What is the key element that makes humans different from other species? Since the time of Ancient Greece, philosophers have been trying to answer this question. In line with Plato, reason is what distinguishes us from the rest of other living creatures; according to Saint Augustine it is the human connection with God; Rousseau believed it was the capacity of “free will”.
Friedrich Nietzsche was convinced that human talent resided in the ability to produce art, which is therefore linked with the gift of surpassing beauty and founding culture. One good way of honouring his idea is to beat the August chill and see the artistic talent on show at the theatre. Here is a roundup of some of the best plays currently showing in Buenos Aires’ alternative circuit:
The lights are turned on, and all we can see are four people queuing. What are they waiting for? What are they doing there? We don’t know. All we can infer is that each of them wants to be the first ones to arrive somewhere other than their own realities. The play goes through different climaxes, scenarios, and atmospheres, and it takes the audience with it. In this dynamic show the actors do not stop moving, the conflicts do not stop arising, the lights do not stop changing the focus of attention, and all we can do is watch. The play has been on stage for three consecutive years and I hope it does so for many more. Do not miss the chance of watching this original proposal.
El Primero, a play by Israel Horovitz, directed by Roberto Victor Saunier. Saturdays 21 pm, Brilla Cordelia, Juan. D Perón 1926.
At first sight, you might easily fall into the trap of considering this play as a revamped version of The Sleeping Beauty. However, as the piece develops you learn that this innovative idea is far more complex, deep, and humane than a simple story of a beautiful princess being awakened from an everlasting dream. Six lumberjacks who live peacefully together in a cabin located deep in the woods will suddenly see their quiet existence jeopardised by the arrival of a fine-looking lady. The actors are young, energetic and creative. They belong to a new generation of performers who are convinced that projects, ideals and dreams can get us nowhere if we do not transfer them from the intellectual realm into the practical one. The play includes a well written-script and orchestral music, a powerful combination that makes it unmissable.
Los Enanos, a play by Martín Deus, directed by Martín Deus and Matías Dinardo. Mondays 21 pm, La Tertulia, Gallo 826.
Rafael Spregelburd, a prolific writer, playwright, actor, translator, and director, proves once again why he is a prominent member of the national and international cultural circuit. His latest masterpiece is called “Spam”, a play in which he indulges himself as actor, director, and producer. This is the story of a Neapolitan professor (a linguist) who recovers from an unusual accident and loses his memory. He must strive to connect a series of unrelated events which include: the thesis of a former student, the spam mail of a Malaysian girl who is in a bind, a murdered man in Kuala Lumpur, and a fake Swiss film, among others. The events are not presented in chronological order, but patched together chaotically. The play is defined as a ‘spoken opera’, in which the actor’s endless monologues are accompanied by the unique musical creation of Zype. It is definitely recommendable not only because of its exceptional creativity but also because listening to Spregelburd’s speeches, ideas, or “lectures”, does always sound like music to our ears.
Spam, a play by Rafael Spregelburd, directed by Rafael Spregelburd. Fridays 21 pm, El Extranjero, Valentín Gomez 3378.
Countless playwrights have taken their aim at the perennial and chronic issue of immigration, but no so many have put their focus on the Peruvian community in Argentina. Sudado’s writers have chosen to leave the boundary problems of North America and Eastern Europe aside to investigate what is happening within Latin America. The owner of a building company dies and it is his son´s responsibility to take over the refurbishment of a Peruvian restaurant. However, problems arise when he has to confront the two builders working in it. The synergy of the three actors makes the play neat, precise and convincing. Their performances are extraordinary, and their Peruvian accents are simply perfect, without a hint of porteño. This is an absolutely unmissable play which has won several awards and has been on stage for the last four years.
Sudado, a play by Facundo Aquinos, Julián Cabrera, Belén Charpentier, Jorge Eiro, Facundo Livio Mejías, Paul Romero; directed by Jorge Eiro. Fridays 21.15 pm, Timbre 4, Mexico 3554.