Maripoza and Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit!

Recap: Good Morning, From Here, April 26 – May 02, 2024

How was everybody’s weekend? Mine was great! Thanks for asking! It began inside Puerto Magico, the cruise ship terminal, at Maripoza’s Butterfly Experience. Kevin and I met with owners Zhander D. P’ng and Wes Haws, thanks to a kind introduction by Dean Regehr, to learn more about the future of Maripoza’s by day as a butterfly sanctuary and, most significantly, their plans for Maripoza’s at night. Whoo-boy. Pull up a chair, boys and girls, especially those who live north of 5 de Diciembre; there’s a new (spectacular) kid in town. Keep your eyes here for shows and information starting this week.

Meanwhile, back downtown, Maru Prado Conti was stunningly beautiful as Classic (and very classy) Lady Gaga at The Palm. Accompanied on piano by the incomparable Edgar Bernache and on cello by Master Luis Rascon, Maru sang Julie Andrews, Sinatra and scaled way back a couple of Gaga hits that became almost ballads. Amazing! Her friend and soon-to-be collaborator in an upcoming show, Roy Cruz, aka Freddie Mercury, sang three duets. Oh, Maru’s rendition of John Lennon’s Imagine was exquisitely sung and left most of us a teary, hot mess. Maru’s show has been extended, as has Epic Freddie Mercury. Double-check with The Palm’s Box Office and/or Vallarta Calendar.

A visit to the Vallarta Botanical Garden is as good as it gets for complete physical, spiritual, and mental decompression. The bougainvilleas are exploding in a riot of color, and make sure to check out the enormous construction of the 6,000-square-foot orchid propagation building near the chapel. Garden owner Bob Price told me it is going to elevate the Garden horticulturally like nothing else. It should be up and running by the end of May.

Rob Burton, Jan Dorland, and I spent a couple of hours lingering over lunch, with only a few hummingbirds overhead and Hector, with his lovely violin, serenading us and the rest of the busy restaurant. Our chatter in the car going home was extended by a good 40 minutes as we followed a tanker truck the entire way, sometimes reaching a whopping five or six miles per hour going up the hills! I was in marvelous company! 

I finished the weekend by witnessing the marriage of my old and dear friend of thirty years, painter Javier Niño, to my (relatively) new and equally dear friend, Nathalie Herling. They were married in the Main Gallery of the Arte Museo, founded by Nathalie a couple of years ago, and in front of some of Javier’s massive canvases. The words spoken (in both languages) during the ceremony were the most beautiful I have ever heard during a wedding, with the single word l-o-v-e being, by far, the most prevalent. Dinner was served in the museum courtyard, live music wove its way through a hundred conversations, and the Prosecco flowed all night long. Today, the newlyweds are off on their honeymoon to Paris. On the other hand, I am off to Central Gym to work off an abundance of wedding cake, From Here.

Today is Dia del Niño, or Children’s Day, throughout Mexico. Coincidentally (maybe not!), it is the birthday of Georgia Darehshori, a dear and valued girlfriend who is in New York City with her daughter instead of here at home in Vallarta, becoming or ‘turning,’ as we weirdly say, 80 years old. Happy Birthday, darling Georgie. You are a beacon.  

Besides a Press Conference at Club Industry this morning, I have nothing scheduled, and I am trying to remember the last time that happened. Last year, for sure. That can only mean summer is coming, and/or I am learning to do my new job!

I am looking forward to slowing down somewhat and reacquainting myself with my sewing machine, tearing apart my closet, and rebuilding a bunch of clothes. Or not.

Or making some candles or jewelry.


Is there a class that I can take From Here?

“Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit!” There, I said that out loud first thing this morning, and ensured great luck for this entire month. That advice comes from Deirdre Morgan, a new columnist for Vallarta Mirror. Watch for her column, Heart to Heart, coming soon.

It’s May Day, a National holiday. Banks and schools are closed as Mexico celebrates workers by, um, not working and taking the day off. 

Head over to and read beautifully written “Memories of Beltane – May Day,” about celebrations in the life of one of our columnists and dearest friend, Chiara Montante.

The Vallarta Pride 2024 Press Conference, held yesterday at Club Industry, was full of information about the upcoming Pride Week in Vallarta. There will be a march, pet parade, talks, fashion shows, flag raising, a kick-ass parade, and an unprecedented three-consecutive-day friendly take-over of Parque Lazaro Cardenas, offering everything from soup to nuts and real estate booths.

The Pride committee works all year round, pulling all the pieces together to ensure a safe, happy environment for visitors and residents during Pride Week. For a full rundown of events, go to their beautiful website

Thanks to Jerry Jones at Out & About PV for extending the invitation to Industry, and to Paul Crist and Tim Wilson for sharing a bench with me.

Jordan Carnegie brings Hedwig and the Angry Inch to The Palm tomorrow. It is that rock musical’s debut in this country! See you there From Here.

Happy Birthday to my baby brother Mark Kosman, who lives way the hell and gone in Sweden. He has lived in Europe a bit longer than I have been in Mexico, over thirty years and counting. Have a lovely day, Mark. I am sending you sunshine, sand, palm trees, and all my love.

I had a weird day yesterday. I took a half-day away from my computer, work, and my house. My dear friend and Vallarta Mirror columnist Sandra Bradley wanted to borrow my dressmaking mannequin, so I dismantled that, packed it up, and walked it and me to her house. We spent time chatting on her terrace then actually went sunbathing beside her swimming pool. It was GREAT!

The sun was fierce, the wind off the river just right and I was oblivious to everything but the heat on my skin and the absolute luxury of doing nothing but that. It was a very Zen afternoon. I walked home, sleepy as could be, fell into bed by 6, and slept for ten hours straight.

I am feeling fabulous this morning. Ready for Jordon Carnegie’s debut, 7:30 tonight at The Palm in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. With a title like that, how could you not go? Later, people, From Here!

A mariachi music fest awaits tonight at 7 pm in the auditorium at the end of the gorgeously reconstructed Isla Cuale featuring two of Vallarta’s finest musicians – singer Alberto Cuevas and pianist Salvatore Rodriguez. This is a fundraiser to give a three-year-old Mexican boy the gift of hearing; tickets are 500 pesos and available at the door. The acoustics of this small auditorium have been compared favorably to Carnegie Hall by a friend who knows it well. See for more information.

The Palm Cabaret has been around for 24 years, and they have learned how to do things properly. Nearly every show this season just past was a sell-out. Unarguably, they are doing everything right and appealing to a wide audience in the heart of the Gayborhood, and last night’s debut in Mexico of Hedwig and the Angry Inch blew the imaginary socks off every single person in the audience.

This is also typical of The Palm—wait until the end of the season, then drop a bombshell of a theatrical performance that needs to play weekly forever and ever, amen, not just four dates. I also LOVED the Playbill. It’s so good to be able to put names on band members, and the backstory is essential.

The head-banging, screaming, strobe-lit heavy metal/punk rock music was fantastic; I could hardly sit still.

Jordon, reprising his role of Hedwig a decade later, was brilliant. It is so weird and magical for me to see somebody I know personally completely embody a fictitious character and do so with aplomb, empathy, and a grudging bitchiness that is so black it could be dangerous, but Jordon gave Hedwig a voice with heart, humor, and good legs. An outstanding performance, Jordon and the bandmates were Metallica/Sex Pistols for the night.

Jordon’s costar, Yoalli Guerrero, was also a triumph. Yoalli sings with the local band The Lovers. Her complex, cross-dressed character never wavered throughout the entire performance. Superb acting and even better singing!

Get out to The Palm and buy your tickets to this extraordinary play. You will come away changed, I promise you. “You have to leave something behind to be free,” 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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