On stage, however, it amounts to a high-energy but shallow distillation of the ample novel's several decades of private history that are set meaningfully against a diasporic backdrop of colonial peonage, imperial intervention ("Santo Domingo was Iraq before Iraq was Iraq!"), hopeful and desperate migrations, New World ennui, oppression under a series of local and globetrotting top dogs especially dictator Trujillo, here introduced only in the second act and a bit too inconsequentially and disillusionment with that American Dream.
Codirectors Marc Bamuthi Joseph (of LWP) and Sean San José (who directed Angry) find their way into the material through a fluid physicality and driving beat (although actual beatboxing from Aguirre and singing by the cast are kept to a minimum). The effortless bounce and verve never gets close to the bone, though, since the relentlessly playful tone and broad if charming characterizations can't sustain the full weight of the narrative. Straddling comedic melodrama and turned-out hip-hop performance, Fukú satisfies the requirements of neither too well, leaving its deeper themes marooned in the shallows of a fleetingly infectious celebration of outsider status.
Through June 21
Thurs-Sat, 8 p.m., $15$25
Intersection for the Arts
446 Valencia, SF
(415) 626-3311, www.theintersection.org