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April 24, 2014
Sunday, December 15, 2013

Four disturbing plays close 2013 season

A scene from the musical Canciones degeneradas.
By Juan Carlos Fontana

From postwar cabaret decadence to Roberto Arlt’s dystopian delusions

IVÁN Y LOS PERROS (Iván and the Dogs). Written by Hattie Naylor and translated into Spanish by multifaceted playwright-director-actor Alejandro Tantanián, Iván y los perros, directed by Mariano Stolkiner, questions the present from an original standpoint.

Stolkiner, who staged the controversial plays Shopping and Fucking (Mark Ravenhill) and Cleansed (Sarah Kane), has developed Iván y los perros as the story of a city devastated by economic recession, the question being: what to do when money runs out?

Deeply rooted in the sad reality of poor and rich countries these days, Iván y los perros is actually based on the real-life story of Iván Mishukov in 1990s Moscow.

The anecdote, of course, is a mere excuse for Naylor — one of the UK’s best-known playwrights — to speak about the human condition through the eyes of a four-year-old. Better put, Iván y los perros is about the human condition and the inhuman conditions caused by savage capitalism.

A most disturbing one-man play, Iván y los perros is staged by El balcón de Mersault theatre company in collaboration with the British Council and El extranjero theatre.

Stolkiner’s production of Naylor’s play has been finetuned to provoke a strange, painful fascination with the existential questions faced by humankind. Actor Emiliano Dionisi turns in a moving performance.

Where & When

At El extranjero, Valentín Gómez 3378. Tel: 4862-7400. Saturdays at 9pm. Tickets $50.

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CANCIONES DEGENERADAS. Performed by talented actors-singers Alejandra Perlusky, Diego Bros and Melania Lenoir, Canciones degeneradas (Degenerate Songs) is a postwar-style cabaret show with tinges of melodrama, obscenity and excess.

Moving from pathos to bathos, Canciones degeneradas features jazz, foxtrot, tango and circus music brilliantly played by this brilliant threesome of all-around performers. The songs in this unmissable show include Sex Appeal, Johnny Johnny, La canción de la mujer del soldado, Todos roban, Souna vamp!, and Nana‘s lied, among others. Santiago Martínez provides piano and violin accompaniment. Music direction by Gabriel Goldman, régie by Gabriel Goldman.

Where & When

At Clásica y Moderna, Callao 892. Tel: 4813-9517. Fridays at 9pm. Tickets $100.

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LA ROSA DE COBRE (EL SECUESTRO DE ROBERTO ARLT). Written by Federico Polleri, who hails from the city of Bahía Blanca, in the southern BA province, La rosa de cobre (El secuestro de Roberto Arlt) focuses on the adventures of a group of outcasts in the 1920s.

A most fitting case of imitative behaviour, the people in La rosa de cobre are delusional and insane, and they devise a plan to kidnap writer-journalist Roberto Arlt and force him to collaborate in a revolution to change the world.

In Polleri’s fiction, Arlt draws inspiration from this ordeal to write one of his best-known stories, Los siete locos.

Staged with dexterity, creativity and precision by Manuel Santos Iñurrieta, La rosa de cobre features actors Claudio Arcui, José Luis Britos, Gonzalo Funes, Pablo Guzzo, Belén Manetta, Esteban Padín, Federico Polleri and Carla Rossi.

Where & When

At Teatro Nacional Cervantes, Libertad 815. Tel: 4815-8883. Sundays at 9pm. Free admission today.

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A CIEGAS GOURMET. Written and directed by Martín Bondone and staged by the Teatro Ciego blind performers’ company, A ciegas gourmet is a sensorial feast — a gourmet experience in pitch dark. That is, if you dare enjoy dinner without actually seeing what it is that goes into your mouth.

Waiting tables are members of Teatro Ciego, who offer viewers-diners a gourmet menu and a fine wine selection.

Food and spirits is an original combination of Thespian-gastronomic experience, with an alternative menu for veggies and gluten-sensitive people.

Performers-waiters are Graciela Pereyra, Pablo Ugolini, Maximiliano Griro, Graciela Pereyra and Carlos and Belén Cabrera.

Where & When

Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at Centro Argentino de Teatro Ciego, Zelaya 3006. Tel: 6379-8596. Tickets $270.

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