Off-Broadway comedy comes on strong; Lagrima del Diablo ("The DEvils Tear") Play by Dan Owens. Directed by Richard Gant.

In "Lagrima del Diablo" ("The Devil's Tear"), author Dan Owens imagines a power struggle between a Roman Catholic churchman and a revolutionary leader on a recently decolonialized West Indian island. Archbishop Stephen Emmanuel Pontiflax (Graham Brown) has ordered the closing of the local churches until the revolution frees his fellow churchmen. Revolutionist Dacius Soulimare (Leon Morenzie), who holds the Archbishop hostage, insists that the clerics will not be set loose until he receives the gold treasure he claims the church is hiding.

"Lagrima del Diablo" is well supplied with polemics and exotic atmosphere. Unfortunately, it tends to be static as drama. According to a program note, the play expresses the theme, "We are but dreams that dream" (from Miguel de Unamuno's "Tragic Sense of Life"). The dreams of Mr. Owens's imagining are substantial and voluble, and they are articulately played by members of the Negro Ensemble Company under Richard Gant's direction. Wynn Thomas's fantastic scenery suggests a star-studded tropical night, low- lighted by Kathy A. Perkins. The costumes are by Quay Barnes Truitt.

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