Happy Easter, All You Bunnies!

Recap: Good Morning, From Here, March 23 – March 29, 2024

A couple of ‘public service announcements’ before we rehash the weekend! Gouda Gabor, Meghan Murphy, and Mark Hartman on piano salute Broadway Broads tonight. Tomorrow, Tuesday, is Open Mic, and hostess Gabor has invited everyone who has made Open Mic at Nacho Daddy a smashing success this year to return for one last shout-out to Vallarta’s amazing talent pool. Both shows are upstairs at Nacho Daddy at 7:30 pm and will be their final shows of the season.

Last one! Dr. Irving Ramirez, Vallarta Mirror contributor, wants everyone to know his new office at the Lord Twigg building on Francisco Villa remains open!

Georgia Darehshori, another Vallarta Mirror contributor and dear friend, and I finally got to sit down over mango smoothies. It has been far too long since we have had the opportunity to be still in one another’s company. It was lovely.

Fueled by a mango smoothie, I walked across the bridge and up the hill to meet Tristan, the man behind Tryst Resorts, coming soon to Vallarta. We spent over an hour, and I was so pleased to learn of his plans for his hotel’s success with every employee, every purveyor the hotel will need, and all his guests being lifted up and treated like royalty! Tristan cares deeply for Vallarta; his heart is always here, although he divides his time between here, Puerto Rico, and traveling. It was refreshing to spend time with such a calm, clear visionary who wants to contribute his time, energy, and money to making our city lovelier in all ways. More news on the upcoming opening of the first Tryst Resort as it unfolds.

Kevin and I attended the Soft Opening of Canto on Lazaro Cardenas last Saturday. A darling bistro with Cantonese/Hong Kong not-your-average-Chinese-food cuisine. A small but delightfully decorated space can seat 20 comfortably at parota wood tables, with a bar along the back wall serving some delicious cocktails that are lovely to taste and look at. Owners Jeremy Reigel and Henry Ho are first-time restaurateurs, and Vallarta Mirror wishes them every success. Many thanks, Jeremy and Henry, for inviting us to share such an auspicious night with many of our colleagues! 

Deb Darr led our final NIA dance class at the IFC Clubhouse yesterday. Tearful goodbyes and promises to remain in touch over the summer left us lingering, holding on to the warm energy and one last hug before we dispersed. I am having pizza today with Deborah, and then she, too, will evaporate in a few days.

Coming up tonight at 9:30, The Palm Cabaret presents the Opening Night of Madonna, a Chris Lopez Production. Guess where I’ll be tonight instead of sleeping From Here!

I know it’s Tuesday; I double-checked the day before I typed it, but it feels like Thursday. I had three naps yesterday, and each time I woke up, it was like the beginning of a new day. It’s great to be able to sleep at the drop of a hat (it takes some training!). When my day starts at 4 am, and I have an event starting at 9:30 pm that goes to midnight, you can see the necessity to nap, and often.

This morning (still Tuesday!), around 5, the sweetest sound – the city’s mosquito fogger went up Guerrero. I have been feeding those buggers daily for months! Worse this winter than last summer. Or, I am getting sweeter. Either way, I hope the bugs have been smoted.

NIA instructor, past Broadway singer, dancer, and star of an annual cabaret show here in town, the lovely Deborah Darr, and I finally sat down for a one-on-one over mango smoothies at the Cigar Factory. That’s how busy this past season has been – yesterday took three months to achieve! It was worth the wait! 

The wildly anticipated Tribute to Madonna unfolded last night in a sardines-in-a-tin-packed house at The Palm. Producer Chris Lopez has done it again – he surpassed his level of greatness with a spectacular production. The jaw-dropping parts – and there were a few – I can’t even talk about – you MUST go and see for yourself.

The costumes were terrific and changed often (and quickly), the make-up was superb, the dancers were outstanding, and the sound, light, and props were straight out of Hollywood. The backstory unfolded on the screens – the legend of Madonna explained in video clips and by a very hot MC, Richard Carnegie (he is but one of the jaw-dropping moments!).

And then there is Madonna—sung, acted, and danced beautifully by Stargirl Waleska Rondon, originally from Venezuela and now happily living in Vallarta.

Some of the superstars in the audience included Nacho Granados, Diana Villamonte, Victor do Espirito, Jordan Carnegie, Eva Jimenez, Nick Rogers, Keith Tynes, Armando Chakam, and Francisco (Paco) Guizar. 

To Adriana and Gustavo, owners of The Palm and your terrific wait staff, and Colectivo Hueco—Tirso and Lucero for superb sound and lasers! And to Chris Lopez, who proves time and time again that anything is possible on that tiny stage, thank you. All of you—what brilliance From Here.

Another critical piece of Vallarta’s 23-24 Winter Season has wrapped. Open Mic, hosted by Gouda Gabor and Lydia Damato, went directly from the piano bar at Incanto to upstairs at Nacho Daddy in one emergency, successful airlift. Many thanks go to Sean and Tammy, owners of Nacho Daddy, who made room for Open Mic Night with Incanto’s unexpected closing at the beginning of the season and entertained packed houses every week. Mark Hartman and Bing Young closed ranks and accompanied countless participants after the death of pianist Dennis Crow. Vallarta stands as a poster child for the adage, “When one door closes, another opens.”

Open Mic alums Kimberly Grandi and Sargento Dan rubbed shoulders with uber professionals David Sabella and Mr Lady Zen, David Duvall, and Robert Ryan. Jan Dorland and Rob Burton kept Kevin and me company until it was time to leave.

Join us for Scrabble today at 1 pm at Qulture Galleries and Bingo fundraiser for the Purr Project kitties at 4 pm at Nacho Daddy. See everyone soon for hugs, and if you want to read more, click on the blue link below From Here.

For those uninitiated in Easter etiquette in Vallarta, here’s a to-do list for today. Fair warning: You may have left it too late already.

  • Go to an ATM and get as much cash as your bank allows. You may have to hit 3 or 4 to find one that still has money in it. 
  • Buy at least four days worth of alcohol, and don’t forget ice.
  • This is a no-brainer, but if you’ve just read this and ran to look in your fridge and don’t see a week’s supply of veggies, then start now on the previous suggestion, and to hell with food.
  • If you are driving, then consider yourself resurrected to sainthood; take a book.
  • If you regularly ‘go to the beach,’ especially on the weekends, just don’t. If you do, you will never be able to unsee ten thousand people crammed into one stretch of sand where each adult has a market umbrella, two children, and a requisite dog. It’s colorful only if you’re a drone overhead!

I hope the Easter Bunny showers you with solid chocolate interpretations of itself. I will catch you all on the flip side From Here.

Except for a mango smoothie break mid-day with my Canadian gal pal Selena Luna, I am going nowhere this afternoon or tonight. Delicious to spend a Friday night at home with my kitty.

Yesterday was busy with a quick visit to the latest gallery in town to celebrate their Grand Opening. Galería Kris K has done a lovely job with Jan Lavender’s Galería Uno, the first art gallery in Vallarta; they have embraced the historical importance of this quirky gallery just off the Malecon. The paintings are striking, with gorgeous colors and tons of gold leaf. Director Julian Rushton showed Kevin and me around, offered cocktails, and could not have been more welcoming. We will go back when we have more time. I cannot wait to meet this artist!

A taxi got us to The American School at the Marina in good time for the Opening of Ken Ludwig’s play ‘Leading Ladies.’

For the second presentation from this burgeoning community ‘Teatro sin Borders,’ Founder, Director, and Executive Producer Sandi McDonald welcomed everyone to enjoy the unfolding farce. I recognized a couple of familiar faces on the stage: Pamala Sheppard, who stole the show, and singer/songwriter Séamus Byrne, who, like his costar Dil Devine, played two roles in Leading Ladies, and finally, Alberto Soza as Duncan. Directed by John Sheppard with lights and sound by Santiago Tello, Leading Ladies will run nine more shows at 7:30 pm, ending on April 13. Please note: it is chilly at night, so dress accordingly and enjoy this cohesive, well-acted comedy. Tickets are 250 pesos and are available at the door From Here.


  • Marcia Blondin

    I am a Canadian expat who has lived in Vallarta for over 30 years. Becoming the editor of Vallarta Mirror is a dream come true, spending my days extolling the virtues of the city I love. An environmentalist in my lifestyle, artistic endeavors, the clothes I wear and the love I share.

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