Perceptions of Art

by Marcia Blondin
Some gremlins ate my column last week and there a few things I want to resurrect from that before moving on to more current goings on…
I had an extraordinary Valentine’s Day. First off I saw the closing show of the PV Men’s Chorus, “Love Magic” on the Main Stage at Act II. The superb harmonies truly cheered me up as I walked down the hallway to the Red Room to say goodbye to Michael Walters after his final show in the Red Room as Dame Edna. I have written a bit about Michael and his wonderful shows, his great sharp wit and now he can take another bow for kindness. I was sitting upstairs almost next to the sound/light booth where Roberto works his magic two, sometimes three, different shows a night. Anyway, at the beginning of her second act, Dame Edna came on stage holding a lovely bouquet of red roses; it was Valentine’s Day after all. I am paraphrasing, but she said something like this:
“There is someone in our audience tonight who I want to thank for always promoting the performing arts in Vallarta in her columns and reviews in the Vallarta Tribune.” Then he said my name and asked his partner Doug to give me the roses. I was so touched by the thoughtful and kind gesture by someone I truly admire and care about. And, because he is quite likely Broadway bound, he might not be able to come back with Dame Edna in tow. I hope that for him. He deserves his name in lights on marquees everywhere immediately after “Tony Award Winner”. Encore, Act II Entertainment’s Art Deco-inspired bar, is showing Francine Peter’s paintings on its otherwise naked walls. They are lovingly for sale so have a martini and check them out.
A very cool blues concert was held last week at El Patio de mi Casa. Starring Don and Rhonda on guitar and piano respectively and good friend Geoff Watkinson on harmonica and vocals.
Some great old bluesy tunes. I hope they will make a habit of getting together; old friends making music. It was a real treat for me and obviously for everyone else in the packed bar/restaurant. And the food was different and delicious, too!
There was a Film Festival going on all last week. An important International film festival – the First Annual Puerto Vallarta Film Festival ran February 14 to 23. In typical Vallarta fashion the event started without us; however, the plan is to have another next year with more publicity and necessary hype. In the meanwhile, there will be a monthly series of films shown at Act II Entertainment, beginning in April. Local resident, Brian Bernard, will have the International Premiere of his film “Every Voice has a Song”, a documentary of three gay men’s choruses with Puerto Vallarta’s being one of them. Especially for those of us who have lived here for a long time, I would be remiss in failing to mention Vallarta’s Very First Film Festival, dedicated to John Huston, started years ago by the late Wayne Macleod. It began with such hope, searchlights and gala dinners with a special screening of Night of the Iguana and ran three years, I think. We rubbed shoulders with both Danny and Angelica Huston and shared great stories of Vallarta in the 60’s. I wish much luck to Rudy Salazar and Company for a long run in yet another important aspect of the Arts in Vallarta.
Now, one of my favourite topics: Voice of Vallarta. Fight for Your Life just sucked – contestants and judges. That was then and this is a new week so enough about that train wreck! It being Academy Awards Sunday that was theme for the contest. What a show! Started off with Jason Brock’s signature Over the Rainbow then segued into Bob Bruneau on piano accompanying a glimpse of the up and coming Forever Plaid musical that previews March 6 & 7 with their Grand Opening March 10th. SO looking forward to that production! There is nothing quite like four-part harmony with some of Vallarta’s finest (and best looking) singers.
The uber-glamorous/seven-foot tall/drag queen/diva Cashetta not only guest-judged (sagely, I might add) but she showed her miraculous talent as a mind-bending magician and is currently appearing in the Red Room.
This Sunday coming up is Disney week and we will have Miss Conception as guest judge so get tickets early, people: This show is going to rock!
Two very important events happening at the Palm this week – Latcho and Andrea, on Saturday the 28th at 7 pm. Twenty-four years ago on Feb. 28th, I moved to Puerto Vallarta from Canada: I am celebrating the smartest move in my life listening to the Blond Gypsies. On March 1st, Paco Ojeda will be celebrating the birthday of Karen Carpenter in his own fun, lively, well-researched, interesting way at 4 pm. Paco’s shows are a blend of wit, wisdom and, of course, terrific songs always with the best musicians and singers helping out. Seriously, take a break from shopping and beaching and go learn something!
Okay I am done.

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