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Viva La Muerte

The fascination with death that exists in some Latino cultures intrigues people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. For most of us, death is a morbid affair, met with extreme fear and a nearly maudlin ceremonial aspect involving trussing up dead loved ones as if to pretend that, if only for a few hours, they're still with us. Latino traditions surrounding death, however, are entirely different. Most of us know about Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, traditionally celebrated in Spanish-speaking countries around the globe on November 1. Since this pretty much coincides with Halloween, it lends another dimension to the frights and chills we crave in late October by celebrating loved ones who have passed on. It's not about zombies and Barney costumes, clearly—it's about honoring life. Along with the honor and respect, though, comes an element of the morbid: frank and chilling conversations about death, dying and killing abound. Since the Middle Ages, Latino cultures (among others) have explored these themes in Teatro Breve, or Brief Theatre, during five- to 20-minute-long plays. Theatre of Death: The Deadliest Plays presents 11 such short plays (from traditional pieces to more modern expositions) from Thursday through Halloween night at the Stone Cottage Theatre, 15650 Addison Road in Addison. The plays are not appropriate for the kiddos, so book your baby sitter and visit for tickets and more information.
Oct. 18-31, 2007


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