By Carole Reedy
The Easter and Spring Break holidays have come to an end, the days are longer, and the sun hotter, so the time has come to say adios to the beach for a few months and explore the interior of the country. A variety of exciting cultural events are scheduled in the next few months. Regardless of your interests, day or night you’ll find something new and different in the city.
Here’s a sampling of some outstanding events. Look for more in the magazine Tiempo Libre, published every Thursday and available at kiosks throughout the city.
FERIA DE LAS CULTURAS AMIGAS takes place annually in Mexico City, this year from May 14 to the 24 (11 am to 8 pm daily) in the Zócalo. Here everyone from local citizens and national and foreign tourists immerse themselves in the culture, gastronomy, art/artisans, and history of people from 80 or more countries who come from afar to share their way of life. A sampling of the countries that have previously participated: Australia, Haiti, Norway, Pakistan, Palestine, Israel, Belgium, Canada, US, Vietnam, Finland, Thailand, Uruguay, Honduras, New Zealand, and many more.
Bring an appetite since each country loves to show off its specialty. Gyros from Greece, noodle dishes from Asia, pizza and pasta from Italy, and wines and cheeses from France are among the favorites. Also for sale are souvenirs of the corresponding countries. During the day there are dances, music, and other entertainment.
THEATER (in English)
Many foreign visitors aren’t able to enjoy the fine theater events in Mexico because they are performed in Spanish. But, there is an exception. The National Theater Company of London transmits to the big screen some of their best productions. The transmissions take place at the Lunario, behind the Auditorio Nacional every few months, and in May and June we are fortunate enough to anticipate three different productions, presented in the native English of the National Theater of London company, with Spanish subtitles.
May 17 at 6 pm and May 18 at 8 pm A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller.
May 31 at 6 pm and June 1 at 8 pm Tom Stoppard’s new play The Hard Problem.
June 21 at 6 pm and June 22 at 8 pm Man and Superman (George Bernard Shaw) starring Ralph Fiennes.
These events are very popular and tickets are not expensive, 180 pesos if you buy your ticket before the night of the performance and 150 pesos at the entrance, just about 10 USD (much cheaper than a trip to London!). Tickets are available at Ticketmaster for a fee.
If you’re a baseball fan, enjoy seeing the Mexican League Championship team the DIABLOS ROJOS play just about every day of the week when they’re at home, which is about every other week. They play Tuesdays through Fridays at 7 pm, Saturdays at 4 pm, and Sundays at noon. Home for the Diablos is a temporary residence at Fray Nano Stadium (take the METRO brown line to the Velodromo or Mixiuha stops) until the new stadium is completed in 2017. You can view the schedule and other facts about the Diablos on http://www.diablos.com.mx Tickets range from 50 to 150 pesos, a bargain at any park. The regular season ends August 15, but we always hope to be in the playoffs that take place the last two weeks of August.
Whatever music moves you can be found here. Check Tiempo Libre or the local papers for these events. There are far too many to list here. The Lunario and Auditorio have popular music events every night of the week. In May and June, for example, you can see Joaquin Sabina, Miguel Bose, Juan Gabriel, Javier Camarena and his opera guests, Pepe Aguilar, and Ricky Martin at the Auditorio. See http://www.auditorio.com.mx and http://www.lunario.com.mx
At the Bellas Artes building in Centro Historico, the most important musical center in the country, classical music events are offered every night: symphonies, string quartets, and opera. The Bellas Artes is an interesting building itself and worth a visit if simply to experience the Art Nouveau and Art Deco architecture and the Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, and David Siqueiros murals. http://www.bellasartes.gob.mx Special exhibits take place all the time (see below for the latest one). Numerous clubs, bars, and small venues pepper the city with your favorite music.
Check out your Tiempo Libre for bars, clubs, and other music venues. The monthly magazine Chilango, available at street kiosks and Sanborn’s department stores, also supplies schedules for the city’s music events.
Outstanding exhibitions for May and June include the CALDER EXHIBIT, The Discipline of the Dance at the new Jumex Museum in Polanco. Calder needs no introduction, but the Jumex Museum might. It is a relatively new contemporary art venue that has captured the hearts of art aficionados here.
Another popular show taking place right now and into May is the exhibit of 400 photographs of Henri Cartier-Bresson. May 19 is EL DIA INTERNACIONAL DE MUSEOS. Be sure to look for special activities in the museums on that day.
Not to be forgotten, of course, is the music and art of the streets. For example, if you saunter over to the esplanade in front of The Ciudadela on the weekends, you will find free dance lessons for all. The square is known as the Plaza de Danzón. The Ciudadela itself was a tobacco factory, used as a prison during the Independence struggle, provided a place for executions during the Decena Trágica, and then was home to the Biblioteca de México. You will find great arts and crafts in the building now also. Be sure to make a stop here, for dancing and shopping before you leave the city.