Recap Good Morning, From Here
January 29 – February 02, 2024
What a great Sunday afternoon I had! It kicked off with pianist and singer David Duvall’s tribute to Burt Bacharach and Hal David at Act2PV. Backed onstage of the Casa Karma Red Room by Ms. Ace of Bass, Sheila Tranquila, and Aron Hernandez, percussion, Duval led us on an adventure through the 60s and 70s top-of-the-charts tunes written by these two legends. Duvall devotes time weaving his well-researched backstories into the playlist in his monthly matinee series.
Unfortunately, I could not stay until the end of his show to find out who is up next in his roster. I will let you know soon!
Georgia Darehshori and I flew down the stairs and onto Basilio Badillo for a mad dash to The Palm Cabaret for the third installment of the preliminaries for So You Think You Can Rise?
Richard Lucas left his frowsy alter ego, Gouda Gabor, at home and hosted the event beautifully, accompanied by Mark Hartman on piano and supported on stage by Enoch for Spanish translations. We listened to three singers and watched four diverse variety acts. Round Three Coaches Mikki Prost and Jan Dorland/Rob Burton split the two winners with Sebastian, an incredible juggler – with his feet! – for Mikki, and vocalist Sargento for Jan and Rob.
The Judges, Steven Retchless, and Zoe Lewis, led by Gabe Arciniega, had terrific advice for all the worthy contestants.
One more round to go next Sunday, and all eight contestants will have close to three weeks to assemble new acts for the Grand Finale on February 18 at Teatro Vallarta – nine times the size of the Palm! – and vie for 20,000 pesos for first place.
Kudos to Lisa Manoogian and Billy Pilawski, who came up with an idea three years ago to have a talent show as a fundraiser for the Rise Children’s Shelter. It has taken off in a big way with the full backing of the Vallarta community. It is a joy to behold From Here.
Take a deep breath, Vallarta, and enjoy the last days of January; you’ll remember the month as calm and quiet compared to February!
Coming up in no particular order – Hair stylist Alex Daoud’s extravagant luncheon and fashion show at the Marriott benefitting Vallarta’s Women’s Shelter. Tenor Enrique de Allende’s fabulous annual fiesta celebrates Romanza on Valentine’s Day, the Grand Finale for RISE, and a series of sexual workshops for all genders that will run over four days mid-month.
Tonny Kenneth will unveil his latest album at 5 pm at La Catrina Cantina this evening. I have not heard Tonny for a long time, so I am looking forward to that. Around 7 tonight, I will wander to Nacho Daddy and see who’s there for Open Mic. Join me at both, won’t you, From Here?
Humpday is for Scrabble and Bingo, but for this morning, I cannot get Tonny Kenneth’s beautiful voice out of my head. His EP album, ‘X,’ launched last night at La Catrina Cantina and was a warm, loving success. His voice straddles male and female, and his middle range is like being stroked with raw silk. His new melodies are fresh and, at the same time, as familiar as a favorite angora sweater. I really feel Tonny is on the edge of discovery, and his friends and fans are happy to hold him up and present him to the world.
I blissfully made my way to Nacho Daddy and Open Mic. The house was packed, and Colina Spay and Neuter benefited from a pop-up fundraiser. Richard Lucas dazzled with his sequined jacket, leaving Ms Gouda Gabor at home (again!) to sulk. Bing Young was in the house on piano, reprising last Sunday’s winner, Sargento, at the third preliminary round of So, You Think You can Rise, at The Palm. Just as I was leaving, Diana Villamonte walked in with Enrique de Allende; there’s no telling what fabulous music I missed!
See you at Qulture for Scrabble at 1 pm, bingo for the Purr Project, Nacho Daddy at 4; then January will rest, From Here.
Hellooooo, February, the busiest month of the year in our fair city, likely because the world up north is at its coldest. Decades ago, I remember property rental agents saying, “If we had 12 Februarys in the year, we’d all be stinkin’ rich.”
Scrabble was quiet yesterday; it was good practice for next week’s tournament. I didn’t win a thing at Purr Project bingo, but my table mates did. It was Scrabble luck I passed around!
I received a note last week from percussionist Patsy Meyer that her husband, John Kreitler, was gravely ill; another note this week let me know that John passed peacefully last Sunday.
John was a prolific composer, a ten-time Emmy award winner, and a huge lover of our town and wrote Canciones de Vallarta in her honor. John started Virtuosos de Camera pre-pandemic and invited some of the finest musicians in the world to come to Mexico and play with him. I remember being so thrilled to meet Donald Moline and Karen Bentley Pollick and to listen in awe as John conducted these two musical masters.
My thoughts about John Henry Kreitler: I only saw him and Patsy at musical events, mainly at Incanto, and I could stare at him coming and going because I was in the audience. I wondered if he constantly composed in his head. He seemed to have one eye and one ear on the here and now and the others flying off somewhere, hearing majestic, other-worldly sounds that played only for him. His later compositions were spellbinding, mixing electronics and regular instruments. Fascinating journeys into outer space that were spine-tingling and warm and fuzzy at the same time. You are already missed, John Henry; thank you for all you gave to Vallarta. Rest in peace.
On that note, turn around and tell someone you love just that, that you do love them, and say why. Pick one reason and try to make it a daily, loving habit From Here.
I continue to be amazed and amused by the Universe. When I figure I have something all worked out, she drops a brand new but old thing out of the bloody blue that takes care of a mountain of unresolved issues. Just. Like. That.
The Puerto Vallarta Women’s Networking group got together last night at a place I had never heard of but will return to in the Lord Twig building on Francisco Villa. The building was empty for years but now thrives with a small boutique hotel, pool, gift shop, and bistro-style dining.
As I looked for Erin, the event organizer, a small tap on my shoulder made me turn, and there, after two years, stood my old business partner looking questioningly at me.
The two of us hugged each other hard, and in that blissful moment, showered in tears, love, and brilliant clear energy, we saw each other for the first time, again. The same words tumbled out of both our mouths at the same time, “I love you, and I miss you.”
We stood together, reinvented, ‘bloodied but unbowed,’ happy, and moving forward in different but equally positive directions.
The night was such a great gift. Thanks go to Erin, Cindy DuChateau Ramirez, daughter Corie, and K – you know, From Here.