My Weekend of Butterflies, Swans and Friends

Warning! This is going to take some time – the weekend was chock-full of exciting things, and while it’s great to have a couple of mornings when I don’t write first thing in the day, it does create a long missive Mondays!

Friday began with old home week, saying hello again to Nathan Frye and Allen McMullen, just off the ship to spend time with us after a five-year break. It was great to see Omar, formerly at Act2PV Theater, in his own fine eatery in Versalles called Dadá. It is a charming cafe on Francia with local art covering the walls. The drinks looked fabulous!

A few hours later, I was back at Zumo for dinner and meeting dear friend Kurt Sinner – he of El Rio BBQ Bar fame. We spent a couple of hours catching up – Kurt is working on some exciting ideas that revolve around live music. Keep your eyes here for details as the plans come to fruition. Zumo was hopping, owner Vanessa and Kurt reminisced about Boca Bento and San Miguel de Allende while I happily devoured the succulent, lemon-infused fusilli one more time. Hours later, we scrambled out of Zumo and up the block, just in time for the start of The Epic Freddie Mercury show, starring Roy Cruz, at The Palm.

It doesn’t matter how often I see this show; changes are made with little tweaks here and there, and the production morphs even closer to sheer perfection. It is evident that Roy loves his job and considers it an honor to pay homage to Mercury. The dancers are amazing, and the pas de deux with my fave Paco will leave you absolutely breathless.

I had a brief respite from flying around on Saturday when I met with artist Miriam Aroeste for smoothies and chit-chat. She was born in Mexico City but has spent as many years in Canada as I have in Mexico – 33. She and her husband, David, are in the process of relocating full-time to Vallarta, and saying adios to Vancouver. I am not! Repeat- NOT, following her example and returning to MY Old Country!

The Maripoza’s Butterfly Experience celebrated its Grand Opening last Saturday, helping to finally set Puerto Mágico on firm footing after the pandemic nearly derailed the entire project. Maripoza is enormous in scope, with soaring ceilings, hundreds of trees and plantings, and soon lots of butterflies. Because we were there at night, the focus was on entertainment, food, and champagne. All of it is gorgeously put together, and I can forsee Maripoza becoming the entertainment destination for Vallarta North.

Oh! And I was delightfully surprised when Patty Macias, producer of Vacare, tapped me on the shoulder from behind. She had seen me from her sound booth way up in the rafters and scampered down for hugs and a quick exchange of promises to get together soon. She was bursting with enthusiasm for the Maripoza project. I will have more delicious details after our tete-a-tete.

I will return soon to the Maripoza Experience during the day to take a tour and have a good look around the growing community inside Puerto Magico. In the meantime, bravos, and many thanks to Dean Regehr and Wes Haws.

In his monthly celebration of composers, singer, and pianist David Duvall put together a most enjoyable couple of hours of entertainment with Duke Ellington music and stories. Fernanda Hernandez sang a couple of songs sola, and a rousing duet with David. Duvall will have at least one more afternoon concert before taking a summer break. I’ll let you know what and when soon!

Lastly, Kevin and I saw Swan Lake at Act2’s Main Stage. Vallarta has been buzzing since its debut last Sunday, and I expect close to full houses for the balance of the run. This ballet has always been a classical standard—a benchmark in traditional dance that has been parodied by Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo and imitated and performed by every single boy and girl on earth who wants to be a ballerina.

This is a new Swan Lake. They danced with extreme care, balance, diligence, strength, love, and a whole pile of courage. It has been pared down in scale and scope from the original and expanded into previously uncharted LGBQ+ waters, with only male dancers seriously fleshing out the roles of good and evil, male and female, with sensitivity, grace, and fine choreography. Kudos to Edgar Sanchez, James Wolburg, and the corp de ballet.

Happy Earth Day! Take a few minutes today to tidy our planet, pick up some trash, plant a tree and/or hug one hard with love From Here.