From sign to life

I discovered the group La seña del humour de Matanzas one Sunday afternoon in the late 80s at a play at the Karl Marx Theatre. I’ve heard rave reviews about them, but as the old saying goes, you’d better see.

I was carried away by his new way of joking without abandoning our custom and common jargon. I soon became a member of the literary and theatrical group Nos y otros, and this action, in addition to being one of the most important turning points in my life, led me to join the Young Comedians Movement and, by carambola, got to know the members of the famous marras groups. But on the day when I first saw them, I could not imagine that in the future I would associate with many of them in great friendship.

Who told me that I would be a friend or rather a brother of that “crazy man” who carried the marimbola from one side of the stage to the other in the popular and anthological musical number Seña? I’m talking about Moises Rodriguez, the founder, along with the permanent director of the group, José Pelayo Pérez. Pepe Pelayo, a colleague whom I admire for his extensive and deep work, with whom I communicate via the Internet several times a week, sharing various thoughts, articles, news, gossip … everything related to humor.

Another one of those who initiated such an important project was Aramis Quintero. A serious man, apparently hermetic … A great writer and poet who knew how to be a “shovel”, Pelayo’s double on stage, and I think in life. They are like Yin and Yang, since they met back in the 70s of the last century. Another landmark with whom I maintain a brotherly friendship is Adrian Morales, with bulging eyes in the style of the legendary American silent film writer and comic director Buster Keaton. I offered Adrian a role in a past Cuban TV comedy series called point Gand I was not disappointed. Everyone remembers him as the Yeti: “I say and repeat, and this is not my rattle!”

I mean, I’m not trying to brag about companies that I could, but I’m not. The initial spark that led me to these “confessions of the greats” in the style of space created by Aurelio Prieto Alemán is that, more than 30 years after that day, I am part of a panel dedicated to the group La. seña del humour de Matanzas and I discover that I am not the only one: all the inhabitants of Matanzas still love their famous humorous group!

I “chew” it to be understood

This afternoon, with the show symphony with welcomeperformed by Quique Quiñones and the Matanzas Symphony Orchestra at the Sauto Theater completes a wonderful cultural event sponsored by the Department of Humor, the Center for the Promotion of Humor and the Provincial Council for the Performing Arts, which has the common name Melocactus Matanzanus (I’ll explain why it’s called that later). This event was dedicated, in particular, to the work of film critic and audiovisual producer Enrique Colina and the group that is the protagonist of these lines. For this reason, last Friday afternoon, the long-awaited tribute to the “señero” took place, which was a huge display of love, respect, admiration and pride of the people of Matanzas for this unforgettable humorous off-road project that set the standard. in the culture and performing arts of our country.

My attention was drawn to this eternal memory that fills the inhabitants of Cuban Athens, and long after that they yearn for the presence of those young people who have boldly renewed their methods of provoking laughter. In a recent interview I did with José (Pepe) Pelayo in connection with an upcoming documentary, I asked him what the city of Matanzas means to them. Without thinking twice, and with obvious emotion, he answered:

“Matanzas is the birthplace of many great Cuban comedians: Carlos Ruiz de la Tejera, Eloise and Guillermo Alvarez Guedes, Leopoldo Fernandez (“Three Skates”), Aurora Basnuevo, Manuel, Carlucho (cartoonist), Torriente (from Liborio), Marcos. Beemaras, Massager, Betan, Francisco Puñal, Orlandito… I think that proportionally this is the province that produces the most comedians on the island. Why? I have no idea. All those comedians that I mentioned triumphed in Cuba, but for this, which is logical, they had to go to Havana. So we didn’t have direct influence from comedians in Matanzas. Of course, this city has always had an artistic tradition. I don’t know if it was the environment, I don’t know… Something magical, yes. Playing at the Sauto Theatre, and more than that, it was our official headquarters where we had our office, our costumes, props, instruments, our rehearsal rooms i.e. for Matanzas and for the country, I admit it was magical. Be careful, our name is La seña del humour de Matanzas, like Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, or La sonora matancera, by which I mean that, unwittingly, we took Matanzas with us all over Cuba. There is one more very important thing, I can assure you that we had the greatest spell and complicity with our audience from Matanzas, who began to form in the type of humor that we did, they developed with us, and I swear that a more loyal and enthusiastic audience does not exist in the world.”

These were days of great cultural tension, friends and people filling the space. Matanzas continues to be a luxurious destination for all artists, Cuban and from around the world. We thank the authorities and residents of Matanzas for such a good mood, for such friendship, for such a passion for art. To the members of this legendary group that took us from a simple sign to a life full of humor wherever you are, thank you so much!…and don’t think I forgot to tell you why this event was named Melocactus Matanzanus. Here I leave them in the words of one of the main culprits, Pepe Pelayo:

“This is the name given to the National Festival of Humor, created and organized by La Seña. This was done three times. Two in Matanzas, in 1989 and 1990, and when the province no longer had a budget, in 1991, we did it at the Teatro Acapulco in Havana. We gave prizes for best screenplay, best production, best acting, best debut, best monologue, as well as graphic humor and humorous literature. Almost all (if not all) young comedians of the country participated, and recognized figures performed at gala concerts. For us it was another success of the group. And we are very proud. Because Melocactus Matanzanus? Because there were no funds for prizes. It occurred to us to apply to the provincial horticultural partnership, and they gave us the children of those cacti that come from our province, planted in beautiful flowerpots. No money was awarded, but the prize is valuable and valuable.

two in the center

With a special show by the popular Guantanamo group Komotú, the comedy event Va Riendo el Guaso, organized by the Center for the Promotion of Humor (CPH) in said eastern city, closes tonight.

However, as we announced on the cover, the organization that unites Cuban comedians will hold the next meeting in Holguin, from February 23 to 26, with the ninth edition of the National Festival of Satirical Humor.

The Eddie Sunyola Theater will be the official venue from Tuesday 21st to Sunday 26th with a dual function of 4:00 pm and 8:30 pm.

On Friday 24 and Saturday 25 there will be special shows with performances by Quique Quiñones and the Holguin Symphony Orchestra, Carikare, Lenya del Humor, Comotu, Miguel Moreno (Llavé), Itsetera, Michelle Penton, Yuri Rojas, Jorge Bacallao, among others.

As Eider Perez, current director of CPH, told us, the traditional baseball game will be played between the press and participating comedians.

Source: Juventud Rebelde


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