Havana Cuba. – In the Olympus of Cuban vernacular theater, the name of Enrique Arredondo occupies a place of worship. Especially remembered for his character as Bernabé in the humorous program “Detrás de la façade”, where he shared a role with the ineffable Consuelito Vidal, Arredondo embodied the quintessential comedian actor, a singular genius in which professional excellence and Cuban popular culture converged. in its most authentic nuances.
At just 17 years old, in 1923, Enrique Arredondo began in the vernacular theater playing none other than Negrito, an essential character in the history of Cuban scenic art. At that time he was working in various companies, alternating his role as an actor with writing skits and short plays intended to cheer up the public.
He appeared on all the stages of the Island and by 1934 he had already been hired by the prestigious Alhambra Theater to assume the role of Negrito to replace the mythical Sergio Acebal. He took his art to cities like Tampa, Mérida, Veracruz, Oaxaca and Mexico City, where he was hired to perform in a musical revue alongside the famous comedians Tin Tan and Palillo.
He also worked in the cinema and radio; but it was in theater and television where Enrique Arredondo gave life to his most remembered characters. The handsome Cheo Malanga, from “San Nicolás del Peladero”, and the unforgettable Bernabé, which he created for the humorous show of manners “Detrás de la façade”, continue today to generate applause and laughter from the most diverse public.
His spontaneity found a way to circumvent the censorship implemented by Fidel Castro in the field of culture, and particularly on television. To the tacit prohibition of making improvised jokes, Arredondo responded with the introduction of phrases and intonations that found their way into popular saying, one of the most genuine expressions of “lo cubano”.
Enrique Arredondo died on November 15, 1988 in Havana, at the age of 82.
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