Certain cities conjure thoughts of death, but at least, according to Ray Nagin, the big-mouth Big Easy mayor, "it keeps the brand out there."
Take the mysterious case of Ciudad Juárez, where more than 300 young females have been brutally murdered since 1993. Referred to as las muertas de Juárez ("the dead women of Juárez"), many worked in foreign-owned factories called maquiladoras. Juárez, situated across the Rio Grande from El Paso, has long had a rep for edgy borderland shenanigans suffused with Texan dreams of the Wild West. Offering a reality check, Teatro Bravo serves up The Women of Juarez, a reprise of the company's award-winning production of two years ago. This time, L.A. playwright Ruben Amavizca's "based on a true story" drama unfolds in a new English translation tracing the desperate search of a mother who travels to Juárez looking for her missing daughter. Billed as "docudrama," unabashedly didactic and political, the piece also aims for the grip of a gruesome story brought closer to home.