January 19, 2018
Friday, July 4, 2014

Andalusian pepper and cante

Carmen Mesa in a scene from Yo me lo guiso, yo me lo como.
Carmen Mesa in a scene from Yo me lo guiso, yo me lo como.
Carmen Mesa in a scene from Yo me lo guiso, yo me lo como.
By Alfredo Cernadas
For The Herald

Buenos Aires is one of the theatrical capitals of the world — with New York and London — so it is not surprising to find theatrical happenings in the most unexpected premises which have been turned into stage worthy places. Such as El Damero, where one enters though a nondescript door that leads to an underground hall which had probably been used for storage. It is full of seats — except for a space that has been reserved for two chairs and a table set with cooking utensils.

The venue is plunged in darkness after the customary request to switch off cellphones and we find Carmen Mesa, guitarist Héctor Romero, and the skilful musical arranger and Javier Turco Moldad, a virtuoso Andalusian box player. Mesa, born in Córdoba — the Spanish city — but adopted by Seville, is a celebrated singer, dancer and professor of flamenco who has travelled to many countries sharing her trade. In this promenade of her heart and soul she crossed the Atlantic with her partner, whom she conquered with her famous Andalusian pollo al ajillo (garlic chicken). So she decided to share her experience and joined forces with director Gina Piccirilli and writer Erika Halvorsen and the three created Yo me lo guiso, yo me lo como (I cook it, I eat it) — a delightful entertainment.

Carmen proceeds to turn the audience into table companions and teaches them how to prepare her famous chicken. She takes the ingredients and cuts, slices, minces, carves, peels, mixes, and chops them before throwing everything into a casserole on a cooker. And in the meantime she sings and tells the story of her life, an experience as delectable and peppery as her cooking, in this case savoured by her Sevillian brand of humour and the art of the two outstanding musicians. And, when the chicken is ready, Carmen offers tooth picks to the audience and invites them to taste a morsel, which we all do. And it is absolutely delicious.

When and where

Friday and Saturday, 9pm at El Damero (Deán Fúnez 506).

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