Performing Arts Blossom in Puerto Vallarta
Published Nov 14, 2012 - (Updated Aug 29, 2013)
Puerto Vallarta has long boasted a smorgasbord of evening entertainment options. A testament to that is the recently remodeled Malecón, where a variety of dance clubs draw crowds on a nightly basis, particularly during weekends, when locals go out to reward themselves for their arduous workweek and folks from Guadalajara and other surrounding areas visit our town for the weekend. Venues featuring live musical acts have thrived alongside the dance clubs, increasingly attracting more sophisticated acts, from jazz to banda to blues and so forth.
As Puerto Vallarta’s fulltime population has shifted, with more people staying year round, live entertainment options have increased, providing locals with new evening activity choices and visitors with unexpected pluses to enjoy during their vacations. From internationally renowned comedy acts to popular singers, not to mention a successful youth orchestra and a newly formed men’s chorus, Puerto Vallarta today begins to rival other medium-sized cities throughout Mexico as far as cultural offerings are concerned, further increasing its appeal.
While slow to gain a strong following since opening in 2010, Puerto Vallarta’s 960-seat Teatro Vallarta has finally come of age, attracting dance, theater and music lovers several nights a week with a variety of performers from around Mexico and beyond. A promotional and ticketing affiliation with Mexico’s Ticketmaster concession has allowed an even broader choice of acts, many making stops in nearby Guadalajara and now easily extending their schedules to include our destination. Teatro Vallarta has also added the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD broadcasts to its offerings, further broadening their spectrum of choices.
While the management may not be new, the owners’ decision to offer full rein to organizers Mark Rome and Tracy Parks to deliver quality entertainment at The Palm Cabaret and Bar may be the best thing that has happened to this popular Emiliano Zapata venue in the past few years. Both organizers have been busy during the summer preparing a winter-spring lineup that includes Palm regulars such as Canadian chanteuse Kim Kuzma and riotous, gender-bending, dragapella, beauty shop quartet The Kinsey Sicks and their highly charged US political humor, as well as popular local acts, such as mariachi singer Jorge Acosta.
The Boutique Theatre and Performing Arts Center, also located in Emiliano Zapata and managed by Karrie and Ken Sebryk, underwent renovations during the summer. With new, raised seating and an improved air-conditioning system, the Canadian couple expects to put their theater production experience to good use, attracting a number of community theater performers to take advantage of their small yet versatile venue.
The New Producers
Recently founded by four local residents, Puerto Vallarta’s new ACT II Entertainment promises to deliver five theatrical productions during the 2012-2013 season: two musicals, two comedies and one drama, all to be performed at the aforementioned The Palm. The company’s focus is on giving the public a well-balanced theatrical season, striving for excellence in all aspects of production while drawing on and developing local talent to the maximum extent possible.
Also launched this past summer, the Puerto Vallarta Men’s Chorus, under the artistic direction of local resident Bob Bruneau, will be performing a holiday concert at Teatro Vallarta in December, featuring a variety of Christmas and Hanukkah favorites in the tradition of many fine male choruses already established in large cities throughout the USA, Canada and the rest of the world.
The recent relocation to their own space on a quiet street in El Pitillal has also allowed the Orquesta Escuela de Puerto Vallarta, the city’s youth orchestra under the direction of conductor Miguel Almaguer, the opportunity to spread its wings. Renowned for having given Teatro Vallarta its first full-house function when it first opened, the orchestra’s new and greatly improved facilities feature acoustically enhanced classrooms, a multimedia room where music students can further their musical development through audio and video performances, and a small stage where ongoing community performances and music lectures will be scheduled to complement their larger concerts at Teatro Vallarta.