San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Gypsy folk, a Jules Verne play and other happenings around Costa Rica

Music: Passiflora

Folksy, bluesy, fun – Passiflora is a self-described “gypsy band,” and no band could fit more perfectly in Jazz Café. The band is Costa Rican, but expats will thoroughly enjoy their largely English lyrics. For music fans looking for solid indie music, Passiflora is a panacea. Catch their act in Escazú this weekend.

Passiflora plays May 10 at Jazz Café, Escazú. 9 p.m. ₡4,000 ($8). Info: Passiflora Facebook page.

Theater: “Journey to the Center of the Earth”

The classic Jules Verne science-fiction story receives an innovative Spanish-language adaptation at Teatro Espressivo. Enjoy this family-friendly afternoon adventure.

“Viaje al Centro de la Tierra” takes place May 8 through July 13, Teatro Espressivo, Tres Ríos, Cartago. Sat. & Sun., 3 p.m. ₡6,000 ($12). Info: Teatro Espressivo website.

Theater: “Baroque Café”

A variety of Spanish-language one-act plays make up this comic revue.

“Café Barroco” takes place through July 6, Teatro Espressivo, Tres Ríos, Cartago. Fri. & Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m. ₡5,000-10,000 ($10-20). Info: Teatro Espressivo website.

Dance: “El Retorno”

This multimedia dance-theater performance even includes body puppets.

“El Retorno” takes place May 9-11 at the Cenac Dance Theater, San José. Fri. & Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m. General admission ₡4,000 ($8), students 2,000 ($4). Info: Metamorfosis website.

Art: “Family Portrait in Helvetica”

See the world’s most ubiquitous font in a whole new way at this innovative exhibition.

“Retrato Familiar en Helvetica” shows at TEOR/éTica Gallery, Barrio Amón. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Free. Info: TEOR/éTica website.

American Football: Tropic Bowl IV

Cross-national American football game played between Tico national team and the North East All*Stars, a semi-pro team from Boston.

Game takes place May 10 at Cuty Monge Stadium, Desamparados. 1 p.m. Free. Info: American Football in Costa Rica website.

Music: Jimena Rodríguez

See this 10-year-old prodigy play classic études on piano.

Jimena Rodríguez performs May 11 at the National Auditorium, San José. 5 p.m. ₡10,000 ($20). Info: RedCultura website.

Theater: “Vacuum Packed”

Who are we? What is life really about? Consider this and other existential questions during this Spanish-language UCR production, written by actor-teacher Juan Carlos Calderón.

“Empacados al Vacío” continues through May 11 at the Bellas Artes Theater, University of Costa Rica campus, San Pedro. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m. ₡3,000-4,000 ($6-8). Info: RedCultura website.

Music: The Best of Frank Sinatra and Friends

The Big Band of Costa Rica plays Frank Sinatra classics, along with other favorite standards from the crooning era.

“Lo Mejor de Frank Sinatra y Amigos” takes place May 15 at Teatro Espressivo. 8 p.m. ₡7,500 ($15). Info: Teatro Espressivo website.

Music: Chiqui Chiqui

Post-game celebration with the upbeat band Chiqui Chiqui.

Chiqui Chiqui plays May 10 at Puerta De Alcala, Heredia. 6 p.m. ₡4,000 ($8). Info: Puerta De Alcala Facebook page.

Exhibit: “Tintin”

A retrospective on the dashing young journalist, his pup Snowy and his friend Captain Haddock. Visit the Alianza Francesa to see the works of Belgian cartoonist Hergé.

The Tintin exhibit takes place May 2-31 at the Alianza Francesa, La Sabana. Free. Info: Alianza Francesa website.

Art: “Mayo en Verde”

Celebrate the coming of the “Green Season” with these colorful landscapes, painted by a variety of Costa Rican artists.

“Mayo en Verde” takes place at the López Ecarré Gallery, National Theater, downtown San José. Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.–7 p.m. Free. Info: Gallery website.

Art: Great Painters Exhibit

Paintings by Picasso, Matisse, Renoir and Andy Warhol arrive in Costa Rica. Presented by the National Gallery, this collection incorporates 158 artworks and celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Costa Rican Center of Science and Culture, based in the former penitentiary.

“Herencia del Arte” takes place April 28–June 28 at the National Gallery in Barrio Mexico. Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Free. Info: National Gallery website.

Enamorate de tu ciudad

Yes, you can get gaga for San José – especially when the Culture Ministry is sponsoring Enamorate de tu ciudad, or Fall in Love With Your City, a year-long celebration of art, culture and urban parks. Check back for games, workshops, presentations and surprise performances.

Fall in Love with Your City takes place on Saturdays in various parks in downtown San José. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Info: Enamorate de tu Ciudad website.

Contact Robert Isenberg at

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