Lope de Vega is Not a Drag Queen

ALSO NOT A DRAG QUEEN.

I am ashamed to admit that, until my first visit to Sevilla in early 2011, I had no idea who Lope de Vega was. So, when I noticed a small poster advertising what looked like some very avant garde, campy theater, I thought he was a local drag queen. Not so.

Lope de Vega (1562–1635) is one of the most prolific authors in the history of literature. He is said to have transformed Spanish baroque theater. Miguel de Cervantes (1547–1616) called him “the phoenix of wits” and he is sometimes referred to internationally as “the Spanish Shakespeare.” Shame on me! The poster I had seen (and I’ve seen many since) was promoting a play being performed at the Lope de Vega Theater here in Sevilla.

So, this post in truth really doesn’t have much to do with drag queens. The opening photo is of Jerry’s father dressed up for a PTA (Parent Teacher Association) fundraiser in the 1950s. Jerry’s father did not have a drag name. And it’s just as well. He obviously wouldn’t have had much of a career. He also was a very good sport and wouldn’t have minded at all that I’ve shared this photo.

So, What’s It About?
This post is about some of the original pavilions — beginning with the Lope de Vega Theater — that were built here for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 (for which the Plaza de España was created) and how the buildings are currently being used. In addition to the buildings I describe here, there were many other beautiful structures created for the 1929 Exposition. Some are museums, some consulates, and others are part of the university.

SEVILLE PAVILION, THEATER, AND CASINO.
LOPE DE VEGA THEATER.
LOPE DE VEGA LOBBY; ORIGINALLY THE CASINO.

ARGENTINA PAVILION.
CURRENTLY SEVILLA’S DANCE CONSERVATORY.

GUATEMALA PAVILION.
PART OF THE DANCE CONSERVATORY.

COLOMBIA PAVILION.
THE CONSULATE OF COLOMBIA.

MEXICO PAVILION.
PART OF THE UNIVERSITY OF SEVILLA.

MUDEJAR PAVILION (PALACE OF DECORATIVE ARTS)
MUSEO DE ARTES Y COSTUMBRES POPULARES (THE MUSEUM OF ARTS AND TRADITIONS).

RENAISSANCE PAVILION (BEHIND TREES).
ARCHAEOLOGY MUSEUM.

My Drag Name
Oh, in case you’re wondering, I have never done drag. But, if I were to create a drag name based on the name of my first pet and the first street where I lived (as is one of the suggested ways to do so), that name would be Starr Van Siclen. I like it! Maybe a new career is on the horizon.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

27 thoughts on “Lope de Vega is Not a Drag Queen”

  1. Hello Mitch:
    Well, having got over our disappointment, and then to have hopes raised again at the very end, we have to say that we are in wonder at these most interesting examples of very eclectic architecture. And to have them on the doorstep is indeed a bonus. Some of them do show very characteristic signs of the 1920s and 1930s.

    1. Jane and Lance:
      The mix of styles are fascinating: Gothic, Baroque, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Victorian, Mudejar, Incan, Mayan … and so much more. The architecture, parks, and art created for the 1929 exposition are inspired. It's a shame it all happened just in time for the Great Depression. I hope the current crisis doesn't make the parks and buildings difficult to maintain. They've been through hard times before.

  2. Hmm. I'm not sure that my career would be meteoric either as "Trixie Bowers-Avenue"!

    Flipping them to most recent hound and current abode wouldn't help much either – "Pipsqueak Main-Road"!

    I remember back in Poonah in '43 we had a chap used to do drag. Actually, now I come to think of it, might have been the cook – she had a handlebar moustache and a tendency to burst into "What shall we do with a problem like Maria" over the custard. Not certain what rank she held. Lovely frocks though, lovely frocks.

    1. Owl Wood:
      First, omit "Avenue" and "Road" from the name. Another possible result of this process is your pornstar name. Trixie Bowers isn't bad. Pipsqueak Main probably wouldn't get you very far in the business.

  3. I am endlessly impressed by all the beautiful and well-kept buildings in Seville! As far as I can remember, my name would be Skipper Old Fulda Road. Gee, being called "Ms Old-Fulda" is sooo depressing!

    1. Stephen:
      I have walked and walked over the past year and still haven't seen even one fourth of it I'm sure. Even with all my walking around the Plaza de España and Maria Luisa Park, I still haven't many of the pavilions. For a relatively small (in area) city, there's an awful lot to see.

  4. These beautiful buildings/palaces are just one of the many benefits of hosting expos. Montreal has a few left over from Expo 67.

    Now, let's get down to business…..my drag name would be:
    Gigi Agricola! Has possibilities.

    Wait till you hear Ron's!!!

  5. I'm blown away with the beauty of these pavilions…as Jim mentioned Montreal's Expo '67 (where we almost crossed paths, alas not for another 6 years it would be), just doesn't compare at all…almost embarrassing I'd say! And with that I sign off with my drag name GINGER PROSPECT…dawling!

  6. Hmm, my drag name would be Gina Bathurst!!! 🙂

    Such incredible architecture in Spain. I hope to visit eventually. ANd I have been to Guatemala, so I especially like the pavilion with the quetzal on the wall!

    Somewhere on my blog, I posted a pic of my hubby in a skirt… poor man! 😉

    1. Knatolee:
      Gina Bathurst is brilliant! Of course, this also works for porn names and that one is good either way.

      I have never been anywhere in Latin America… except Mexico (and that was only within easy driving distance of San Diego for lunch and back).

      OK, so now I'm going to have to continue exploring your blog to find that photo!

    1. Elaine:
      The building and grounds have just been restored. They were still doing finish painting inside when I took that lobby photo.

      You DO know, I hope, I'll be thinking of you as Pedro Bowers from now on!

  7. As for Dr Spo above, the name of Lope de Vega is new to me too, and I'm also keen to get to know more of him. Any approbation from Cervantes himself MUST be taken seriously!

    I too have never done drag – though it's hardly befitting for a bearded visage (but not completely impossible).
    If you do ever get round to it, Mitch, you simply have to show us the evidence – otherwise we won't believe you! 😉

    Nice pics as always, Mitch. The early Autumn sun gives the buildings a wistful appearance. (I suppose you're now going to spoil my comment by telling me that they were taken at the height of Summer!)

Share your thoughts and experiences. It's always nice to know I'm not alone.