Al Pacino, who is famously not Robert De Niro, has just wrapped up two performances of “An Evening with Al Pacino” in Buenos Aires.
“An Evening”, held in Argentina’s world famous Teatro Colón, promised to be a deep and revelatory experience: “A unique journey into the greatest depths of the artistic and creative process…An intimate show that will take you to the depths of his career…” according to promotional material.
However, these depths were not worth plowing for the grand dame of argentine acting, Norma Aleandro.
“I put up with 50 minutes and left,” said the iconic actress, screenwriter and director, famous for her role Argentina’s first Oscar winning film, The Official Story.
“I thought it was awful”, she said in an interview. “…You love him as an actor and it seems like you’ll love him as a person. People gave him a standing ovation [before he started]. He started narrating some pretty thin anecdotes. I lasted 50 minutes and I left. He continued talking nonsense.”
It was never really clear what “An Evening With Al Pacino” was. Was it a play? Was it an interview? Was it a series of anecdotes and impressions? Was it watching Al Pacino spend an evening as he ordinarily would, bronzing his face and threading more hair into his forehead? Or would audience members truly get a rare insight into the craft of one of the most famous actors of the last half century?
In the end, those who attended described it as an “open interview”, a concept so broad it would surely encapsulate Pacino sitting opposite someone in a chair, drinking mineral water and taking questions from martians in his brain.
Promotional material tempted with an “incomparable experience”: Pacino “live” (on stage, in the flesh, real, in 3D, physically there, materially present!!!) reenacting some of his most famous roles. Say hello to my little friend etc. However, as it turned out, audience members had to content themselves with “projections” of these scenes onto a screen behind Pacino. Though Pacino did talk about stuff on either side of the projections, according to Pagina 12.
It was also, according to promoters, “in first person”, though this is surely an inevitable feature of any human experience.
The evening concluded with people paying to have a “Mit and Grit” (Meet and Greet) with Pacino in the “Golden Hall” of the Colon Theatre.
Al Pacino’s sojourn in Buenos Aires is part of a trend of old male actors coming south in an effort to raise funds, pay off old debts, and feel the sun on their face. John Malkovich was the last to do so in “An Evening With John Malkovich.”
Aleandro sees through these thinly veiled fundraising attempts:
“There were people there who had paid AR $15,000. Colón Theater was full. I was embarrassed to see someone on the stage making fun of all of us. How could it be?”