Teatro Reina Victoria (Queen Victoria Theater) - (Seating capacity: 860) Carrera de San Jerónimo, 24 - Metro stops: Sevilla & Sol Teatro Reina Victoria
Photo: April 30, 2000

This theater was right around the corner from where I stayed on Prince Street and was named after Victoria Eugenia, wife of King Alfonso XIII. Alfonso XIII was the last reigning monarch of Spain before the government went through a succession of changes (Primo de Rivera dictatorship and a brief republic) ending in the great Civil War. The fact that King Alfonso was #13 was probably unlucky, for he is the only Spanish king, that I can recollect, who suffered an assassination attempt (May 31, 1906). The people in his immediate vicinity were even unluckier because several were killed by accident.

Actor, Pedro Osinaga You can't go wrong at Reina Victoria because this is a theater with only orchestra seats (called Patio seats in Spain). The play featured on the marquee, FRENTE A FRENTE (FACE TO FACE), is a translation by Juan José de Arteche of a French play Face à face by Francis Joffo (1996). The plot concerns the inevitable interactions of a couple who, after the divorce, live across the hall, one from the other, in an apartment building. The ex-wife is trying to create a life for herself, but the ex-husband is always nearby creating problems. I did recognize one strictly Spanish joke based on the double meaning of the word descanso (rest, intermission). At the very end of the first act and after a series of comic catastrophes for the hero, he stood on the stage facing the audience and proclaimed in loud plaintive tones, "Lo que necesito es un descanso - - - sí, necesito un descanso - - - un descanso de 15 minutos." At this moment, the curtain falls for the 15-minute intermission. He said. "What I need is a rest - - -yes, I need a rest - - - a rest (intermission) of 15 minutes."

As an encore, just walk under the marquee of the theater and cross the side street in the background. In the next block on the same side of the street as the theater, you will find an excellent turrón store named Casa Mira (Carrera de San Jerónimo, 30). The turrón is a traditional Christmas candy in Spain and other hispanic countries, but Casa Mira sells it all year round. My dictionary defines turrón as nougat in case that helps.

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