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By LINDA BUCHWALD
In this installment of TDF Passport, we journey south to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Buenos Aires is a city rich with live performance, and because of the dollar-to-peso exchange rate, tickets are very affordable. Here are five things to keep in mind before you go.
1) Just like New York, Buenos Aires offers commercial and independent theatre.
Most of the bigger commercial houses are located on Corrientes, in the center of town. There are also plenty of smaller theatres, known as “off y under,” scattered throughout the city. El Abasto (an area with a huge shopping mall) and trendy Palermo are good places to start if you are looking for productions that lie off the beaten track. This website is a great source for alternative theatre.
If opera is your thing, then a visit to El Teatro Colon is in order. Even if you don’t see a show there, it is a must-see for the newly-renovated architecture.
Also, if you are a fan of the musical Evita (which incidentally is coming back to Broadway in 2012 starring a true Argentine, Elena Roger), then you might be interested in a visit to La Casa Rosada, where Eva Peron famously stood on the balcony.
2) Rediscover the familiar or find something new.
Buenos Aires offers everything from Spanish translations of Broadway shows to new Argentine works. For example, Agosto: Condado Osage (August: Osage County) is currently running at Teatro Lola Membrives, starring the famous Argentine actress Norma Aleandro. The actor and writer Juan Pablo Geretto, a critical darling, has a new play, Yo Amo A Mi Maestra Normal, playing at Multiteatro.
Once you’re in town, you can check the newspaper for complete listings.
3) No TKTS, but…
This summer, the city launched a same-day 50%-off booth called Tickets Buenos Aires. The booth, run by AADET (Associacion Argentina De Empresarios Teatrales) is located on Diagonal Norte and Cerrito and is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. There is a limit of four tickets per person, cash only. You can follow the booth's Twitter account (@TICKETSBsAs) or fan “Tickets BsAs” on Facebook for updated information about available shows.
For listings and additional discounts, you can also check the Carteleras, which are information centers located around the city. Don't miss the one at El Paseo La Plaza on Corrientes: While you are there, you can check out a host of small theatres and cafes with live shows.
4) Don’t leave home without it.
It’s not uncommon for theatres to offer discounts when you use a particular credit card, but those will usually be smaller than 50%, typically around 20%. If you’re a student, then it doesn’t hurt to bring your ID, as many theatres also offer student discounts. El Camarin De Las Musas, located on Mario Bravo, which has several plays, movies, and art galleries running at once, has a student rate of 25 pesos.
5) Don’t forget to check your ticket.
Everything happens later in Buenos Aires. People don’t eat dinner until 9 or 10 PM, and it’s not unusual for a show to start at 9 or 11 PM. Many shows will have two evening performances instead of a matinee and an evening. Unlike Broadway, where most evening performances begin at 8:00 PM, showtimes can vary greatly, so it’s best to double-check schedules ahead of time.
Linda Buchwald is an assistant editor at Scholastic. She blogs for StageGrade and her own blog, Pataphysical Science.
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