Les Luthiers, like wine

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The Argentine formation will embark on a tour of Spain on October 1 with the show ‘Gran reserva’, an anthology of some of the best pieces from its 55-year history

“We promise this will be the last compilation we make. It is the third and above all the most boring and longest. It only has two jokes, which is a credit to the two hours of acting. No, seriously, it’s a really good show and of the three anthologies we’ve made, that’s what amuses me the most,” Carlos López Puccio jokes with his usual sarcasm at the Casa de América in Madrid. It’s not the best letter of introduction to the tour that Les Luthiers kicks off on October 1 across Spain, but it’s unique, as is the musical comedy troupe that has been making audiences around the world laugh for over fifty years. .

Les Luthiers returns to the fray with ‘Gran reserva’, a show that makes it clear that, like fine wine, these goldsmiths of words and ingenious engineers of music and impossible instruments improve over the years. “It’s beautiful, fun and varied in every way,” agrees Jorge Maronna, the other historic member of the formation, who has been in the band since its inception. “Two years later I came in, yes, but we took him by the hand,” argues López Puccio.

What will be on display in ‘Gran reserva’ now? Maronna says that of the three anthologies, this is the one with the oldest pieces, from the ’80s and ’90s. “I think they’ve aged really well and remain in great shape, despite the fact that with so many social changes these days, you’d be suspicious of a piece of humor that’s more than two or three years old,” he points out to his 74 feathers. López Puccio, “age dean” of the formation -he will turn 76 in October-, continues: «Normally we brag about the timelessness of our humor. We always try to work with sustainable material, which has more to do with people than with the surrounding circumstances, such as politics, the economy or the front page of a newspaper. I think that’s one of the reasons our humor has lasted for over five decades.” The other, he admits, is that they’ve used “very remote” works. People continue to enjoy it “because those who saw them at the premiere no longer exist, so everyone is almost amazed as if it were a novelty.”

Among the pieces that make up the show are ‘The Ballad of the 7th Regiment’, ‘San Ictícola de los pez’, ‘Family Entertainment’, ‘La hora de nostalgic’ or ‘Music and customs of the island of Makanoa’. Despite everything, Martín O’Connor explains, “we used a good cosmetic surgeon to rejuvenate them a bit, so fans who know the lyrics by heart may encounter some changes that were not expected.”

Because there was no other option, there was also room during the presentation to commemorate the figures of Marcos Mundstock and Daniel Rabinovich, two of the already deceased members. “It was two huge losses, both artistically and emotionally. They were accomplices, friends, cronies… I miss them more in life than on stage,” says López Puccio sincerely. By the way, the formation has taken advantage of the pandemic to work on a new show, the first in fourteen years, which will premiere in Argentina at the end of the year, but which will certainly jump the pond later on. “We represent, and I say it with pride, a kind of cultural bridge between Spain and Latin America, because we also feel that Spain has been our second home for years,” says López Puccio.

After so many years, how is it possible that they maintain the freshness and spontaneity on stage? “I think art is exactly what we do on stage seems spontaneous, the biggest job is to fake that spontaneity. The shows of Les Luthiers are carefully planned and tested and the permanent touch must be that it seems to happen at that moment, the mistakes, the setbacks… The audience must of course be complicit, but they must believe that it is spontaneous”, says Lopez Puccio. Roberto Antier, for his part, confirms that the actor’s problem has always been that “the character doesn’t know what’s going to happen, but the actor does.” “The great affection we have for the material is what helps us to fake it and not anticipate it. We like it and it amuses us so much that every evening it is a pleasure to browse through the material». Another question: can you live without humor? “I know several cases, but is that life?” replies Antier.

Source: La Verdad

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