Formerly the PV Mirror - a weekly; Meet Vallarta Mirror - the daily

The Week’s Worth of GMFH

Recap: Good Morning, From Here
January 13-19, 2024

Monday

Twice yesterday, two different people commented on how much they missed the PV Mirror. Neither was aware that Vallarta Mirror.com is a continuation of that publication in a different format and a slightly different name.

The contributors are all still there, and a few new voices. You can still read Stan’s Fishing Report and Leza’s take on Parenting in Paradise and learn all the new decorating trends for your condo from Sheryl Novak.

Even the (new and improved) crossword puzzle and Sudoku are there.

The PV Mirror was published every Friday, and in keeping with that tradition, Vallarta Mirror.com is recapped every Friday in the Rearview Mirror and delivered to your inbox so you can relax over coffee and read the entire ‘issue’ by the pool or at the beach. Just click here, and you are all set. Or, follow us daily at vallartamirror.com.

New York City choreographer Kimberly LaRue has created a bite-size Follies show for the Casa Karma Red Room stage. And, Kimberly has added guest stars who will, of course, change throughout the season, so be ready to return to Follies Goes Hollywood again and again. Amanda Reckonwith hosted Opening Night, which featured Mary Porter in town raising money for Vallarta Food Bank. It was lovely to see her and her sister Ellen again.

Hal Bonta, my cast mate from Act2’s second season, sang beautifully, as always, and Cate Valcic stole the show; I look forward to her upcoming Liza Minnelli tribute.

The dancers sparkled in sequins, glitter, feathers, and smiles. They adapted well to the intimacy of the room without losing a drop of pizzazz.

The So, You Think You Can Rise? Season Three kicked off at the Palm Cabaret yesterday. The full house was treated to a remarkably well-rehearsed, eclectic mix of contestants. This year, Round One was split into two categories: four vocalists and four other acts. One winner from each category was decided 100% by the audience: Singer Angeloo and The Woolf Proof K-pop dancers (coached by Tromba Vetusta, Ale, and Dabit) will appear in the Grand Finale next month.

Angeloo is a ten-year-old pata salada who can apparently sing anything in any language. Under the tutelage of coach Maru Prado Conti (Lady Gaga), he reacted to his win like any other ten-year-old – he leaped straight up into the air, screaming at the top of his lungs with joy. To say he is a prodigy is a mild understatement. He has only been singing for a year and has wowed Open Mic aficionados in that time with Mozart in German and Michael Jackson in English.

The all-teenage-girl dance troupe, five onstage in black at the beginning of their performance with a sixth in pale pink joining midway, impressed the audience with their precision and sauciness.

Prescott Seymour, better known as drag diva Sutton Lee Seymour, hosted and sang beautifully and kept the show whizzing along. Head Judge Gabe Arciniega presided beside his entertaining co-judges, Derek Carkner and Tonny Kenneth. They all had important advice for each of the performers.

Be at The Palm Cabaret for the next three Sundays at 3 pm and enjoy these fabulous fundraisers for the RISE Children’s Shelter.

The International Friendship Club has a fundraiser this afternoon at the Palm Cabaret starring my lovely friend Deborah Darr, accompanied by the amazing Chicago pianist Beckie Menzie. And tonight, Gouda Gabor gets cheesy with Mark Hartman at Nacho Daddy. It’ll be a slice From Here.

Tuesday

Two sold-out shows yesterday. On a Monday, and one was a matinee – woo-hoo! The first, at The Palm Cabaret, featured dear Deborah Darr, who spoke and sang about the highlights – and a couple of low points in her career as a singer/dancer on Broadway. Deborah has such great style and verve without a trace of ‘woe-is-me’ in her body.

The audience was filled with friends, supporters of the International Friendship Club, and a few Lightworkers who got to know each other a couple of years ago at a Gathering at Casa Karma.

Beckie Menzie accompanied Deb on Piano, the narrative blended into songs and back without missing a beat, except when Deb forgot Beverly Sills’ name – appropriate as she was telling the story of auditioning in front of ‘Bubbles,’ the fabulous American operatic diva.

I will have more stories about Deborah Darr; we are overdue for lunch and chit-chat!

Nacho Daddy was overflowing with people waiting to listen to and see Gouda Gabor, Canadian Richard Lucas’s larger-than-life lost Gabor sister, alter ego. With Mark Hartman on piano and Miss Ace of Bass herself, Sheila Tranquila, and with Gouda, the tiny stage was full.

Gouda, who is pretty quick on those great big feet, deftly and kindly played with the audience that contained some Gouda Virgins. The audience was star-studded with key city fundraisers Georgia Darehshori, Lisa and Billy from RISE, Freda Thompson from What a Drag (more on that upcoming event tomorrow); Owner of Out and About magazine, Jerry Jones, who I love; singer Mary Porter, choreographer Kim La Rue, Paco Ojeda star of Coffee and Headlines, jewelry artist Bara DeMarino, Canadian economic wizard Tom Bernes, and Rob and Jan, coaches for So, You Think You Can Rise.

Amy Armstrong guest starred and sang for Gouda – Amy’s show with Mark Hartman is coming up soon at Nacho Daddy. Keep your eyes here for more information soon, From Here.

Wednesday

I really should stop going to see my favorite shows over and over again. I am running out of superlatives! This is the third time to see Steven Retchless’s XTC in Casa Karma’s Red Room at Act2PV.

Steven plays five versions of himself, or maybe that should read, four versions of Stevie Heart, Steven’s drag persona as Steven himself never comes onstage.

The writing, video clips, and conversations in this show are curious, caring, and deeply metaphysical without losing humor and with not an ounce of rancor; except for the song, ‘I hate people!’ a justifiable and hilarious rant on raping and pillaging our Mother Earth.

I swore I would take a bunch of great photos and instead was mesmerized again by the action right in front of my eyes, and I enjoyed the moments and neglected my readers. However, you can all go to the show and be blown away by the artistry, grace, and powerful messages.

Steven’s rearrangements of popular song lyrics are worth the price of admission, as they are brilliant! You will also understand why Steven is an international champion pole dancer; his strength and agility are fabulously controlled.

If you are looking for something completely different, particularly in a drag show, Ectasy will fulfill every criterion.

Today is Scrabble at Qulture at 1 pm and the bingo fundraiser for the Purr Project at Nacho Daddy at 4 pm.

Be sure to read Dr. Irving Ramirez’s latest article on mental health.

Until tomorrow, enjoy our beautiful city and the lovely weather; the other day, the temperature was the same here as where my sister Patrice lives in Alberta. Her’s, however, had a minus sign in front of the numbers. Stay warm From Here!

Thursday

We had a room full of happy Scrabblers yesterday at Qulture – we must have been 16!The largest attendance in our two-year history. I aced four games, then walked to Nacho Daddy for Purr Project Bingo, where winning magic continued. I counted 70 people – more or less – in attendance – great news for the more than 300 cats that the Purr Project cares for at their shelter.

I went to La Comer and Costco this week for the few things I cannot buy around the corner; I am always stunned by the massiveness of both stores. The lines at Costco were reminiscent of pre-Christmas buying without the underlying buzzing frenzy; there was not a drop of ‘Mad Hatter haste.’ I was thankful to be in that line with so many others – such a mix of our blended population and a wonderful assortment of purchases.

I am so grateful for all of that abundance From Here.

Friday

Bittersweet is the only single word that could sum up yesterday’s Memorial at the River Cafe to musician and everyone’s friend, Bob Tansen.

Memo Suarez emceed the event that I am sure went on far longer than I could stay; every musician in Vallarta was there to pay respects and offer a tune or two.

The River Cafe is a beautiful venue, perched on the Isla in the center of town, right on the river and banked with shady trees housing some giant iguanas and lush palms.

Special ‘Celebrating Bob’ menus were printed for the event, and a stage was set up on the river to showcase the musicians. Bob Tansen spent much time entertaining diners at the River Cafe, and his memory was honored beautifully.

As I went down the zig-zag walkway from the bridge to the Isla, I saw my dear Leza Warkentin, one of my best writers, in front of me with her visiting from British Columbia parents.

Leza’s husband Gilberto played with Bob Tansen weekly at El Rio BBQ in Paso Ancho. Not only did that duo play weekly for over a decade, but they also played the opening and closing nights at that very much-missed venue up the river.

Kurt Sinner and Hollis, the co-owners of the ex-El Rio, were there and lovingly hugged all the old patrons who came up to say hello and share a story or two about El Rio.

But the evening was clearly focused on Bob, the outpouring of love from the literally hundreds of people in the room (with dozens waiting and standing outside) watched a loop of film with photos of Bob; many with his only son, also a musician, J-Ram.

Bob was a versatile musician, playing many instruments and could sing anything, but he loved reggae. I will always remember him as a flautist, especially when he recorded with the Guadalajara group Mana. I still can’t listen to ‘Como Duele En Los Labios’ without weeping.

When Oscar Terrazas was on his sax last night, I heard a quick riff of flute music and knew Bobby was there smiling and blessing us all with love. And that’s all we need From Here.

Author

  • 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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