“A message to Puerto Vallarta: Twenty-eight years ago today – February 28, 1991 – I moved permanently to Puerto Vallarta. It took me five long years from my first visit in 1986, to get back here, where my soul lived without me until the 28th of February, ’91. I was so excited that day and I remain the same. Every single day and there have been more than 10,000 of them, Vallarta has shown me a bit more of her secrets. I hold each one in my heart and soul with so much gratitude. Thank you, Vallarta and every single person who lives and breathes this same air. I love you. I love you.”
I posted this on Facebook last week and was rewarded with lovely comments and dozens of hearts from those expats who “get it” and have taken the same decision to not freeze for half the year, every year. And, being warm every day is a small part of the magic that lives in Vallarta.
Talking about magic…the food at Barrio Bistro qualifies! I asked director Alain Perreault for his recommendations for dinner before his play premiered in the same neighborhood. His reply was instant – Barrio Bistro. I have never been because it’s not convenient to walk to. A genuinely lame excuse that’s for sure. My companions, Mark and Dana Zeller had never been either, so we were set to be amazed. Oh, my…we shared a pizza that was so thin and crispy and topped with pesto, spinach, shrimp, caramelized onions, capers, and goat cheese, and I have likely left out some ingredients. The Zellers had red snapper that looked moist and smelled divine. My arrachera was charred on the outside and rare as could be inside – perfect, in other words. Service was prompt and easy, the atmosphere fresh, arty and comfortable. Owner Memo Wulff came over to say hi (as he did to every single table); I hadn’t seen him since he was cooking at El Dorado years and years ago. After dinner Mark, Dana and I strolled over to Plataforma 322, a performing arts theatre in Versalles featuring locally produced works in Spanish. We were attending the Perrobravo production of “el pequeño poni” starring Samantha Dueñas and Cesar Bravo.
A synopsis, in English, of the play, was included in the program. For those of us who cannot track lightning-fast Spanish dialogue, it was a blessing. I know one couple who don’t speak any Spanish at all but went – and loved it – because of this extra bit of help that was provided. Thanks to Alain Perreault for making this effort on our behalf. I am sure Paco Ojeda helped; Paco also did terrific things with video and the soundtrack. I hope this will set a standard for other companies in Vallarta including those that perform in English. If it’s worth producing, it’s worth producing program notes. The more that can be explained beforehand leaves time and energy to enjoy the acting and the heady experience of live theatre. I have to mention, also, the stage for “The Little Pony” was horseshoe-shaped, so three sides were the audience. We were so close I could have leaned over and wiped the tears off Jaime’s (Cesar’s) face. Go and immerse yourself in a well-written and directed play, Saturdays, March 9,16 and 30, at 8 pm. You will be delighted.
Incanto is reshowing all the Oscar-winning movies at 3 pm. Check their website for details. I am seeing “A Star is Born” on Thursday, the 14th; join me.
Folks at Coco Tropical last Sunday were treated to an extra special concert. Rodolfo, the blind-from-birth tenor, showed up to sing with his voice/keyboard coach Jean-Guy Comeau. The audience witnessed the debut of Rodolfo playing piano and accompanying himself on a few songs. His growth in the past year has been incredible thanks to the genius of Jean-Guy’s teaching and Rodolfo’s ability to absorb new material like a sponge. What a great team they have turned out to be! All of us involved with “Friends of Rodolfo” in one way or another, send love and heartfelt wishes for a complete recovery to our ‘founder’ if you will, Skip Everett in California. Hurry back, dear Skip, there are many more songs to learn.
Hug one another often and hard and remember that songs are prayers set to music, From Here.