In August, Cubans usually talked about the beach, rest, carnivals, and family reunions. But I think it is also a good time to consume culture and give something beautiful to the spirit , when our body is often tired of swimming at the beach or sweating when walking through those streets that have gradually lost the shadow of their trees.
I remember, it is been more than a decade of this event, a meeting of theater specialists where someone argued that it was natural that theatrical offers were just a few and unattractive in August, as theactresses and actors also had children in school holidays and other so typical circumstances of the month. I was among the “party poopers” that said something like: “yes, theater people also want to be on vacation in August but that is a common desire of those working in a nightclub and adore the soap opera broadcasted at nine in the evening or a sports narrator who loves desperately peace -a bit boring but endearing- of his house on a Sunday afternoon.”
I agree that, in Havana, for most of July and the entire month of August, theatre can not count with college students who at that time return to their provinces, but in turn there are many foreign tourists and Cubans living out of the country who want to enjoy, as much as they can, life of this city during the few days of their visit.
Just to guide several friends and relatives who travel to Cuba, I have especially sought in August options that gentle breeze of cultural consumption.
It is very good news knowing our legendary troubadour Pablo Milanes will give three concerts, the first one will be i n Santiago de Cuba, the second in Camagüey and the third one shall be on August 11th, at five o’clock, in Havana’s Lázaro Peña Theater. Those who love smart song in Havana have another option in the beautiful ¨Café Cantante¨ of the National Theatre. There will be every Friday night, Santiago Feliu, another beloved Cuban singer, who is also famous in other places of the world like Argentina or Colombia. The p romotions of Santiago’s concerts announce he will make versions ofclassic Hispanic songs. He especially excels when singing songs by the formidable Catalan Joan Manuel Serrat. I consider remarkable the way he sings ¨Diario¨ by Cuban Mike Porcel, one of my favorite songs from those released in the last four or five decades in Spanish language.
In addition, a book fair was held in July for readers to accumulate titles thinking in the current problems of the world economy and other details of everyday life. The Tablas Alarcos publishing house has made an exception in this summer and has released a special issue of ¨Tablas¨ magazine dedicated to Virgilio Piñera. It seems that Virgilio, to complete his vocation of irreverence and uniqueness,would rather be born in August, this would be his 101 st birthday.
And for those who love theater the best news is the reopening-after several months without air conditioning system, an indispensable “actor” of any representation in enclosed spaces, at least between May and October- of the Café in the Brecht Cultural Complex. Also, the play ¨El de la mancha no va al paraíso, ¨by Jose Milian, one of our most representative playwrights of the last decades, has been just premiered.
There are some reasons to go out in Havana nights and leave for a few hours summer television, which has been enriched for this period. By the way, this year the Cuban Television will broadcast theWorld Athletics Championship to be held in Moscow from August 10 to 18. In that case, the time difference helps us because we could see that competition by noon and going out by night in search of a theatrical performance or songs about certainties or ordinary melancholy.