I really had no idea of what to expect when I entered The Palm Theater last Wednesday night for opening night of Bohemia Viva’s Reflections show. Of course I imagined some nostalgia about the life and music we have all experienced, but I did not anticipate meeting this dynamic and sympathetic duo.
Luis Lujan and Andrea Mottura met in their home country of Argentina, he a charming musician from the beautiful city of Cordoba and she a talented and beautiful young woman from a small town, drawn to the excitement of the city. Luis has the look of a philosophical troubadour in contrast to her attractive and sassy vitality. Their interaction is witty and charming.
The two arrived in Puerto Vallarta in 2010 and loving the romantic port, stayed. Their audience that night was definitely made up of many fans who have followed their development over the years as well as newcomers who were thrilled with the perfectly orchestrated professional show they have created in Reflections for 2019.
After a brief introduction, and several lively pieces Andrea introduced a significant medley honoring Luis’ father’s admiration for Simon and Garfunkel and from that moment on we were carried away. From the haunting beauty of “The Sound of Silence” they launched into a fiery interpretation of “Cecilia”. With their perfect harmony, Luis’ superb guitar and Andrea’s at once enthusiastic and seductive dance moves, they had us all in the palms of their hands.
Rapidly moving from one wonderful piece to another— all unique interpretations of songs from their past and ours—the two gave their all. When Luis launched into his rendition of Roy Orbison’s “Crying” I think he had the crowd shedding tears as well.
Their repertoire was definitely not the typical lineup. Luis’ poignant piece by Son by Four, “A Puro Dolor” left the audience breathless. When Andrea teased about the challenges of relationships, she burst in to a very funny song called “In These Shoes” by Kirsti MacColl. Later in the program, Andrea brought the audience to its feet with her emotional tribute to Eva Perón with “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”.
There were a beautiful song reflecting Andrea’s Italian heritage, “Il Mondo” by Jimmy Fontana, Mexican love songs Including the ever popular “Bésame Mucho” and lively Brazilian music. Andrea pointed out, Brazil is the neighbor of Argentina and they share many traits but Brazil has more fun. While the majority of the audience probably did not understand some of the languages used in the lyrics of these songs, it seemed to make no difference judging by the reaction.
Crowds lined up at the door after the show to greet and congratulate Luis and Andrea and I bet they return for many more performances. Bohemia Viva will present several distinct shows this season including their Valentine Special on February 13 called Desde El Corazón. See The Palm’s website thepalmcabaret.com for the full schedule.
Creative planning and design for Bohemia Viva by Robert Rollinson and Brian James.
For the season the show includes the talented Enrique Jimenez on drums and Emmanuel de la Rosa on bass.