Attention Putumayo shoppers: Cuban music exists beyond The Buena Vista Social Club. The less-than-modestly titled documentary Celia the Queen profiles legendary alto Celia Cruz, an exile from Castro’s Cuba whose collaborations with Tito Puente, Johnny Pacheco, and New York’s famed Fania label built the foundations of salsa and Latin pop. Married to the same man from 1962 until her death in 2003, Cruz defied Behind the Music clichés—no drinking, no drugs, and, given her unparalleled success, no need for a dramatic comeback—leaving room for a bounty of concert footage culled from a half-century of live performances featuring her unflagging smile and exceptional wig collection. Though more on Cruz’s politics would be welcome—Fidel demonized her and banned her music—and a moody, black-and-white tableau featuring an actress playing Cruz as a young nightclub singer strikes a false note, the aw-shucks enthusiasm of Cruz’s fans carries the film, whether they be Talking Head David Byrne, members of a Japanese salsa organization, or Tato, the premier tow-truck driver for Hialeh, Fla.
Friday at 8:45 p.m. Also at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 18. Both showings at Regal Gallery Place.