Culture Clash Parodies Life in Los Angeles A Chicano Theater Troupe Uses Political and Religious Satire, Slapstick, Music, and Mime

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CARPA CLASH Performance by Culture Clash. At the Mark Taper Forum through Dec. 23.

CULTURE Clash, now performing at Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum, is, as its members would quickly point out, not a Hispanic theater troupe. It is a Chicano theater group, and if you don't know the difference you are not the ideal audience for these vaudevillians.

Not to worry, because a handy glossary of terms is provided in the program, as well as English translations. Culture Clash (consisting of Richard Montoya, Ric Salinas, and Herbert Siguenza) was founded nearly 10 years ago in San Francisco.

The group has since moved to Los Angeles and become increasingly popular through shows at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, appearances around the country, and television exposure (several half-hour variety shows for Fox Television).

Their new piece, "Carpa Clash," refers to the tent shows that traveled through Mexico and the southwestern United States, and is a collection of short sketches and songs, many relating to the Chicano experience.

Although a familiarity with Chicano culture will further your enjoyment of the show, and non-Los Angeles residents will no doubt miss many of the jokes, Culture Clash is funny enough to transcend ethnic boundaries. They are skillful clowns and expert farceurs, and, with the aid of guest artist Marga Gomez, they put on a relentlessly funny and fast-paced evening. …

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