Critics slam decision to allow stand-up comic to perform in stately Degollado

The administrators of the Teatro Degollado, Guadalajara’s iconic neoclassical theater, have defended their decision to allow comedian Sofia Nino de Rivera to perform her show in the venue last weekend. State culture authorities sparked controversy by renting the stage to a stand-up, when the space is normally reserved for more “high-brow” offerings, such as concerts by the Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra.

Critics took to social media to denounce the show and appealed to the Culture Secretariat to examine the regulations relating to theater rental.

Culture Commission President Sergio Otal Lobo defended the action as inclusive and promotional. “I believe it will allow the theater to attract new audiences.”

The comedian at the center of the furore said she hoped the debate would prompt people to reconsider the definition of art. “Mexico needs to evolve and realize that comedy is art.” Nino de Rivera said. “There is no need to devalue comedy. The Teatro Degollado must be open to the public. By these definitions, not even Shakespeare would be allowed in the theater.”