Out and About With Marcia Blondin – Health Seminars, La Voz, and the Annual Isla de Los Muertos Fiesta

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You can also read Marcia’s column “From Here” each week in the Puerto Vallarta publication The Mirror. You can view their online PDF of this weeks issue here. (First published online in the PV Mirror, by Marcia Blondin, October 6, 2023).

From Here with Marcia Blondin
From Here with Marcia Blondin

We are of an age.

The first time I heard “Como Dueles en los Labios,” I cried. The heartbreaking lilt of the flute haunted me back in 1997 when Mana’s album Sueños Liquidos was released. This Grammy-winning album was recorded here in Vallarta at Quinta del Mar, and Bob Tansen was responsible for making me cry. I bumped into Bobby one morning at Rizo’s and told him that. His blue eyes sparkled, and he smiled, “So, ya liked it then?” Yes, Bobby, I did. And still do. Rest in Peace knowing your music has touched thousands over the years. Thank you, with love from me.

la catrina healthcare seminar

It was remarkably clear last week how many people are concerned about health care when an over-flowing La Catrina Cantina hung on every word of Navigating Health Care in Mexico. La CC co-owner Bill Williams outlined options available in Vallarta during the 45-minute infomercial that sold nothing, charged nothing and gave up a wealth of information. They will have seminars on the last Sunday of every month to help us all navigate different aspects of living in Mexico in general and Vallarta in particular. Look for a Health Care Fair on October 29.

patriz la voz la catrina

Speaking of La CC, La Voz de Catrina concludes this week with three former Voice of Vallarta alumni – Gloria, Patriz and Nia – still in the contest. I will let you know who won in the next issue!

While we wait on pins and needles for the full roster of shows coming to Act2PV this season, we are teased weekly at the Greatest Show on Wednesdays in Marsha’s Red Room. For two straight hours, the talent struts, sings, dances, juggles and essentially bedazzles the audience. And, the Greatest Show on Earth is free! I will see you there!

Paco Ojeda continues on his mission to share his passion for music. Steven Sondheim’s Wit was at the forefront of Paco’s latest dive into words that were eventually set to music in Sondheim’s many musical theatre productions. It was the words and their relationship to comedy and drama, their rhythm and, OMG, their rhymes. As always, Paco’s research and uber-interesting presentation made nearly two hours disappear, leaving us wanting more. More Sondheim and way more Paco. Joint Coworking Hotel will continue to host Paco upstairs in their event space. Coming soon are explanations about Country Music with surprises from Gina and her Whiskey Kitchen, Opera returns and more. Stay tuned for details.

Luis Villanueva’s concert/fundraiser at La Catrina Cantina had some spirited bidding wars for the top two generous donations to help Luis win the World Karaoke Championships in Panama next month. Casa Karma will host a dinner party for 16 lucky people with entertainment by Luis sometime in the future. Whiskey Kitchen donated dinner for four. Bravas and kudos to Georgia Darehshori and Gina Hendrix for their generosity and love, two gracious women making a difference in Vallarta.

In their second of many events to come, Vallartasocial.com brought Purple Rain, the movie upstairs at Nacho Daddy. The music of Prince took us all back to that time of big hair and extraordinary music. Dancing, singing, eating and drinking were the order of the evening. Promoters Selena Luna, Aaron and Mike plan to bring more musical movie events and combine them with live music as both Aaron Davison and Mike Funk are guitarists.

Vallarta is so full of serendipity, and it makes me smile every time I get caught up in an ‘aha moment.’ And where better for that to happen than over mango smoothies at the Cigar Factory? I sat with Pamala and her husband, John Sheppard, last week and after we got over who did what for a living, I asked how they got to Vallarta. Pam began to speak, and about a paragraph in, I recognized where I knew her from: sitting with my sister at Open Mic at Incanto months and months ago. Patrice and I fell in love with her story of how the Universe sometimes just makes you move to Mexico! Pam’s is the most delicious tale I have ever heard, and you must ask her for details. I have wanted to hook up with her since that night at Incanto, and there we were together at last! Thanks for joining me, John and Pam and sharing your incredible story.

Isla de los Muertos

My dear friends, Rob Burton and Jan Dorland, are off on new adventures in a few days, so we got together over cocktails at their gorgeous condo before heading to Bravos for dinner. Among other artistic pies where they have fingers, the two are again chairing the Annual Isla de Los Muertos party on the Isla Cuale on November 1. It promises to be non-stop music, culminating in a dance party for everyone! Last year’s event was excellent; I expect nothing less this year. The lineup of entertainers is stellar. The three of us wandered over to Bravos and were warmly greeted by staff, owner Michael Boufford, and half the happy people dining knew at least one of us! It was lovely to see Bravos just reopened and full at the end of September. The decor has become incredibly chic and organic in shades of gray with dark wood. It’s comfortable with excellent service that is friendly and unassuming. From soup to ice cream, the food was wonderfully presented, generously portioned and delicious.

Selena Luna and I, disguised as Muppets Statler and Waldorf, enjoyed mango smoothies at our weekly get-together to ensure our world is still indeed ducky. And, it is.

The Palm reopened on October 1 with Boys on Fire. Everything is new about this show, going into its third season. Headed by Argentine Sebastian Coronel, who has introduced new dancers and has included emcee Nacho Granados in a couple of numbers to dance with the (Big!) Boys. He has his own tear-away pants and leather harness. (hmmm…) The show is called Fantasies with stunning video work, and the costume (lots of fabulous swimwear from Mercurio) changes are numerous and swiftly done. Nacho sang some hard rock and aced it. We are so used to him crooning. This Boy can sing anything, and I loved the departure from Frank Sinatra! The Palm was standing room only! It was so great to see all the staff, sound and light crew from Hueco Colectivo, many local photographers, and a few Palm entertainers showing respect and encouragement for these outstanding dancers. Catch Boys on Fire every Sunday at 9:30 pm at the Palm Cabaret.

boys on fire
Photos by Gerwin Rutten and Oscar Almeida.

Coming up:

October 06, Friday, 8 pm, The Palm Cabaret. Roy Cruz in Epic Freddie Mercury.

October 07, Saturday, 6 pm, Arte Museo Vallarta. The First Saturday of the Month Fiesta. Fabulous fun!

October 11, Wednesday, 10 am to 5 pm, Arte Museo. Opening Day exhibition Dia de los Muertos. More fab fun.

1 pm, Qulture. Scrabble. Brain-work time.

7 pm, Marsha’s Red Room, Act2PV. The Greatest Show with previews of the upcoming season. Just go, it’s free.

By the time you read this, all of our theatres will be running headfirst into season, so no more rest! Bring it, Vallarta; let’s goooooooooo From Here!


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