What’s with Revue Theatre in Buenos Aires?

Revue Theatre has been at the center of Argentinian culture for over a century. By the end of the 1800s, scandalous Revue Plays were getting canceled due to their flashy satirization of the political and social landscape at the time. More than any other space, Revue Theatre contributed to the visibility of Argentinian tango. 

Satirical dramas interspersed with dancing routines and flashy, glittery outfits, combining a French style with politics and tango to make a 2-hour commentary on the realities of city life, all centered around the biggest attraction of the night: the showgirl. Showgirls have been at the forefront of Argentinian entertainment, from magazine covers to sitting on a talk show, both their artistic and private lives constantly in the spotlight.  

Inclusivity has also been a constant component of Argentinian Revue Theatre, although, at the time, it might not have been called so. Gay, trans, and plus-sized dancers found their way into the burlesque, making it their own. Most shows do not sell as well without them, as they bring their talent and flair, infusing the show with a very distinctive and unique staging. 

The summer season in cities like Buenos Aires and Carlos Paz is both beach and theater season, and the cities’ infrastructures prepare months in advance to receive hundreds of tourists and celebrities in an industry that generates millions but is equally costly. In an economy so unstable as this one, estimating revenues is a risky business, and the men and women behind it face numerous challenges to keep their shows afloat. 

Still, year after year, Revue Theatre manages to come up with awesome artistic productions that repeatedly sell out. As the summer season in the Southern Hemisphere coincides with the start of the year, how well Revue Theatre does during the season is a popular predictor of what awaits for the rest of the year. Each year starts with notes of colorful optimism as we await the myriad of surprises lying ahead in our political and economic landscape. 


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