With “Quita Mitos” (“Myth Remover”), Chicago-Chicana playwright Tanya Saracho proves why she deservedly won the Goodman Theatre’s prestigious Ofner writing fellowship in 2004. In addition, Teatro Luna shows that its hard-working ensemble of Latinas are capable of stretching themselves as artists through this funny, smart and emotionally rich piece of theater, staged with perfect rhythm by Luna co-Artistic Director Coya Paz. Deceptively simple in structure—three short plays delivered as three monologues by three actresses—“Quita”’s Mexican-descended characters paint a hilarious and heartbreaking picture of the Hispanic-American female experience with complexity and brutal authenticity. To varying degrees, all of these sharply observed intimate portraits share a sense of loss, dignified anger and great moral courage: the academic’s wife who shares her piercing insight into servitude and Latino hierarchies, the girl who tries a little too hard to convince herself that all is well with her insensitive barrio boyfriend and the upwardly mobile young Hispana who longs to be part of the white bourgeoisie, even if it means cutting off her roots. Saracho develops each of the back stories through the skillful accrual of seemingly unimportant details and her blisteringly-good dialogue—conversationally authentic yet idiosyncratic in its rhythmic and poetic blend of English and Español—at times sounds like a Spanish version of David Mamet (Call Saracho a Mamet-cita, and not just a mamacita, thank you very much). There isn’t enough room to praise the three actresses who successfully nail these demanding monologues (the playwright herself tackles all three monologues at the weekend performances), but suffice it to say that these ladies can definitely dance to Saracho’s infectious playwriting rhythms. (Fabrizio O. Almeida)
“Quita Mitos” plays at Viaduct Studio Theatre, 3111 North Western, (773)878-LUNA, through December 17.