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We Do Things Because They Are Hard

Recap: Good Morning, From Here
January 6-12, 2024

Monday

Arte Vallarta Museo was the busiest I have ever seen on a First Saturday of the Month Fiesta. My vegetarian chile poblano tacos were delicious, and the line at the bar moved quickly. I was delighted to meet internationally famous American artist Dove Bradshaw, whose show opens at the museum this Saturday at 6 pm. She and I will sit down this week for a chat if she can fit me into her schedule!

I was also thrilled to hear that the pilot program ‘Mi Museo,’ crafted by the beautiful Dr. Candace Kaye, has been partially underwritten by PV Shares, a non-profit organization that gives grants to worthy artistic endeavors, and ‘Mi Museo’ certainly qualifies. You can learn more and help support this grassroots program here.

My dearest friend and Vallarta Mirror columnist, Sandra Bradley, joined me last night for Vacare on the main stage at Act2PV.

Okay, I admit to being a fanatic, a groupie (a gentleman called me Mother Hen last night!) of this extraordinary production and, let’s just say, you know where I will be Sundays at 5:30 for as long as they perform this dramatic, amusing, and loving tale.

The curtain rises to introduce the undersea creatures who inhabit the waters just off Puerto Vallarta’s Malecon. We next meet our Traveler, trapped in a dead-end, thankless office job that overwhelms him as he knows he will never catch up with the paperwork involved daily.

This chaotic scene leaves me breathless every time with its dark intensity. I have to unclench my fists and breathe finally when our Traveler realizes he must take a vacation. He goes to Vallarta, where he finds happy people living the good life on and offshore and enjoying simple pleasures.

I will continue this synopsis first thing tomorrow morning, From Here.

Tuesday

The Director of the Arte Museo, Nathalie Herling, contacted me yesterday to let me, and now you, know that the exhibition of Dove Bradshaw has been postponed until closer to the end of January. When I have more info, I will let you know.

I had one of those precisely what I needed evenings yesterday, with lively and long overdue conversation with Julie Ann, the doyenne of Casa de Influencia. No food is better than homemade fettuccine with mushrooms and truffle oil at Il Pesce with tiramisu afterward. It’s so great to be in that tiny resto and see it full to bursting with happy diners and people waiting at the door. I love you, Il Pesce!

Julie and I covered a ton of ground in two treasured hours; it has been far too long. 

And now, back to Vacare, where we left off yesterday. Our Traveller/Tourist (David Azofeifa of Circoncierto) meets the beautiful Crab (Alejandra Matus, the other half of Circoncierto). She makes him feel at home; they exchange gifts – hers of the sea, his of the earth, music, songs, and juggling. Then, they sit and watch artistic offerings unfold with a couple of amazing acrobatic, death-defying roller skating duets. (Not exaggerating about the last part – I always sit in the front row and can hardly keep my eyes open through it. Inside, I am screaming, don’t let go, please, don’t let go!)…to be continued with your morning coffee tomorrow.

Open Mic tonight with Gouda Gabor at 7 pm, Nacho Daddy. Look for me and say hi, From Here.

Wednesday

Another successful Open Mic at Nacho Daddy featured either RISE contestants or seasoned veterans at their craft last night. There were some newbies, including an over-long, interrupted poet, a mandolin player/singer, a great blues harpist/singing ‘Stormy Monday,’ and Artem, the standup comic singing ‘I’m Just Ken.’ 

The RISE competition starts this coming Sunday at The Palm at 3 pm; it will be exciting!

Today is Scrabble at Qulture at 1 pm, followed by Bingo Fundraiser at 4 pm for the free Colina Spay and Neuter Clinic. I shall miss the latter, unfortunately, but next time!

A bit more on Vacare – While the star of the show – our Tourist, finds relief from his woes and sorrows, not so much for Coral, represented onstage by Francisco Ibañez. His powerful dance begins inside a Cyr wheel, his torso wrapped in a line of plastic bottles that make an unearthly sound when crushed onto the stage from the weight of his body. The plastic eventually begins to suffocate him. We watch spellbound as his Cyr wheel goes round and round, slower and slower, until they both collapse, barely moving at all.

Queue Paulina as she dances in, around, and under Coral with her magic, life-giving purple pods until he can rise of his own accord and make his cautious, unsteady way offstage in the encircling parameter and relative safety of his Cyr wheel.

Then, as Fish of the Deep, Paulina performs a different solo at each performance, interpreting the energy of the audience and her castmates. Hypnotic, sensual, and empowering, her quiet, energizing light.

The sun may come out to shine today. If it doesn’t return soon, our tourists will go home, and people will ask, “So where’d you go on vacation, 7-11?”

That’s it from me, From Here. 

Thursday

For the first time since its inception two years ago, our Scrabble Club was really busy, and Qulture Galleries tucked all of us into the new cafe space, where we played for hours. It was delightful, and it was air-conditioned! We have a couple of new, excellent players – Liesl and Anju, welcome!

Enrique Aguirre portrays the Jellyfish, our fantasy production’s spiritual guide in Vacare, coming to life onstage at Act2PV. His costume and headdress are fantastic. His feet don’t quite touch the ground – he rather skims the hard surfaces, and in one scene, with aerial straps, he marches up the side of an invisible pyramid, down the other, and back again, all while suspended in mid-air. The strength and agility are astonishing. This character has stolen my heart.

I cannot say enough about this production – every performance gets tweaked with every cast member clearly involved without ego. From concept to make-up, from original music and haunting visuals, costumes, sound, lights, and acting, the fact that while some of the cast interact with the audience, not one has ever broken character for a second. It is blissful to watch again and again. This Sunday’s performance has been canceled due to Mary Porter’s fundraiser for the Vallarta Food Bank, but join me Sunday, January 21, at 5:30 pm, Main Stage, Act2PV, for another extraordinary journey, with these dedicated professionals into the ebullient fantasy of Vacare, From Here.

Friday

A phrase has been running through my head like a broken record – Go Big or Go Home. It has become my mantra. And the mantra’s name is Vallarta Mirror.

It feels like I have done nothing else in my life but edit, read, think, plan, discuss, and make lists. Then make another list. Sometimes, a line goes through something on a list; more lists are added. 

Two months ago this week, the domain name Vallarta Mirror was registered. Two MONTHS! It has not been a long time in the scheme of anything, yet on certain days, it has been a lifetime. It is consuming. And confusing.

When I come up for air like I am doing this very second, I have to ask, is it worth it? This learning curve and the hours at my age. Can I do it? SHOULD I do it?

Absolutely, yes.

The smartest thing I have done in my entire life was move to Vallarta in February 1991. Has it always been easy? Of course not, but mostly yes. And I have been warm all these decades.

The second smartest thing was promising my friend Allyna I would carry on her legacy of the PV Mirror, continuing to extoll the virtues of this city. Have the past two months been easy? Of course not, but I am still warm.

And as far as Go Big or Go Home is concerned, Vallarta Mirror is well on its way to Big, and I am already Home 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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