Astrid Hadad, Surrealist Sensation

Astrid Hadad

The long lines blocking the sidewalk in front of the Colony Theatre on Lincoln Road this past Saturday night had locals and tourists alike asking What show is this for? The diverse crowd — ranging from college students to retirees, but leaning heavily towards Latino — was patiently waiting to see the Mexican cabaret diva, Astrid Hadad. Presented by Tigertail Productions, the singer/comedienne Hadad is a surrealist painting come to life. Backed by a four-piece band providing a vibrant mix of rumba, rock, bolero, jazz, and ranchera, she changes costumes with every song — sometimes offstage, other times with the assistance of two men who quickly run out to change her skirt, shoes, and headdress right in front of our eyes. From dominatrix to gondola to an actual Frida Kahlo painting ("The Little Deer"), the exuberant songstress had no shortage of political jabs and social commentary, towards both Mexicans and Americans.

In response to the poor Mexican economy, she proudly stated "We have to recycle everything in Mexico," with a swirl of her floral vinyl skirt and a tip of her serving tray hat. "Including tablecloths and plastic cups."

While all of her songs were in Spanish, Hadad did provide English introductions to each song. Although I couldn't help but wonder why they did not provide superimposed subtitles on the back screen, like they do at the opera. Her clever puns may have been lost due to lack of translations, but you couldn't miss Hadad's not-so-subtle musical responses to love, machismo, drinking, and orgasms — things we can all relate to. — Lyssa Oberkreser


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