Most Americans know the late Mario Moreno, aka Cantinflas, from 1956's Around the World in Eighty Days. But his resumé is much longer in his native Mexico, where he was a beloved performer once dubbed "the world's greatest comedian" by Charlie Chaplin. According to Su Teatro artistic director Tony Garcia, "Comedy, Cantinflas and Carpas," a three-day workshop that begins tonight, will pay tribute to Cantinflas's artistry even as it places his work in the context of the carpas, or tent shows, that were once commonplace throughout the country. "Cantinflas was like Chaplin in the way he used humor and satire to level the playing field between the poor and those with a lot of power," Garcia maintains. "One of the great things about Mexican humor is its ability to expose the weaknesses of the rich and the ruling class. But it's also very self-deprecating. As we say in the theater, it definitely turns that mirror all around."
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"Comedy, Cantinflas and Carpas" starts at 7 p.m. at Naropa University, 2130 Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder, with full-day sessions tomorrow and Sunday. Registration for this non-credit course is $322, but separate admission to tonight's talk is $15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors. Get details at 303-245-4800 or www.naropa.edu.
Oct. 19-21, 2007