Comings and Goings

Comings…

Big party/picnic/live musical extravaganza/wine-sipping, 4th annual Fundraiser at Casa Karma for Corazon de Nina takes place Friday, March 31st at 7 pm. As this goes to print before all the details are in…check my column “From Here” for some juicy bites on who will be there…besides me, of course.

Saturday, April 1st has El Rio BBQ-Bar hosting the “Garth Guy”, the last Tribute show of the season with Dean Simmons performing Garth Brooks’ greatest hits. I am sure there will be a huge crowd; a good idea to arrive right when the gates open at 6:30, enjoy a fabulous dinner under the stars at this truly idyllic spot; the show starts at 8 pm.

Latcho and Andrea, the Blonde Gypsies are back playing flamenco guitars at Incanto for three shows in April: on Tuesday, the 4th, 11th and the 25th. If there was a History of Live Music in Vallarta, Latcho and Andrea would have had a hand in writing the first chapter. They are as exciting now as they were 20 years ago, with a perfection in their playing that is extraordinary.

My friend, the uber-charming Brian de Lorenzo returns to Vallarta with three shows at Incanto, opening Wednesday, Aril 5th at 8 pm. Brian’s new show is called “Around the World in 80 Minutes”; he and I will be sitting down this week and catching up on all the news. Read all about it next issue but join me for Brian’s debut at Incanto and hear one of the finest voices ever to hit a cabaret stage.

…and Goings

Canada’s most incredible performer is Kevin Levesque. I can’t call him a drag queen because he never lip synchs; he isn’t a cross-dresser either because he doesn’t wear women’s clothes when he goes out to buy bread at Market. I caught his latest show last week and as Paco Ojeda, sitting in front of me, turned and said, “There’s just nobody like Kevin!” That’s it, in a nutshell. Kevin – as the Immaculate Miss Conception – has one more show to bedazzle Vallarta, this Thursday at the Palm. We will be seeing more of Kevin and his various and sundry a.k.a.’s soon. More details as they firm up, so stay tuned….

Joe Passion, another brilliant Canadian performer, wowed the crowd at El Rio last week with his stellar piano playing in his Tribute to the ‘Killer’, Jerry Lee Lewis. Hands (and feet) flew over the piano keys in a blur of Louisiana rock-a-billy/country & western/unmistakably vintage Jerry Lee Lewis tunes. I had an interesting chat with Joe over Key-lime pie; Joe ‘does’ more than J.L.L. although he has been doing the ‘Killer’ for longest amount of time. John Lennon is also a favourite – he broke character in the middle of his concert and gifted us with ‘Imagine’. He ran through his cast of Tributes with me with his speech patterns changing with each one while he explained why he loved each of the singers. When I asked what (on earth) Jerry Lee Lewis and John Lennon had in common he said, “They’re both left-handed Libras. Me too.” ‘Nuff said.

CK Productions brought Diego Mondragon back to Vallarta and to Incanto for the first time. What happens when you mix a classically trained violinist, an International award-winning belly dancer, a blues singer, a percussionist and a very fit shirtless Incanto employee together and put them on stage? Fabulous is what happens! And fun. By the end of the night, Chris Kenny (the CK of CK Productions) said her face hurt from smiling so much. BTW, Chris is a fine blues singer, and sang two songs at Diego’s behest. One of them brought the house down – “Georgia” – dedicated to Georgia Darehshori, owner of Casa Karma, who was in the audience with half the entertainers for the upcoming Picnic under the Stars. Now go read “From Here”.

Marcia Blondin