CULTURE

Good news for fans ofGermany’s capital city

During the 1990s, Barcelona was the place to be; everyone talked about the Catalan capital, which topped the list of those who wanted to explore hip style and novelty. Today, Barcelona has been replaced by Berlin. Partly because of the city’s reconstruction by the international architectural elite, partly because of the bohemian aura of East Berlin, with the explosion of the alternative scene, the once-isolated epicenter of the Cold War is now claiming first place in the particularly competitive industry that connects culture and tourism. Greeks are keen to spend long weekends at this new destination, which promises art, history and frantic clubbing. The «Berlin in Athens» festival offers this attractive package right here, in the Greek capital. The festival, which started last Friday and will run to April 23, includes a variety of events and is being held at five different venues: Club 22, Bios, the Goethe Institute, Microcosmos and the Trianon Filmcenter. Arts Complex Multi 22 (116 Ermou) has been turned into an unofficial festival center and offers any information you may need regarding the program, along with plenty of beer and German delicacies. The festival features cinema, theater, concerts, cabaret, exhibitions, delicacies and clubbing; the idea belongs to the Cultural Action Society and is being carried out under the aegis of the Municipality of Athens, with the support of the Municipality of Berlin and numerous German and Greek organizations. One of the highlights of the program is screenings from Berlin’s film festival. This provides an opportunity to watch a selection of the best films screened at the Berlinale over the past few years, as well as productions from this year’s festival, at the Trianon Filmcenter and the Microcosmos cinemas until today. There is also a tribute to the «Teddy Awards,» given out every year to the best films with gay themes. Those interested in spectacles can choose from a variety of different events, ranging from a music and theater performance based on an unstaged play by Bertolt Brecht (to be staged at Bios on April 18 and 19) to original pantomime («Mime Crime,» an original production for adults, will also be staged at Bios on Sunday and Monday). A fun cabaret show, featuring three glamorous female vocalists and a charming pianist, will be held at Club 22 on April 13 and 14, while witty and fascinating polyglot drag diva Shequida, who is a soprano, actress, model and expert dancer, will stage a striking cabaret-style spectacle with bright costumes at the same venue on April 20 and 21. A tribute to Berlin’s female underground bands kicks off tomorrow and will run to April 14; garage rock, ghetto techno, trash garage, pop and extreme looks will take over Bios, while ever-young pop band Alphaville, a group hugely successful in the ’80s, opened the festival last Friday. Friends of techno music can also get a strong taste of Berlin’s legendary Love Parade, the huge annual outdoors techno party, over the two nights that famous DJs of the city’s hip fiesta will play at Club 22, on April 22 and 23. Finally, an exhibition with 35 reproductions of works painted on the Berlin Wall, more reminiscent of graffiti, is on display at the Goethe Institute until April 23. The artists of the original works carried out the reproductions on canvas. Club 22, 22 Vouliagmenis, tel 210.924.9814; Bios, 84 Pireos, tel 210.342.5335; Goethe Institute, 14-16 Omirou, Kolonaki, tel 210.366.1000; Microcosmos, 106 Syngrou, tel 210.921.5305; Trianon Filmcenter, 21 Kodringtonos, tel 210.822.2702.