Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

`Memory Tricks' Is Captivating Performance at Coca

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

`Memory Tricks' Is Captivating Performance at Coca

Article excerpt

Congratulations to Joan Lipkin of That Uppity Theater Company and Valerie Miller of the Center of Contemporary Arts. This weekend, they launched a new series, Women Centerstage!, with a captivating presentation of "Memory Tricks" by performance artist Marga Gomez.

If this is a taste of what Women Centerstage! will bring to St. Louis, it's going to be quite a resource. By opening with Gomez, however, the producers have set the bar for future presentations very high indeed.

"Memory Tricks," presented at COCA on Friday and Saturday, is a one-woman piece in which Gomez explores her relationship with her mother, a glamorous Puerto Rican dancer billed as Margo the Exotic. They lived in Harlem - or, as Margo preferred to call it, Washington Heights - at the center of a lively circle of Latin entertainers. It was all too much for Marga, who envied classmates whose mothers took them on picnics. "We couldn't go on a picnic," she explains. "That was too normal for us." Instead, she had birthday parties that began at 10 p.m., shopping trips instead of homework, a loony, chaotic, perfume-scented life that, in retrospect at least, acquires a seductive shimmer. (Or is that just a memory trick?) Gomez handles her many changes of person, and mood, nimbly. …

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