Dance, Theater, and Music


“Traditional venue, first-rate shows. A classic.”—Fernanda Abreu, singer, songwriter, samba-funk headliner. 3,000 seats. Brazilian and international acts; restaurant and bar. Avenida Venceslau Brás 215, Botafogo; tel. 55 (21) 2105 2000.

Circo Voador

“An eclectic venue for the younger crowd; in the heart of Lapa.”—Fernanda Abreu. Founded in 1982; center stage for Rio’s thriving music scene. Beside Arcos da Lapa. Rua dos Arcos 1, Lapa; tel. 55 (21) 2533 0354.

Estrela da Lapa

“Where a choro (improvisational, sentimental musical style—played on flutes, small and large guitars, and other instruments) revival has blessed Lapa.”—Mú Carvalho, music producer, Globo TV. Circa-1900 colonial mansion, refurbished. Avenida Mem de Sá 69, Lapa; tel 55 (21) 2509 7602.

Rio Scenarium

Samba, MPB (Música Popular Brasileira, literally Brazilian popular music), choro, forró (northeastern Brazilian dance music), gafieira (Brazilian ballroom/dance hall music). Antiques warehouse turned music venue; two shows nightly. Tip: Restaurant/bar Santo Scenarium a few doors down (Rua do Lavradio 36) offers live music Thursday through Saturday. Rua do Lavradio 20, Centro Antigo; tel. 55 (21) 3147 9005.

Teatro Odisséia

From samba to rock, forró to reggae. Upstairs gallery offers cultural lineup of plays, films, and art exhibits. Terrace views of Arcos da Lapa and Metropolitan Cathedral. Avenida Mem de Sá 66, Lapa; tel. 55 (21) 2224 6367.

Teatro Municipal

“The height of elegance; a program for the soul”—Mú Carvalho. Modeled after Paris’s Opéra; inaugurated in 1909. One of Brazil's premier performing arts venues. Praça Floriano, Centro; tel. 55 (21) 2299 1711.

Acadêmicos do Salgueiro

Rehearsals at the samba school each Sunday at 11 p.m. from August to Carnival. Join the party. “Best when the school rehearses the year’s samba theme song in the lead-up to Carnival.”—Fernanda Abreu. Rua Silva Teles 104, Andaraí; tel. 55 (21) 2238 5564.


00 (Zero Zero)

“Party under the stars; order a salmon burger or smoke a cigar.”—Cristiano Nogueira, author, Rio for Partiers. Candlelit restaurant-lounge next to planetarium; DJs, dance floor, open-air veranda. Avenida Padre Leonel Franca 240, Gávea; tel. 55 (21) 2540 8041.

Dama de Ferro

“Chic club run by ‘Iron Lady’ Adriana Lima, an artist whose underground spirit prevails.”—Antonia Leite Barbosa, author, Agenda Carioca. Brazilian and international DJs. Vinicius de Moraes 288, Ipanema; tel. 55 (21) 2247 2330.

Nuth Lounge

“Almost ten years old and still in style.”—Antonia Leite Barbosa. Tropical decor; young and lovely clientele. Avenida Armando Lombardi 999, Barra da Tijuca; tel. 55 (21) 3153 8595.

Le Boy, La Girl

Rio’s gay and lesbian palaces. Some open-minded straight women; few straight men. Outrageous Carnival ball. Rua Raul Pompéia 102, Copacabana; tel. 55 (21) 2513 4993.,

Palaphita Kitch

“Amazonian finger foods and exotic drinks.”—Cristiano Nogueira. Cocktail suggestion: Caipivara—three tropical fruits, sugar, and ice mixed with sugar cane brandy, vodka, sake, or whiskey. On Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. Avenida Epitácio Pessoa; Parque do Cantagalo, Kiosk 20, Lagoa; tel. 55 (21) 2227 0837.


New Year's Eve

December 31. Two million revelers pack Copacabana Beach. Only Carnival has a larger turnout. Live music; midnight fireworks. Party goes until dawn. Wear white.

Fashion Rio

January and June. Brazilian fashion collections on display at Marina da Glória. Celebrity and media magnet.

Festival do Rio

September or October. Latin America’s biggest film festival; more than 300 Brazilian and international pictures in 30 theaters. Weekend screenings on Copacabana Beach.

Casa Cor

October or November. Showcases Brazil’s leading interior decorators, architects, and landscape artists. Held at the prestigious Jockey Club.


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