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What a 'Drag': Teatro Luna Entertains Berwyn
by Catey Sullivan
2008-02-01

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Audiences who missed Teatro Luna's insightful, moving and balls-to-the-wall hilarious Machos the first time around take heart: The acclaimed production created and directed by Coya Paz is running Fridays through Sundays through Feb. 17 at Berwyn's 16th Street Theater.

'We sold out our entire run when we did it before; we could have sold out longer but in Chicago it can be very, very challenging to get a space,' said Paz. 'We're thrilled to be able to open it again. The theater is s so close—it's like 10 miles from the Loop [ it's actually 9.6 ] , but it's great for us to be able to reach out to a new population. This is our first time taking a show to the suburbs.'

Machos is a female drag show, minus all elements of camp and parody, but with layer upon layer of complex wisdom, humor and heartbreak. Focusing on the nature of manhood, masculinity and societal expectations, the script is culled from in-person interviews, online surveys and performance workshops.

As they aimed to get to the bottom of the endless query 'What are men really thinking?,' cast members asked men about everything from their penis size ( 'That's one we did online—we were too shy to ask in person,' Paz said ) to their musical preferences.

'It's a fairly complicated conversation about gender and masculinity,' Paz said. 'I think the basic thing we discovered is that gender is a learned behavior.

'We had some men come back to see the show three and four times, which made me feel like well, we really got it. We listened to what men said and we got them right,' Paz added.

'The number one comment we got from audiences was that they couldn't believe these were women in the cast,' she continued. 'People would say they got crushes on cast members and then start laugh because it was so confusing,' Paz said.

The rest of the inaugural season at the 16th Street Theater is as follows:

—April 4—May 4: The Ascension of Carlotta, by Will Dunne

—July 10—20: Aiming for Sainthood, by Arlene Malinowski

—Sept. 19—Oct. 19: Kita y Fernanda, by Tonya Saracho

For more information about the 16th Street Theater, call 708-795-6704, ext. 105, or e-mail info@16thstreettheater.org .


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