I don’t know where the expression came from. I don’t think anybody does. But I do know the strange showbiz wish for good luck certainly applies to one of San Miguel’s fledgling new businesses.
This new endeavor also solves one of life’s…well at least my life’s…biggest problems. What to do with the kids when they visit San Miguel. We have one daughter and four granddaughters here in paradise this week and it was Grampy’s (note that’s Grampy not Grumpy) turn to amuse the kids today.
Granddaughter number one, Frances, the one on the right, is no problem. Grampy has already done his part, introducing her to the pleasure of the hop and the joy of the grape. Frances appears extremely content to be lead astray by Grampy from Hank’s to Paprika to Bonds 007 to Santo’s even to The Cuc while worldly guys like Kenny Peters teach her new tricks like the gentle art of sipping not downing tequila sangrita.
But the other three are a little too young yet to be led up the beaten cobblestones.
There was talk of the Splash park. But there was also talk of the shortage of water in San Miguel. And the dolphins “imprisoned” in cage-like tanks. And whether SPF 30 would be sufficient for our freckled faces. And would the slides be “scary”.
Luckily, Grampy and Frances the elder, on their journey from one oasis to another, had discovered another possible place to take the younger nietas, a place that not only had food and drink, a place where also the play was the thing.
It was the Spanish tapas that originally enticed us through the door of Microteatro San Miguel de Allende but it was the theatre that brought us back.
Microteatro is the brainchild of Mexicans Yair Franco and Yanina Hernandez and their Spanish partner Arturo M. Medelo. The concept, which began in Spain, is to present original plays, just 10 to 15 minutes in length, in small rooms with a maximum audience size of 15 people. At times, five different plays may be running consecutively and you can take in just one or stay for all five.
As not all of the mini-shows are suitable for children (and perhaps not for seniors), we took in just one. But first we had to take in the tapas.
The kitchen is manned by Christian Llamas and Lorie Garrido and there was a wonderful aroma coming through the window into the hall.
”That’s the smell I remember from my grandma’s kitchen”, said Arturo Menelo. “It’s from the patatas bravas.”
Patatas bravas or papas bravas are the most popular of all Spanish tapas. Potato wedges are boiled briefly, then deep fried, then covered in a salty, peppery sauce. Microteatro San Miguel includes caldo de carne, pimenton de la vera (Spanish paprika to guys like me), chiles, tomatoes and olive oil in their sauce.
“There are only five restaurants in Madrid making this sauce. And, of course, only one in San Miguel”, said Arturo.
Mushrooms are always an iffy with young kids. But they’re a biggy with at least two of our grandkids. They’re sauteed in oil and a lot of garlic and served with bread to pile them high on.
“There’s no such thing as too much garlic”, said Frances, the old enough to drink grandkid.
The biggest hit of the day came next to the table, berenjenas con miel. The thin slices were deep fried and then dipped in a sauce (not honey but molasses, I think).
There’s nothing like disguising them as dessert if you want grandkids to eat veggies like eggplant.
Grampy’s personal favorite tapa was the pepito de ternera. I don’t get much veal anymore. I don’t see much veal anymore. And this was a very generous sized cutlet.
Christian Baumgartner, the star of our little show, had finished his shilling shift out front of Microteatro San Miguel and was walking through the dining area ringing the five minute bell.
I headed to the booth to pay ticket seller (and very good server) Sandra and the show was on.
The very lithe Christian Baumgartner, the very animated Christian Baumgartner, the very amusing Christian Baumgartner, the very talented Christian Baumgartner, with the help of a wooden trunk, a couple of props and a couple of changes of costume, had the grandkids intrigued, excited, alarmed and charmed.
Usually I have to herd them like cats to get their photo but after they’d finished applauding, they wanted a shot with Christian.
And I don’t think a bigger plaudit could come from one of the budding thespian’s lips than, “I wish I could do that.”
Microteatro San Miguel de Allende is located at Relox #70 in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. They are open Tuesday and Wednesday from 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Thursday 4:00 pm to 12:00 am, Saturday and Sunday 12:00 pm to 12:00 am, closed Monday and Friday.