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Surreal Cabaret

Astrid Hadad comes to REDCAT

By Chad Bauman
Published on LatinoLA: February 4, 2004


Surreal Cabaret


"So surreal she makes Salvador Dali look like Norman Rockwell."
?New York Times

Mexico City?s irrepressible actress, singer and cabaret artist Astrid Hadad makes her Los Angeles debut at CalArts? REDCAT performance space February 11 through 14. With her band Los Tarzanes (The Tarzans), Hadad creates a brand of political performance cabaret that has been described by the New York Times as ?one of the most provocative stage acts since the Weimar Republic was in bloom.?

Astrid Hadad, a legend in her native Mexico, is known for her unconventional performances that combine ranchero, bolero, rumba, rock and jazz into a genre she calls ?Heavy Nopal.? (after the 'quintessentially' Mexican cactus whose juice is distilled to make Tequila) Her unique fusion of music, theater and campy humor draws upon different traditions of Mexican and Latin popular culture.

Her highly theatrical approach includes frequent costume changes that feature self-designed, hand-made ?wearable sets.? She may first appear as an Aztec Pyramid complete with carved snakes, a skull rack and a peacock's tail of agave leaves, change into the Virgin of Guadelupe (Mexico's patron saint), embody La Malinche (the devil women who sold out the Aztec Empire to the Spanish conquerors), or become a psychedelic plant glowing with all-seeing eyes and the bleeding heart of Christ. Subversively turning upside down the symbols, stereotypes and traditions of Mexican and Latin popular culture, she attacks macho culture, the Mexican government and the USA's neo-imperialism ("Visit the United States before it visits you").

A trained actress and singer, Astrid Hadad graduated from Centro Universitario de Teatro in Mexico City and embarked first on an acting and singing career spanning the extremes of Mexican TV soaps and an all-female production of Mozart's opera Don Giovanni. Later she developed her own form of musical and artistic expression, performing in Australia, Latin America, USA, and Europe. She has published numerous CDs, contributed soundtracks to several movies, and her work has been documented in a number of TV productions.

REDCAT ? the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater ? is CalArts? new performance venue and gallery in Walt Disney Concert Hall. Admission ranges from $32 to $34 for general admission seating. Tickets may be purchased at the REDCAT box office located at the corner of 2nd and Hope streets, by calling 213-237-2800 or online by clicking here.

CREDITS

Lead singer, original idea and direction ASTRID HADAD
Musical Direction, piano, accordion FREDY MORENOB
Electric bass, stringed-instruments and chorus DANIEL VERA
Percussion, stringed-instruments and chorus MARCO MANRIQUE
Saxophone, flute and chorus SIBILA DE VILLA
Production LUIS WERNER
Production Assistant JASMINE JAUBERT
Costume Design ASTRID HADAD


February 11-14
8:30 p.m
Astrid Hadad
REDCAT at the Walt Disney Concert Hall
$34 - $32 general admission
http://www.redcat.org


About Chad Bauman:
Chad Bauman is the Program Development Associate at REDCAT.




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