Bertolt Brecht Cafe/Theatre
Though unpretentious and somewhat off the beaten tourist path, there may be no venue in Havana that represents all aspects of the local arts scene better than Vedado’s Cafe Teatro Bertolt Brecht.
Just down the street from the landmark Sinagoga Beth Shalom, this contemporary cultural centre wraps a theatre, a gallery space, and a cafe/bar all into one. It’s an exceedingly popular spot with young locals, especially of the hip and/or artistic variety. If this is the crowd that you’d like to get in with, then you’ve come to the right spot!
The Theatre & the Gallery
Upstairs, the theatre space known as the Sala Tito Junco is basically the face of the cultural centre. Founded in 1988, the space lacks the historical grandiosity of some of Old Havana’s theatres but more than makes up for it in the contemporary, cutting-edge quality of the performances held here.
Groups that call this theatre home include the Pequeño Teatro de La Habana, the Teatro del Circulo and the Teatro D´Dos, and works by each group are recognised for their high quality. Be aware, however, that performances here are held in Spanish exclusively, so if you don’t have a strong understanding of the language you might feel more than a bit left out!
Also on-site is the Raul Oliva Gallery, a small exhibition room dedicated in large part to the process of stage design. It’s a humble space but it’s interesting enough—if you’re already stopping by it’s worth it to spend a few minutes taking things in.
Downstairs, the cafe/bar at the Bertolt Brecht Theathre is arguably the space’s most popular offering. First and foremost this space is recognised as a live music venue. With every band, it’s a popular spot for young Cubans to gather. This is due in large part to the fact that the space charges in national pesos t locals. As it's preferred in the vast majority of venues geared towards holidaymakers, tourists pay in Convertible Pesos. Nevertheless, the amount is very cheap.
By far the most popular event held here are Interactivo nights. This timba-funk group performs every Wednesday and sometimes invites Cuba’s most popular alternative musicians. Surely, you'll find the place for the queue outside Bertold Brecht's entrance; but don't worry, the life concert doesn't start until very late: around 11:30pm or 12am. Meanwhile you'll have time to go to the bar and listen the last hits of Cuban and international music.
It’s hard to get exact programme details without stopping by in person, but basically any night is guaranteed to be a winner here. This is one of the best spots in Havana to truly immerse yourself in the authentic, local Cuban music scene—and of course to have a lot of fun while you’re at it.
Whether you’re coming for the live music or the live theatre, you’re sure to have a good time at the Bertolt Brecht Cafe/Theatre. Arguably one of the coolest spots on the local Cuban nightlife scene, come ready for an experience unlike any other in Havana.
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