Yale may have its very own cabaret, but this weekend it will be importing a “cabaret rowdy” — straight from Mexico — to liven up New Haven.
Performance artist Astrid Hadad will strut her stuff on stage at the Yale Repertory Theater for two shows Jan. 26 and 27. Hadad’s band, Los Tarzanes, will accompany her as she performs her own artistic creation — a mix of songs, dance and bawdy comedy that has delighted fans in the United States and Mexico.
Hadad comes from Mexico City, where she has been performing at El Habito, a Mexican cabaret. She calls herself a “cabrerra,” or cabaret rowdy. Her trademark headdresses are only a part of her outlandish costumes, which combine with her accomplished voice to create a fully absorbing performance. She sings about politics and love and the biggest problems she sees around her.
“I like to sing a lot about machismo,” Hadad said, who enjoys making fun of self-important men.
Hadad’s performance at Yale will be a departure from the Rep.’s traditional lineup. Her act will be performed in both English and Spanish, and she will be at Yale all week working with student translators to fine tune the English portions. But Hadad suggests the humor will be preserved over the language barrier.
“Part of my act is literally acting out the words of the songs,” Hadad said. “The expressions are what is funny.”
Hadad began her career as a cabrerra after performing in an adaptation of “Don Giovanni” called “Dona Giovanni.” She broke away, and two years later was performing on her own, drawing upon a variety of styles to create her own art. These styles include bolero, a style of Mexican music native to her area, ranchero and Rock and Roll.
“I grew up listening to the radio,” Hadad said, “so my influence has been pretty varied.”
She also claims to be inspired by the world around her: sunsets, dreams and walks in Mexico City. Philosophy, immigration and women’s rights also make their way into Hadad’s routine, as she proves that it is possible to make social commentary and jokes at the same time. Her performance next week will be a type that will not likely be seen again soon in New Haven, as Yale is bringing her from her homeland only for these two performances.
“Why did I decide to come to America?” Hadad said. “Because Yale is bringing me!”
Astrid Hadad Y Los Tarzanes
Yale Repertory Theater
January 26 and 27