Office of Citizen
Rest in Peace,
Astrid Hadad with VIVA series
Submitted by Susan Miller on Sat, 05/13/2006 - 17:37.
Here you can sample her singing http://astridhadad.calabashmusic.com/
Here you can see her wild website and read all about her here in English http://www.cityofwomen-a.si/2001/astrid_hadad.html or
Here in Spanish http://www.astridhadad.com/
We were given tickets to see Astrid Hadad in the VIVA series presented by the Cleveland Museum of Art last night. Because the museum is closed for construction, the VIVA series has spread out around town into different venues, but maybe not different enough. Astrid Hadad a Mexican cabaret singer with a seriously clever satiric ability and an astute political edge was presented at the Bolton Theater of the Cleveland Play House. This artist is clearly a treat; she spoke in English about her work in between songs and during onstage costume changes (which were spectacular).
But the songs were all in Spanish, so since we could only hear laughter at the things she said in English between songs, we figured that like us, the other grey and dyed hairs in the audience didn't speak Spanish either. Too bad, cause we probably would have been laughing throughout if the wit of her banter was any indication.
Here's the really too bad part though... too bad that given this opportunity to bust out and present the series around town, Massoud Saidpour didn't present Astrid Hadad at Belinda's where she would have been a treat to an audience with more latinas like her. It would have brought the CMA to the west side and shattered that snooty uptown air that the CMA can have in the neighborhood Cleveland community. Bob Bergman would have been delighted to see his Gartner series presented in a little known (to the Museum crowd) hot spot with a seedy exterior but a hot, hot, hot REAL Cleveland interior where more of the audience would have enjoyed Hadad's talent.
The evening was reminiscent of the traveling days of the Performance Art Festival (PAF) before it died. We would open the brochure and ask “Where does Tom want us to go now?” But it was fun -- a sort of scavenger hunt for art. And Astrid had the sort of acerbic wit and political commentary of the PAF artists we recall. Still we felt a twinge of oddity with the audience being our age and older, mostly white and seated soooo politely at the Bolton Theater of the Cleveland Play House. Maybe it would have been a good time for those super titles that the opera uses so that more of us could understand. Either that or force those eastside CMA donors to see the show at Belinda’s or Touch Supper Club where someone might have been able to translate for them and us.
We commend Massoud for exposing his audience to irreverent performance art, but would like to encourage him to not keep it under wraps the next time he decides to program outside the box. In fact, we look forward to next year’s series taking us to more Cleveland area landmarks. Sand paintings at City Hall – that’s great; Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares at St. Stanislaus is wonderful. Maybe next year we can see/hear Los Muenoquitos des Matanzas at say, the East Cleveland library.