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TLDR? Medellín is an art hub and a great place to go to the theatre and watch some performing arts!
Medellin is in the midst of a bit of a renaissance on multiple fronts. From the food to the hospitality, to the music scene, and more. This is especially true in the literature and theatre scene, in which Medellin and Colombia, in general, have quite a history.
If you’re ready to dive into the theatre scene of Medellín, keep reading. Let’s go over some of the best smaller places to check out around town!
Many of the small dinner theatres you can go to are within blocks of each other in a neighborhood in Medellin called La Candelaria. This part of town is very close to the downtown area.
This part of Medellin feels a bit overlooked compared to other sections of the city that have begun to beguile international interest for their more obvious charms. Of course, I’m speaking about the chic Poblado and its more low-key (but still great) cousin Laureles.
Most foreign visitors to the city choose to spend their time in either of these two neighborhoods, and it’s not hard to see why.
They’re beautiful, full of fun entertainment options, and it’s where most of the wild dance clubs that Medellin has become known for are located.
However, if you’re looking for a more lowkey night out in Medellin, I’ve found the downtown arts district to absolutely be a hidden gem. It’s a place that can satisfy the tastes of most people who go to explore.
Here are some places that I think are worth checking out!
This charming little building is tucked away in an alley that is actually packed with other small cafes and bars. I went to go see a modestly priced show by some local performers, and the cover was only around $10 USD. Overall, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I’m happy to say that the theatre ambiance and performance were great overall. The theatre has a small bar with cheap drinks in the front with plentiful tables inside to hang with pals. A small library also sells art books from local authors and artists.
The theatre itself is small but not cramped, with seating for approximately twenty-five audience members to enjoy the show. The show I saw was a comedic performance called “Ridiculo Scientia” or, Ridiculous Science.
The hosts of the show took science questions from audience members and answered them the best they could in a comedic manner. I found the show to be quite funny, even given my limited Spanish, and it seemed like the rest of the audience agreed wholeheartedly.
Once the show was over, the audience returned to the bar for a couple of drinks. They then began to spill out into the street below, which was starting to become packed with merrymakers out for a wild Medellin night.
If you want to experience it for yourself, you can purchase tickets directly from the website.
Address: Cra. 42a 48-53 Centro, Medellín, Antioquia
Teatro Matacandelas is a stand-by in the Medellin performing arts world. It, therefore, is a must-go for anyone looking for a genuine slice of the underground art scene in Medellin.
It is a very handsome theatre, right around the corner from Corporacion Artistica. Matacandelas typically has a very full schedule of shows throughout the weeks and months. The theatre also has a bar in the front space of the building, and the whole place gives off a very artsy and bohemian vibe.
The walls are decorated with a variety of interesting knick-knacks and artifacts of creativity. They’re covered with things like masks and costumes. There are also quotes from notable literary figures that decorate the building.
The theatre space is quite voluminous, with tables around the room. The setup allows the audience to check out the spectacle of the show from multiple angles. The room was a great place to observe a theatrical performance.
The show playing when I went was a piece by a local professor at one of the Universities in Medellin.
Fittingly, the audience present that night had a very studious and academic demeanor about them. The piece was much more serious and dramatic than the one I saw at Corporacion Artistica.
On top of theatrical performances, Matacandelas also hosts musical concerts. Many acts from across Latin America come to perform at the theatre throughout the year.
On another interesting note, the theatre accepts the cryptocurrency Bitcoin as a form of payment to gain entry to the events it puts on.
Address: Cl. 47 #4347, Medellín, La Candelaria, Medellín, Antioquia
If you’re looking for something a bit more on the wild side in the same neighborhood, I recommend you go down to the bohemian Casa de la Luna Centro Cultural.
True to its name, Casa de la Luna is a multi-faceted DIY space that puts on parties and events that might not quite fit in at a normal bar or restaurant.
The event I went to was a wild multi-media spectacle. There were DJs spinning techno and house music, video artists showcasing wild visuals. There were also performance artists showcasing their work to a hungry and informed audience.
The event was due to continue well into the wee hours of the morning, with your author checking himself out early at a very conservative 2 AM.
The interior of Casa de la Luna is a showcase for the creative community of Medellin. It is bedecked in street art and all kinds of crazy decorations and furnishings. The building is almost like an art piece unto itself.
Casa de La Luna typically only throws events on the weekends, and those tend to start fairly late at night. So the events and atmosphere are definitely geared toward a younger, party-hungry kind of clientele.
That being said, if staying out til the wee hours partying to some freaky art sounds like your idea of a good time, this is a definite must-go.
Address: N. 42-55, Avenida San Juan Calle 44, Medellín, Antioquia
Medellin’s got a lot going on, it’s true.
If you’ve hit all the clubs in Poblado and La 70 in Laureles doesn’t quite thrill as it used to, why not try something a little off the beaten path? For the foreign crowd, it feels like unexplored territory. So, I would recommend checking out downtown Medellin’s art district.
I did, and it took my opinion of the city to a whole other level. It’s a must-do!
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