Teatro Rialto Movistar
Address: Gran Vía, 54
Metro: Santo Domingo (L2) or Callao (L3 and L5)
The Rialto is an old cinema that’s since been converted into a theatre. It’s generally used for putting on musicals, recently including the fantastic Hoy no me Puedo Levantar, which was based on the songs of one of Spain’s finest and most successful groups of all time, Mecano, but was more a tribute to the ‘movida madrileña’ on the 1980s, the period when the Spanish youth came out of the shell of so many years of dictatorship to and spark a cultural revolution – and even more recently 40 El Musical, which looks back over forty years of chart hits, most of which are Spanish, although songs by The Bangles, Shakira and others so get a look in.
As far as normal concerts are concerned, only now and again is there any space in the schedule for them to be held at the Rialto, and when they are, it’s a fine place to catch one – especially if you like the idea of a bird’s eye view. You see, the Rialto has some of the most extraordinarily steep seating you will have ever experienced, and even the middle seats are quite some way above the stage. If you struggle with vertigo, then you really don’t want to be sitting in the back (or better put ‘top’) seats. You do get a nice close view of the stage, but perhaps not from the kind of angle you’d expected.
Like most of Madrid’s theatres, it’s right within walking distance of the centre. Coming out of Santo Domingo metro station, you’re already practically on the Rialto’s doorstep, and from Callao you’ve only got a wee trot up Gran Via and you’re there.