Chicanos on the Rampage

Culture Clash dishes on FEMA, Katrina — and Latina butts

In 2004, Culture Clash in AmeriCCarocked the Alley Theatre in a huge blowout of laugh-till-your-sides-hurt hilarity. Moving, funny and utterly irreverent, the politically wicked show had only one thing wrong with it: It came and went so fast most Houstonians never got the word. Thankfully, Richard Montoya, Ric Salinas and Herbert Sigüenza, the sexy, smart trio who created and perform the show, are back. So anyone who missed the collage of scenes and monologues about America on the borderlands will get a second chance this month.

Created from actual interviews the performers have done as they've crossed the country during the twentysomething years they've worked together, the wonderfully strange and ever-changing collage of Americana covers everything from the politics of war to the size of Latinas' butts. That's a lot of ground to cover in the two-hour show, but Montoya says there's room for more: This year's performance will feature commentary on Hurricane Katrina. Montoya wouldn't say how Houston figures into the show except to make it clear that he admires the way we here in H-town "stepped up" and "came through."

Mostly, though, the trio is interested in how the government responded to the catastrophe. "We're pretty pissed off," says Montoya. "And so are a lot of other Americans. And it's not just radical Chicanos. You've got soccer moms, dot-commers and others who are pissed off as well. We must comment." Montoya isn't sure the show will feature any monologues culled from their recent interviews with Houstonians and New Orleanians, but he's got some ideas. "We must," he says, "see Sean Penn go across the stage in a boat." He adds, "We must call for FEMA to join forces with Mensa so that we can get more idiots running the country. We have to respond as artists, and I wish more artists would."
Jan. 6-29

 
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