From Here: So Far from Heaven

Today I am working backward through my week to get the most relevant news out fast: RUN to Act II to get tickets to see the final show of “Chicago” this coming Saturday, April 20 at 7 pm. I had been asking people all year what their fave show at Act II was this season – all of them answered, “Chicago.” Finally, last week, an unbooked Saturday night was filled with that performance. I think the quality of this production is what the founding partners of Act II envisioned years ago: flawless acting and singing; superb costuming and make-up, minimalist set with the focus always on the actors. The sound was excellent and the lighting terrific, with only a couple of teeny glitches with the head mikes. The choreography amazed me with its complexity and in-sync execution across the board.
I had Sunday brunch with dear friend Wanda Grift at Incanto the day after I saw Chicago. We had a great time over Eggs Benny with her telling me about seeing the Nu Name production in Nuevo Vallarta a few years ago. She could not stop applauding the more sophisticated, polished version we both saw at Act II. Well done Nu Name director Edoardo Rocha and partner Michael Gibney who both also starred in the production. I hope their closing night is Standing Room Only and that Danny Mininni will bring this remarkable piece of the Roaring 20’s back to the Main Stage and soon.
Still at Act II, “Little Shop of Horrors” closes this Thursday, April 18th. When one door closes, another opens Tuesday, April 23rd with the amazing Renee Armand, solo in “Born to be Wild” in the Red Room. Expect big crowds for both performances, so get your tickets in advance and quickly!
Incanto presents encore performances by Alejandro Peña, Good Friday, April 19th at 8 pm and Enrique de Allende, Easter Monday, April 22nd also at 8 pm. These two extraordinary tenors will present new shows; reserve fast – they will sell out. Again.
I only saw a smidgen of Patsy Meyer’s show in the Piano Bar at Incanto last week. I hope she and Tracy Parkscan work out another slot for her; what little I saw I loved. She had the great Raphael Zermeño on guitar (remember “Tower of Song,” the Leonard Cohen Tribute?) and the flawless bass guitarist Roberto Falcon playing back up to her vocals and percussion. After a mere half hour, I went downstairs to see Spencer Day with whom I fell in love his first season here at the Palm. Six years ago? Spencer had a day off so flew in to play with Zoe, Eduardo and Alex. The show was full of lovely surprises: the first of which was Zoe, usually playing classical guitar, showed up on stage with a large electric bass around her neck! Her debut was terrific! They had just one day of rehearsals and being such consummate professionals; everyone followed Spencer´s lead even when he dropped a couple of songs on them that Eduardo for one, had never heard before. Spencer even lent his smooth style to a Led Zeppelin tune. Let that sink in for a minute! With all the newness going on with the ¨band¨, Spencer needed a name and ended up calling themselves “The Terrifieds.” Truly a warm, comfortable, fun, sometimes edgy evening. The title of this column is a line from a song Spencer wrote while working with migrants at the border in San Diego. Something he will passionately continue to do: ”red, white and blue; but not for you…”
Had a wonderful reunion with Paco Ojeda and Alain Perreault at a brand new resto called “Bocados” across from La Comer/Costco in a small shopping mall. Is it ever beautiful! We met the chef/owner and had her make us whatever she felt we should try. Wow. Angelica has been a caterer for years in Vallarta that may be why you recognize the name. We had a tower of food, literally and hours and hours of wine and chit-chat.
The Palm Cabaret on Olas Altas is closed now until the fall. They have had a stellar season and are already at work getting next year’s lineup booked. Their renovations made such a difference – those damn columns have been set free at last! New wee tables, comfy chairs and a stage still large enough for Miss Conception to do her cartwheels! I know I say this every single year, but it’s true – Miss Conception’s “TV Land” was her best show yet. I don’t know how Kevin continues to raise his bar year after year; he is a fabulous talent and great entertainer. Vallarta loves you, Kevin Levesque! Me, too!
I want to wish all of you a joyous Springtime; I hope the Easter Bunny leaves mountains of chocolate under your pillow. No, wait!
Whatever you do this week – renew something with all your might and spread kindness and patience. Breathe and hug each other tight, From Here.

Marcia Blondin