San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

2011 lineup announced for National Theater

Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” a concert by Mexican-American diva Lila Downs and the return of “The Nutcracker” ballet will be among the highlights at San José’s National Theater in 2011.

Adriana Collado, director of the theater, announced the lineup for the coming year at a press conference last week, and said shows will consist of 78 percent musical performances, 11 percent dance and only 2 percent theater, the daily La Nación reported. The remaining 9 percent of events will be made up of award and other formal ceremonies.

By now a familiar name in Costa Rica, England’s TNT Theatre Britain, led by director Paul Stebbings, will return to the National Theater Sept. 24 and 25 with its production of “Much Ado About Nothing,” after bringing “Othello” to the same stage this past September. The troupe has brought five Shakespearean works to the country since 2006.

The inimitable Lila Downs is also set to return to the country next year. Accompanied by her band La Misteriosa, Downs, who gave two performances in the Melico Salazar Theater this past September, will move her unique fusion of Mexican folk music, Spanish, English and indigenous languages, and Latin, jazz, blues and rock rhythms to the National Theater Nov. 9 and 10.

Collado also announced that the traditional Christmastime ballet “The Nutcracker” will return in 2011, with performances scheduled Dec. 1 through 11. Collado said organizers realized how important the annual tradition is to the public after the show was canceled this year, La Nación reported.

The theater’s 2011 offerings will kick off Feb. 14 with a Valentine’s Day concert by the Philharmonic Orchestra, while the National Symphony Orchestra’s 2011 concert season is set to open March 18.

The popular Theater at Noon program also will be back to present a total of 37 shows, starting Feb. 22 with dance performances by Adrián Arriaga and Diego Alvarez, winners of this year’s Graciela Moreno Choreographers Festival. Admission to the Tuesday lunchtime shows will be upped from ₡500 ($1) to ₡1,000 ($2).

Details regarding the Thursday Music at Dusk series will be released next year.

The National Theater is on Avenida 2, between Calles 3 and 5. For information, call 2221-5341 or visit the theater’s website at

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