(*) Ewa Procter
One may think it is a strange mixture to join Edith Piaf and Bertold Brecht in a show! But author Aimar Labaki believed it would be a good idea, and he wrote the play dealing with this encounter that never happened in real life.
Thus we have “Piaf e Brecht – A Vida em Vermelho” at the Teatro Prudential in Rio de Janeiro. I will write more about this theatre further on in this article. The author’s idea of joining Piaf and Brecht in the same show was to present a bird’s eye view on the most important musical works of these two famous characters. Although very different throughout their careers, as their realities were also quite opposed, the audience can have a taste of the songs that brought both Piaf and Brecht some of their fame.
The performance takes place during a hypothetical meeting of these two famous personalities in a rehearsal room. There they talk about their lives, dreams, works, fears – in sum, about life in general. All this happens while they are trying to prepare a show; a show that in fact happens, although more in line with a cabaret presentation than as a straight play.
There are only two performers on stage: Letícia Sabatella, as Piaf; and Fernando Alves Pinto, as Brecht. Directed by Bruno Perillo, the show also has three musicians who play live and in full view of the audience, all the songs that are part of this performance.
“Piaf e Brecht – A Vida em Vermelho” is presented on Fridays and Saturdays at 08:00 P.M., and on Sundays at 07:00 P.M. Price of tickets is R$70,00 (seventy Reais) for any seat on Fridays; and between R$ 75,00 (seventy five Reais) and R$ 80,00 (eighty Reais) on Saturdays and Sundays. It is not recommended for young people under the age of 12. “Piaf e Brecht – A Vida em Vermelho” lasts for 90 minutes, without an interval. It started its run on the 5th of July and will finish on the 4th of August. Very short, but then… I believe I can supply further information below.
The Teatro Prudential is located on Rua do Russel, 804 – Glória, Rio de Janeiro. You may not be able to remember it off hand, but in fact the Teatro Prudential is the old Teatro Manchete, now completely remodeled and under a new name. And it is a beautiful and very comfortable theatre! The former Teatro Manchete was founded by Adolpho Bloch. While it was in full activity, it presented many wonderful plays, including “Man of La Mancha” and “Amadeus”. After having been closed for many years, it has now reopened under new management. The present owners pay homage to the founder, as the theatre has the mention of Sala Adolpho Bloch at the theatre itself. According to their program, one can say that the Teatro Prudential focuses on short runs of plays that have already been presented in other cities. This was the case of the previous one, called “PI: Panorâmica Insana” that ran for one month in June; and there were some other plays before that, also doing a couple of weeks in Rio, after having had longer runs in São Paulo. However, the theatre does not close: when there is no play on, including the days when there are no presentations scheduled, there is a program of pocket musical shows – including Maurício Baduh with his “Formidable” on the 14th of July.
This theatre has a twenty-four hour parking, so you can purchase your tickets at the box office with no problem. It opens from Tuesday to Saturday from 12:00 to 08:00 P.M., and from 12:00 to 07:00 P.M. on Sundays and holidays. The box office telephone number is (21) 3554-2934. However, if you prefer you can also buy your tickets on line at www.ingressorapido.com.br
So try to go and see “Piaf e Brecht – A Vida em Vermelho”. Have a snack at the café and wonder through the beautiful building that houses the theatre! Enjoy!
(*) Ewa Procter is a writer and a theatre translator, and Chair of the Instituto Cultural Chiquinha Gonzaga.