by mounting a play, Latinologues: A Comedy Without Borders, in which, for six weeks, Rodriquez nightly played a Salvadoran mother convinced her son is a vampire; Paquito the ex-Menudo member; the gay version of Mexican Revolution leader Emiliano Zapata; and Manic Hispanic, a coke-addled Hollywood producer, among other roles. Our critic praised Latinologues' "razor-sharp satire and bursts of rat-a-tat energy," elements that appeared in Pico de Gallo and La Lupe: My Life, My Destiny, two later productions performed by Rodriquez and his cohorts. The actors from the three productions will be performing an encore they're calling The Greatest Hits!, featuring barbed and trenchant bits from all three works, Friday at 8 p.m. at the Latino Cultural Center, 2600 Live Oak St. Call 214-750-7435 for reservations or check them out online at www.martice.com. --Claiborne Smith
So I could properly preview the kickoff concert of the Turtle Creek Chorale's 25th season--Texas Choral Roundup, a big shindig at the Meyerson Center on September 18 with gay and lesbian choruses from around the state joining in--I stopped by a recent rehearsal. Near the end, the singing abruptly stopped and Owen, a newer member of the Chorale, dropped a bomb: He's straight. "I love to sing choral music," he began. "It makes me feel like I'm...being gently chucked under the chin by God. But there's no room for a straight man in that world. You don't know how hard it is for me to fit in. The looks, the murmurs behind my back. I mean, I know what they're saying: 'Ooh, he likes girls.'" You know what? Come to think of it, that quote actually came from the episode of Will & Grace featuring Matt Damon. Must've gotten my notebooks mixed up again. My bad. Oh, well, the concert should still be pretty great. And completely gay. It's at 2 p.m., and tickets cost $15 to $48. Call 214-526-3214 ext. 102. --Zac Crain
Grin and Barefoot
Sometimes clichés are just true. In the same way, theater staples become commonplace because they appeal to some universal truth. So it is with Barefoot in the Park, Neil Simon's likable play about newlyweds stumbling through a laundry list of improbabilities. On Thursday, Richardson's Repertory Company Theatre, 2100 Promenade Center, kicks off a two-week run of the crowd-pleaser, starring Laura Alley and Kevin Moore. You know the old saying: Don't say we didn't warn you. Tickets are $11 to $14. Call 972-690-5029. --Sarah Hepola
Teach Kids a Lesson
Because I'm new--OK, young and stupid, too--it was surprising to learn that the Dallas Children's Theater is not a theater whose actors are children. It's instead a theater whose actors perform for children. Ohhh. Still, it'll be interesting to see how the DCT--we're on intimate terms now that my naïveté got a big laugh--handles the not-so-child-friendly subject of rape when it performs Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, beginning this weekend. To find out, head to Baker Theater, Rosewood Center for Family Arts, 5938 Skillman St. Shows are 7:30 p.m. Fridays, 1:30 p.m. Saturdays and 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Sundays through October 17. Tickets are $13 to $15. Call 214-740-0051. --Paul Kix
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