Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Buenos Aires Recap

I can't believe it's already been two years since my last trip to Buenos Aires. This time, I was there for my cousin's wedding and my trip was much shorter than usual, but I still got to squeeze in some culture. Here are some non-wedding highlights:

El Año Que Viene A La Misma Hora; Teatro Maipo (Esmeralda 443); starring Julieta Diaz and Adrian Suar: We only had time for one play, and we finally decided on the Bernard Slade play Same Time, Next Year. As the title suggests, it is about a couple, Juan and Doris, each married to someone else, who meet for one weekend every year. The play shows not only the developing relationship between the two over the years, but also the changes in fashion and culture over time. One memorable scene has Adrian Suar dancing to Thriller. I was prepared for the comedy, but I did not expect to be such a moving love story. The show would not work without chemistry between the two actors, and Suar and Diaz play off each other to perfection. Juan, an adorable bumbling idiot, comes across as the more sympathetic character and Suar, who has in recent years become more of a producer than an actor, is hilarious in the role, but Diaz succeeds in bringing out the softer side of the more practical Doris.

i Central Market; Puerto Madero: There is counter service in the front of the restaurant/cafe/store, but before eating, we explored the rest of the two stories. There are housewares and gourmet food items on sale (which weren't cheap, even with the exchange rate) on the main floor. On the bottom floor is the sit down restaurant. You can also rent out a room for parties where the chef cooks the meal in front of your guests. Perhaps best of all are the modern and clean bathrooms. We chose a few items from the dessert case to share. The prettiest was the chocolate in the shape a wrapped gift (sorry, I don't have pictures). But my favorite was the strawberry/dulce de leche/merengue concoction. Truth be told, the presentation was more impressive than the desserts themselves, which were tasty, but there is no shortage of good desserts in Buenos Aires.

El Secreto De Sus Ojos: I went to see this movie with my cousin on a Saturday night, over a week after it opened, and there was a line around the block to get in. The actors and director, Juan Jose Campanella, are the best of the best in Argentine cinema. Benjamin Esposito (Ricardo Darin) is writing a novel based on the brutal rape and murder of a young woman, a case he worked on as a lawyer. It is beautifully shot, suspenseful, and the acting is superb. Guillermo Francella adds much needed comic relief without ever losing the pathos of his character, Esposito's alcoholic best friend. Pablo Rago leaves the greatest impression as the mysterious widower of the murdered woman.

Plaza Serrano: During the days on weekends, the bars turn into street fairs, with vendors selling purses, clothes, shoes, etc. I could have bought every purse there, but since the last thing I need is another purse, I settled on some rain boots (which I actually do need) for 20 American dollars. I also bought this vest with a belt to tie around it (it can be worn in three different ways) for only $13.

1 comment:

Summer said...

hey those are interesting reviews/summaries about theatre and cinema in BA. I loved El Secreto de sus Ojos! I just loved it, the plot, the actors, the direction, the ambientation, simply perfect. I now it won an Oscar, how great is that? It means that Argentina is still one of the South American countries with a ver high level of culture and art in every aspect. Last year, I was looking to rent apartments buenos aires near downtown close to all theatres. I didn´t had the chance to see "El año que viene a la misma hora" but I had the best time anyway.
Cheers,
Summer