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Theater Review

'Women' Gives Old Message New Life

October 01, 1998|PHILIP BRANDES

Latina empowerment prevails in "Real Women Have Curves," Josefina Lopez's agreeable, optimistic comedy about an L.A. sweatshop, at Glaxa Studios.

A quintet of calorically challenged garment workers overcomes personal and cultural hang-ups while pooling resources in the factory that one of them (Tina Taylor) has recently bought with her hard-earned savings. Facing an impossible deadline, she cajoles, bribes, browbeats and ultimately enlists her mother (Julia Vera), sister (Miriam Peniche) and friends (Rosalinda Morales and Teresa-Michelle Ruiz) to work a grueling schedule while evading INS detection.

Replete with bawdy humor, poignant exchanges and thoughtful insights, Lopez's play is effective as both a cultural satire and a handbook for Latina self-reliance. Though familiar, her premise that improving one's circumstances begins with self-image is convincing and none the worse for wear.

*

* "Real Women Have Curves," Glaxa Studios, 3707 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake. Thursdays through Sundays, 8 p.m. Ends Oct. 18. $15. (323) 268-5899. Running time: 2 hours, 15 minutes.

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