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Sept. 3
6:30 p.m.

Rejecting rigid adherence to the conventions of musical theater, the proudly Mexican stage spectacular known as Aventurera will be making a one-night stand at the State Theatre. Based on the 1950 Mexican cinema classic, the story revolves around a desperate young woman named Elena who, seeking a better life in Juarez, instead finds herself dancing in a sordid establishment that doubles as a brothel. Naturally enough, this nefarious den of showgirls and gangsters leads to a series of intriguing encounters and deceptive deeds, each ushering Elena deeper into the criminal underworld. Despite the noir narrative, playwright Carlos Olmos’ adaptation puts the emphasis on dazzling pageantry, offering a cavalcade of sequined dancers shimmying seductively against zoot-suited mobsters, pausing only long enough to deliver a comic monologue before the propulsive beat of a rhumba kicks in and the mesmerizing choreography begins anew. Aventurera kicked off a tradition of stocking its cast with popular figures from telenovelas and sports, a novelty that continues to this day. The results have proven wildly popular and remarkably enduring, rising from an inauspicious 1997 debut at the Teatro Blanquita to become Mexico’s longest-running musical. True to its roots, this touring production is performed entirely in Spanish, and features an immersive cabaret set design with a cast of Mexican stars (including the widely revered Carmen Salinas).