Sunday, March 22, 2015

Guanajuato Theatre: World-class Evening at the MIQ

One Friday each month is Theater Night at the Museo Icónografico. If the line for last Friday's performance in Spanish based on estadounidense David Mamet's The Duck Variations (!Patos! Historias Desgraznadas) was typical, arrive a little before 7pm to insure getting a ticket.

At the MIQ, The museum patio serves as the stage, with the audience sitting on two sides, so the audience is in an intimate setting close to the actors.

When Mamet wrote this two-character play, he was in his thirties, but already with a command of dialogue. Two old men sit in a park, talking about almost every subject under the sun. Somehow they keep bringing ducks (which neither know much about) into their conversation. So, even when the theme is death, the two couldn't be more alive, playing off each other

Bruno Ruiz adapted the work, in which he and Kaleb Osguera played the characters as young men. They worked together as if they were trapeze artists, both of them masters of physical theatre, timing, expression and their lines.

The set and props were simple and the lighting effective, with the visible, topical ending coming as a great surprise. Thanks to Carlos Vidaurri who arranges the theatre programs at the MIQ  and to the Mexico City team who brought this Cervantino-quality production to Guanajuato.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Guanajuato: first of the yellow corn

Oh, but I love the corn on the cob I grew up with! Available now along calle Alhondiga near the main bus stop. On a stick with the coatings of your choice - cream, mayonnaise, grated cheese, chile. Or in the interior of the Embajadoras market, ready to boil or microwave.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Guanajuato to Celebrate el Día internacional de la mujer Sunday, March 8

Head for the Jardin on International Woman's Day, always a lively scene.

You will see the tables set up under the trees where women have come into town to sell their wares. I always head for the jam at the table set up by the Santa Rosa Women's Cooperative. By the way, it's doing very well these days, thanks for a partnership with a Mexican business that buys much of what it produces, but they will still change your pesos into jam or wine.

By the way I'm also a fan of the goat cheese a woman sells Thursday and Sunday mornings outside the Mercado Hidalgo (left side looking toward the entrance.) Unpasteurized, but I've never had any problem, although I have with the cheese she sells made from cow's milk.
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postscript: Turns out the big hit of the day was the Guanajuatense singing group, Hijas de la Guayaba, who performed son at a special concert at El Museo del Pueblo. The chapel was full and the music captivating, some of it accompanied by dancing. What a group of accomplished women--and music is only their avocation!. .
Three Hijas backed by Chavez Morado's mural

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Guanajuato food during La Cuaresma (Lent)

Last Friday when I went by Lauri's restaurant, located at the beginning of Paseo de la Presa just past where the buses come out, I was surprised to see that no one was eating pozole, the usual Friday offering.Why?

Because we are now in the Lenten season and every Friday Lauri offers a Lenten menu (maybe the other days too, I'll check today). Shrimp-tomato soup (big shrimp in this restaurant), nopales and fish; capirotada, the sweet bread pudding of the season for dessert. Comes with tortillas and agua fresca. Informal seating below where you can watch the action, more formal above. 55 pesos.

To read more about Mexican food during Lent, see the photos and explanations at Mexico Cooks! Look for capirotada in other restaurants too. Each cook makes it differently but the basic ingredients are dry bread, eggs, piloncillo, raisins, cloves and a sprinkling of cheese.

The viernes de dolores,  when students party and everyone eats ice cream, is March 27, two days before Palm Sunday. The holiday is especially meaningful to the mining community. If you go to to ex-hacienda in Cata, you will see the seed painting there and take your turn in line for your ice cream cone.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Moon will be full tonight after Cine Club

Look up when you come out of Cine Club's Turkish film tonight even if you don't stay for the whole film--this one's three hours long. This cycle of international films is NOT at the usual place but at the Principal instead.
Starts at 4 & 7:30.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Good news for me . . . and I hope my readers

As some MEXIGUANA readers know, I publish online. Today I received an acceptance from Mad Scientist Journal for a fake classified ad for a past-o-tron. I'll even get a token payment. The ad will appear in the summer edition of this witty webside that parodies science writing every week..

A reprint of my flash fiction story, The Revenge of the Pasta, is due online later this month on Indiana Voice Journal. I sneaked in because my family vacationed in the Indiana dunes one summer...

My story Dr. Octopus, that I read locally at an open mic night here, will appear mid-month on Short Fiction Break..


Sunday, February 01, 2015

European Clown Yann (Jan) Costa at the Juarez tonight 7pm

One of my favorites. Here's a photo I took of him at the Off-Cervantino a few years ago. The event tonight is probably free; part of the Festival of Urban Actors.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Cine Club UPDATE: Tonight's Leviathan (Russia) starts at 4:30, 7, 9:30

Note the times. This long movie received eight stars on IMDB . The.main character, who lives in northern Russia by the Barents Sea, attempts to keep his repair shop despite the bureaucratic cards stacked against him. Said to have wonderful cinematography and two slow scenes but mostly fast-paced. Without music except two pieces by Philip Glass.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

University of Guanajuato Cine Club's Annual International Film Festival

UG’s Cine Club annual International Film Festival is underway in the small theatre Euquerio Guerrero at the back of the patio between the main UG building and the Compañia church.

Image result for Ida film images

After looking at the program notes online, my top pick is, Ida, a Polish film shown to a small audience during the Guanajuato International Film Festival (GIFF) last summer.At the time, I was told the film would start a half hour late; when I returned in twenty minutes, I had already missed the beginning. 
I plan to go to this powerful movieagain on Sunday, February 1--and not just for the part 1 missed.. 



As the producer explained at the Juarez in July, getting the film funded took years; no one wanted to back a film to be made in black and white. The producer and director stuck to their guns, resulting in this film with its period feel. It has two intertwined themes, the decision facing a novice nun who learns her Jewish family brought her to a convent when she was a baby to shelter her from the Nazis, and the bitter look backward by her aunt, who took part of the harsh Communist regime that controlled Poland after the Second World War.

Shooting the film in black and white (blanco y negro in Spanish) was an inspired decision. A leading Polish actress plays the aunt. The young woman playing the nun is on screen for the first time.

The festival ends February 7, with each film shown for  one night. Showings generally start at 5, 6, & 9.
For a complete schedule of the festival, go to www.extension.ugto.mx.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Keeping warm in Colima

"And everyone dancing"
After the Feria del Libro in Guadalajara, a massive event that I have never mastered, I went on by bus to Colima, one of my favorite places to visit in Mexico. Like Guanajuato, the state and the city share the same name. But there most similarities end..The city is flat and tropical, with three plazas strung out along the main street. One of them has swan fountains spurting at each corner. I was so taken with the swans the first time I visited the city, I wrote a short poem:about people dancing in the plaza at night surrounded by the fountains. When I went back this time on a Sunday evening, there was a CONACULTA dance event happening in front of the handsome city hall with six hundred in the audience.

During the hot  part of the day I walked to the Regional Park with its round swimming pool and shaded picnic area with zoo and nature signs, my favorite park so far in Mexico.




Comala boy and his horse
From Colima, I went uphill to Comala, the place whose name Juan Rulfo borrowed for the ghost town in his acclaimed novel Pedro Paramo.  I don't know how it looked after the Cristero Wars, but nowadays the streets are lined with trim white houses topped by red tile roofs, a uniformity I associate with Purepecha cities like Patzcuaro. I learned that because this is festival time in Comala, weekend visitors from Colima stay away. So first I went across the bridge over the flowing river, then ate in solitary splendor at the splendid restaurant Piccoli Suizo opened five weeks ago by its Swiss chef who recently relocated from el DF at the request of his Colima-born wife.

So does Colima have a down side? Several: hard to get to, three hours or more by bus from an international airport, a siesta almost necessary in the hot and humid climate.

This bowl of onion soup cost more than
I usually pay for a comida in Gto. The buttery
rolls made on site were delicious
I've only touched on a few of
Colima's delights as a place to visit..