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Theater lovers who limit their vacations to obvious choices such as New York City, Toronto and London take note: Mexico City offers such a robust array of live performances that you should probably consider adding Mexico’s capital to your wish list.
As is to be expected from one of the world’s largest metropolises, Mexico City offers a richly diverse variety of live theater — from musical comedy to drama, from original experimental works to Spanish-language versions of hit Broadway shows. The key to enjoying this broad range of talent is knowing how to access information to find the venue and type of performance that best suits your taste.
“On any given day in Mexico City, you can find some kind of show to watch —anything from a major production to an intimate performance by a small troupe,” said Lazaro Garcia, concierge at Galeria Plaza Reforma, a hotel that promotes its central location to many theaters. “It can be difficult to find much information online, so I recommend asking the hotel staff upon your arrival or a local friend for help. And don’t worry about booking in advance, because unless it’s a major show, you can get tickets last minute at the box office.”
Indeed, theater going in Mexico City can be a more relaxed experience than in some other cities, with less pressure to reserve months or weeks in advance. That gives travelers more flexibility, as well as more time to make their plans.
Travel advisors can offer travelers the advantage of a more direct connection to information resources about the best shows, since advisors often have a line of communication with hoteliers and tour operators. Travelers who opt for the “do-it-yourself” approach after arrival, meanwhile, can check out Ticketmaster or visit Mixup, a music and entertainment store chain that sells tickets to theater and musical performances throughout the city.
An important consideration when choosing a show in Mexico City is language. Theatrical performances are, of course, in Spanish. So, people who speak that language will naturally find a wider variety of choices. But even travelers who know just a few words of Spanish can certainly still enjoy a big, bold Broadway-style musical where they already know the music and the plot — including international traveling shows such as “Cats,” “Jesus Christ Superstar” and even “Disney on Ice.” Ticket prices are usually considerably less expensive than in the United States.
Local productions of international hits are also worth considering. Among the familiar names on Mexico City’s marquees is “The Birdcage” (known in Spanish as “La Jaula de las Locas”), which recently returned to Teatro Hidalgo, a spacious and modern theater downtown. In addition to witnessing local talent and creativity, another advantage of attending a performance at Teatro Hidalgo is that you can easily meet the talent after the show. When I recently attended a performance of “Kiss of the Spider Woman” (“El Beso de la Mujer Araña”), I got to meet nearly every member of the cast — and unlike on Broadway in New York City — they actually took time to stop and chat.
Another worthwhile venue is Palacio de Bellas Artes, the stunning fine arts palace that dates to 1934. Just as New York City’s Lincoln Center hosts a variety of top-notch productions, Palacio de Bellas Artes maintains a calendar of high-quality performances year-round, including everything from opera and ballet to symphony performances, with an occasional theatrical work as well.
Other venues for live theater in Mexico City include Foro Shakespeare, which stages daily performances (and not just Shakespeare); Teatro de la Ciudad, set in the historic city center; and Teatro Jorge Negrete, which hosts a variety of Spanish-language comedies and other works. At Teatro Venustiano Carranza, recent productions have run the gamut from a Michael Jackson tribute to a new interpretation of The House of Bernarda Alba, a play by the Spanish writer Federico Garcia Lorca. Mexico City is, indeed, a hub for creativity, and travelers (as well as advisors) who take the time to research will find countless opportunities to witness the city’s talent.
The DetailsMexico City Secretary of Tourism http://cdmxtravel.com/en