Dallas — Teatro Dallas takes theater to people who might not ordinarily have access to the privileged spaces of theatrical performance with its staging of Little México, Ayer y Hoy (Little Mexico, Yesterday and Today), performed at Taquería Pedrito on Jefferson Blvd. in Oak Cliff, a historically Mexican-American Dallas community.
It is a bilingual, collaborative piece created by Carlos Morton and Teatro Dallas that follows the Mexican popular tradition of tandas de variedad, vaudeville-like performances in working class spaces that are famous for the incorporation of song, dance, satire, parody and humor to get its point across. Directed by Sorany Gutiérrez with original music by Armando Monsiváis, the versatile and talented Teatro Dallas cast members include Monsiváis, Marbella Barreto, Omar Padilla, and Mónica Pérez in multiple roles.
This free, half-hour-long production narrates through vignettes; stories of both racism and success that Mexicans have historically experienced in Dallas. While some experiences may vary somewhat from geographic location, unfortunately, some are universal, like the blatant racism of the post-World War II era of “No Mexican, No Negroes, No Dogs” allowed. Little Mexico, Ayer y Hoy also makes timely and biting commentary on the current political situation of Latinx people in the United States.
Teatro Dallas commissioned University of California/Santa Barbara Chicano theater professor and renowned playwright Carlos Morton (The Many Deaths of Danny Rosales), to write the script. However, TD members, including Cora Cardona, added sections such as marvelous interview segment with Dallasite Enrique (Henry) Martinez and his challenges entering a local cemetery to pay respects to his family once that land was gentrified by a large corporation.
The piece is performed in Spanish and English and is easily understood by monolinguals in either language. You get the added attraction of eating an authentic, reasonably priced Mexican meal which includes tacos de buche (pork belly tacos). I stuck with the chicken tacos which were delicious and a side of freshly made, finger-licking guacamole.
This is a free performance for the entire family.
Remaining shows are 7 and 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1:30 and 3 p.m. Sunday at Tacquería Pedrito, 321 E. Jefferson Blvd. Dallas.