Despite Argentina’s countless economic crises, Buenos Aires  remains the continent’s theater capital. The district’s traditional heart is Avenida Corrientes, between Avenida 9 de Julio and Avenida Callao, but many venues are showing the effects of economic hardship. Avenida de Mayo and many Microcentro  side streets are also home to important theaters, many of them historic.
Winter is the main season, but events can take place at any time of year. For discount tickets, check carteleras or online ticket-purchasing services. All major porteño newspapers provide extensive listings and schedules.
The single most notable facility is the Teatro General San Martín (Avenida Corrientes 1530, tel. 011/4371-0111, www.teatrosanmartin.com.ar ), a multipurpose complex that lacks architectural merit but compensates with its diverse offerings.
Other notable theater institutions include the Sala Pablo Neruda (Avenida Corrientes 1660, tel. 011/4370-5388); Teatro Avenida (Avenida de Mayo 1212, Monserrat, tel. 011/4381-3193); and the Teatro Nacional Cervantes (Libertad 815, tel. 011/4815-8883, www.teatrocervantes.gov.ar ).
There are several smaller and less conventional “off-Corrientes” venues, some of which might be called microtheaters—Teatro El Vitral (Rodríguez Peña 344, tel. 011/4371-0948, www.teatroelvitral.com.ar ) seats only about 40 people in front of each of its three small stages. Part of a politically and socially conscious bookstore, LiberArte (Avenida Corrientes 1555, tel. 011/4375-2341, www.liberarteteatro.com.ar ) offers weekend theater programs.
Before his death in 1977, La Boca artist and promoter Benito Quinquela Martín donated the building that serves as headquarters for La Boca ’s Teatro de la Ribera (Pedro de Mendoza 1821, tel. 011/4302-9042, www.teatrosanmartin.com.ar ). Their barrio compatriots Teatro Catalinas Sur (Benito Pérez Galdós 93, tel. 011/4300-5707, www.catalinasur.com.ar ) form one of the capital’s most entertaining and creative companies, worth seeing even for those who don’t know a word of Spanish.