Tortillas from Heaven

Jade Esteban Estrada arrives

 WED 5/4

Tortilla Heaven -- something we thought could only be attained after eating Pueblo Solis' guacamole -- is performed in honor of Cinco de Mayo (a day early). Get your Latino party on when triple threat (actor, writer, singer) Jade Esteban Estrada brings his heavenly one-man show to the Tin Ceiling at the Hispanic Center (3159 Cherokee Street) for two performances (7 and 9 p.m.). You don't need to speak Spanish to enjoy this comedy -- it's performed in Spanish and English. All you need is $5 to $10 (and an aptitude for keeping up with the play's seven multi-generational characters; it is a one-man show).

Written for Jade by his sister, Celeste Angela Estrada, Tortilla Heaven explores three generations of Mexican Americans and the life differences each age group experiences in the new country, from language barriers to cultural contrasts. Even though this particular story is about starting a new life in a new place, all people will be able to relate to the familial struggles. You, like the characters in Heaven, might not really understand how it's possible that some of your relatives share the same bloodline as you -- but you realize you need your family all the same. For more information or to purchase tickets, call Ragged Blade Productions at 314-276-8693 or visit www.raggedblade.com. -- Alison Sieloff

Angel Hess

Tossed What?
People in the Passing Zone

Take a look at that dude to the right: He's licking the other guy's chain saw. What does that tell you about the comedy/juggling duo the Passing Zone? Yeah, that's right: These guys are perhaps a little too into their work, n'ahm sayin'? And when a guy loves his work this much, weird things happen. In the case of the Passing Zone, that means they sometimes juggle audience members (check out www.passingzone.com for the evidence). Will you be tossed about by the chainsaw-licker? Your chances are greatly improved if you attend the show, which is at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday (May 6 and 7) at Washington University's Edison Theatre (6445 Forsyth Boulevard; 314-935-6543). Tickets are $18 to $28, and we wish you bon voyage. -- Paul Friswold

Ring My Bell
Phone's for you!

Once upon a time, not every American was born with an ultra-tiny cell phone grafted to his or her right ear. Instead of discussing the phenomenon of standing in the grocery-store line as the drama unfolded, people had to wait until later to tell loved ones about their purchases. But don't panic: Calls were not missed just because one was out of the house. A whole business sector called "answering services" sprung up; actual human beings (!) were paid to answer other people's phone calls and take messages (they did not imitate ring tones, however). Bells Are Ringing is set in this time period, when Ella answered the calls in New York City and occasionally used her position to meddle in the lives and loves of clients, with hilarious and romantic results. The Kirkwood Theatre Guild presents Bells Are Ringing at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday (May 6 and 7), 2 p.m. Sunday (May 8), and 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday (May 11 through 14) at the Kirkwood Community Center (111 South Geyer Road, Kirkwood; 314-821-9956, extension 1). Tickets are $18, and you can leave your cell phone at home. -- Paul Friswold

Talegate

People tell Ms. Day that she is quite the storyteller, but she can't be as good as Doug Elliott (pictured). This guy, obviously a friend to nature, has to have a lot of stories to tell (like how he got that little critter to sit on his shoulder). Hear Elliott's tales and the stories of many others during the free 26th annual St. Louis Storytelling Festival, "Sparks by the River: Keepers of the Dream," taking place at 31 locations around town (including the Gateway Arch). The festival runs Wednesday through Saturday (May 4 through 7); log on to www.umsl.edu/~conted/storyfes or call 314-516-5961 for more performers, venues and times. -- Alison Sieloff

 
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