Recap: December 30, 2023 – January 05, 2024
I had a busy Friday but happily stayed within a three-block radius of the four events I attended in Zona Romantica.
The evening began on the Casa Karma’s Red Room stage with Patriz, Vallarta’s 18-year-old, Broadway-bound aspirant. Patriz was joined by her brother Artemis, a hilarious comedian, who acted in a short play written by their mom and super promotor, Selena Luna.
I stayed put at Act2PV for the Bruno Mars Tribute Opening Night starring Victor Do Espirito on the Main Stage. As Roy Cruz is to Freddy Mercury in Puerto Vallarta, so is Victor to Bruno Mars. Both actors/singers have learned well the unique mannerisms, dress, dance moves, and the voice goes without saying. I thoroughly enjoyed the trio, the uptempo music, and the clever lyrics. Paul Crist sat beside me in the front row and chair-danced the entire performance!
I stopped in to hug Rodolfo at his busy Arte de Galeria Contempo on Basilio Badillo. Do you remember the ‘Shuffle’ some years back on Basilio Badillo? It has been rebranded; I will have details here next week. There are over 20 galleries in Old Town that will participate!
My evening ended at La Catrina Cantina, listening to my fave Argentines, Max Prado, Nacho Granados, and Chris Lopez, singing together joyfully as Remake. La CC always provides great popcorn and service from Edward, and the lovely Dale Bouayadi joined me at my table.
The city felt quiet as I walked home, not exactly bustling. People may be set on bringing in the New Year with much energy and need to store a bit for tomorrow night. What are you doing for New Year’s Eve From Here?
Happy New Year’s Eve day! My most important NYE didn’t actually happen on December 31, but months later, at a fundraiser.
I was helping tidy up after the event and noticed a guy leaning against the wall, watching me. For the next 5 or 10 minutes, every time I glanced up, I realized he was still looking at me and just as I was about to say something to him from across the room, he pushed off the wall and made a beeline for me.
He said, “You are Marcia, right?” I nodded, and he continued, “You were at Quinta Maria for New Year’s Eve last year, right?” Again, I nodded.
He then explained that he and his wife had sat at my table and that he had something to say to me. (I didn’t recognize him at all; there were dozens and dozens of well-served people at the party, me included!)
“It was something you said. At the party.” I thought, good grief! Whatthehell did I say?
He continued, “I asked you why, after a decade, you still stay in Puerto Vallarta.” I looked up at him, puzzled, and he explained, “You told me you wake up every morning, open one eye, take a look around, and when you realize you really are in Vallarta and hadn’t just been dreaming, you can get up.”
He then cut to the chase, “Because of what you said, my wife and I are now permanent residents of Puerto Vallarta, and I thought you might just want to know.”
Wow. That is the incredible power of words; use them wisely and kindly, From Here.
Is it just me, or does 2024 already feel sturdy but light of heart? I slept in stages last night around the pre-midnight shenanigans and the proper explosions that went on for a good 15 minutes. Vallarta always does a bang-up job of fireworks; I couldn’t resist, sorry!
I LOVE New Year’s Day! It is an opportunity to reassess and eliminate thoughts (and clothes!) that no longer serve my common good. I rarely make NYResolutions because they are like rules – designed to be broken.
Instead, I have set my intentions with the top priority of learning the techie goodies I sorely lack. I have a great teacher whose skill I tax daily, and without whom, you and I would not be having this conversation, so my gratitude for him is unbounded.
I am grateful for all the kind wishes for a prosperous and happy 2024. That fulfillment starts now, From Here.
I have been futzing around my house doing a bit of this and that I have left undone for weeks. It has been a great rest; my energy has been restored, the holidays are over, work beckons, and I am going in!
Look what slept with me last night! As I made my bed this morning, I uncovered this gorgeous creature under the pillows.
I read or heard years ago that if a butterfly lands on you or comes very close, it is a blessing from angels. True or not, I will take it as a lovely sign and get on with my day, my first venture outside this brand-new year, and see what there is to see.
I wish all of you butterfly blessings; make sure to pass them around From Here.
Yesterday, I mentioned the butterfly that slept with me; there is more.
At least an hour had passed when I realized the butterfly had not budged; I gently touched her wings, felt her stir, watched her stagger a couple of steps, and then was still again.
I knew she needed water, so I filled a tiny dish and tucked a finger under her feet. She held on tight as I put her and the water dish out of harm’s way. She drank her fill and was gone the next time I looked; maybe she was going to your house?
I have often said, “If a production has Chris Lopez’s name on it – go!” A(nother) case in point is the Whitney Houston Tribute at The Palm Cabaret, starring Diana Villamonte. What a celebration it was! While Diana changed from one glorious gown into another, the video clips, also created by Chris Lopez, were mesmerizing, tracing Whitney Houston’s (short) life story. Sound, light, service, everything at the Palm hummed with ease.
And, oh, that voice! Diana and Whitney – a flawless match. Villamonte’s guest, Effie Passero, came onstage for one song and brought the already delirious house down. Three standing ovations, encore after encore, the champagne flowed, and nobody wanted to leave that crazy, enthusiastic energy field.
I was grateful Gouda Gabor reserved a table for me at Open Mic, at Nacho Daddy, or I would have been standing at the back. Lots of up-and-coming aspirants for the Third Annual ‘So, You Think You Can Rise’ contest that gets underway January 14, 3 pm at the Palm.
Organizers Lisa and Billy from RISE Children’s Shelter were in the house selling tickets to all the preliminary rounds and the big Final at the end of February.
There was no end of people I wanted to hug and a few to welcome back to our city – Kimberly La Rue, for one! – that I missed in the middle of a jam-packed show.
Our monthly Scrabble Tournament is today at 1 pm at Qulture Galleries. Come cheer us on (bring pom-poms!) and enjoy the Happy Hour all day. The bingo fundraiser for the Purr Project begins at 4 pm at Nacho Daddy.
Have a lovely, busy day, and keep your eyes open for that butterfly From Here.
Make that, Good Afternoon! Our Scrabble Tournament ended curiously yesterday with a three-way tie for 1st. We divvied up the winnings and will face off again the first week in February. Purr Project Bingo followed Scrabble and was nearly full of cat-loving tourists, snowbirds, and permanent residents.
I didn’t win a thing. AHEM! That is three weeks in a row; I have to point that out because I ALWAYS win. And, now, I do not. It’s clearly a sign, but I am missing the damn point!
Act2PV is hosting Amanda Reckonwith tonight with her fabulous music director, Mark Hartman. Amanda is a luscious soprano. Well, now she’s a mezzo, as she is keen to point out; she is, like the rest of us, aging.
I am looking forward to hugging her and her creator, David Sabella, and, of course, Mark. See you tonight in the Casa Karma Red Room at 9:30.
I received this note this morning from Pam Thompson-Webb, “I think that was Allyna letting you know she is watching over you….the butterfly,” From Here.
A good crowd was on hand to celebrate the return of two of Vallarta’s fave New Yorkers – Mark Hartman and David Sabella.
David’s alter ego – Amanda Reckonwith – was in fine form, glittery in sequins, baubles and, great. big. hair. Puccini’s ‘O Mio Babbino Caro’ was recreated beautifully by Amanda with her index finger doing yeoman’s work. You will see what I mean!
Mark Hartman on piano is always brilliant, offers superb backup vocals, and is a perfect foil for Amanda’s funny and sweetly drunk conversational and mental lapses. If you love Dame Edna, Amanda Reckonwith awaits in the Casa Karma Red Room.
Tonny Kenneth this afternoon at 5 pm, singing all things Bond, James Bond, in a celebration of 007 music from Goldfinger on.
In remembrance of the PV Mirror being distributed in hard copies to a few places in the city, Vallarta Mirror publishes the week in review in the new Rearview Mirror. All the writers you have come to love are there, and some new ones, along with the weekly crossword puzzle. (We are working on Sudoku.) AND, when you give us your email address, we’ll deliver the ‘paper’ right to your inbox. Every Friday, the week in re(ar)view. Just like the old days!
Starting this week, I will take the weekends off (!) so you can read Good Morning, From Here, Monday to Friday. If you are not on Facebook or use it rarely, you can read GMFH in a recapped format every Saturday. Just go to vallartamirror.com and enjoy.
Until Monday, have a wonderful weekend, From Here.