The Miracle Theatre produces a bilingual Day of the Dead show every year, bringing together music, theater, and dance for a cross-cultural celebration of Latino history. Their current show, ¡Viva la Revolución!, is one of their weaker offerings in recent years, thanks to a script that relies too heavily on superficial comparisons between current and historical revolutionary movements.
The plot hinges on a young Mexican woman who is arrested in the Middle East during the Arab Spring. She's accused of disseminating the revolutionary writings of her great-grandmother, who fought during the Mexican Revolution. After her arrest, the spirits of her ancestors visit her to present a historical tableau about her revolutionary heritage.
Despite all this, the play's most affecting element actually has little to do with the notion of revolution: A romantic subplot between a revolutionary woman and a soldier is sweet and very charming, thanks to the terrific charisma of actress Cristina Cano and a dashing turn from (full disclosure) Mercury Office Manager Noah Dunham. Other threads—an American suffragette exiled by her family to Mexico, for example—are unduly complicated and muddy up an already overreaching concept.
To be fair, I should note that on opening night, a loud, persistent speaker buzz turned what should've been a celebratory show into a distracting exercise in aural endurance. It's certainly possible that the infectious good humor that typically characterizes the Miracle's Day of the Dead shows will be more contagious in future performances.