Saturday, February 16th, 8:30 pm, El Rio BBQ Bar in Paso Ancho. The great Will Chalmers presents “Solitary Man,” a Neil Diamond tribute show. I should say, THE Neil Diamond Tribute Show! This will be an exceptional concert and the only appearance of ND in Vallarta this season. I saw this show a couple of years back at El Rio. Not being a huge Neil Diamond fan I asked folks around me their thoughts about how Will Chalmers looked and sounded. Everyone was so positive! On my way out of El Rio, I passed owner/die-hard fan Kurt Sinner and asked him what he thought of Will’s performance. Kurt looked at me like I was insane for even asking and replied with attitude, “That WAS Neil Diamond!” Doors open at El Rio at 7:30 and I highly suggest you be there when they open to ensure good seats; you are in for some black-sequined-shirt magic! Someone, please give Will a big hug from me as I cannot make the show.
Saturday, February 16th, ”Tower of Song” Tribute to Leonard Cohen at the Boutique Theatre – closing night for Mark Zeller and Rafa Zermeño. This production is extraordinary. If I were a critic instead of a reviewer I would bemoan the very short run and the size of the theatre; the latter complaint is, of course, ridiculous. The size and shape of the Boutique Theatre are ideal for this intimate and poignant triumph of Leonard Cohen’s poetry set to music. I do hope and pray this show comes back soon and often.
Lady Zen accompanied by Mark Hartman on piano, finished her run at Incanto last week. The happy news is – she is moving to Vallarta in the spring and will pick up where she left off in April. She is a lovely, complicated and brilliant woman and her voice encompasses all of that and more.
Lady Zen’s fascinating and challenging background and unusual upbringing combines well with her tremendous ability to tell personal histories without one lick of ‘woe is me.’ I will keep you posted on when she’ll be back in town.
The Ruach Singers from Toronto, Canada, made more than a huge fuss when they took to the stage at Incanto. Who knew? to paraphrase one of the Singers: that so many people vacationing in Vallarta would run to listen to sacred Hebrew music?
Incanto was sold out for this single performance for nearly two weeks before the concert. Unprecedented? Yes, indeed. It was bewildering, unfamiliar – the Hebrew – and beautiful! And fun. All of the singers were young, spirited and full of humor.
They played a fundraising concert with our own I AM PV chamber orchestra the night before in Nuevo Vallarta, and over 500 people attended! Who knew there was Israeli rap music? I recognized one Hebrew song only but was entranced at the dimensions of the octet of harmonizing voices that could also imitate an entire drum kit and trombones and trumpets!
Another peculiar aspect: any time I go to Incanto, I bump into loads of people that I know…scanning the theatre audience February 9th, I recognized one face in the crowd. One, in well over a hundred! The music gave him goosebumps my friend told me after the show and warmed his heart and certainly lit up his eyes with happiness. The Ruach Singers went on to perform in a synagogue in Mexico City that holds 800 people. I hope they can be enticed back to Vallarta!