It is fairly well known that most all-inclusive hotels in Puerto Vallarta offer a variety of in-house entertainment options, many of which include song and dance performances offered exclusively for their guests. For the rest of us, however, the opportunities to enjoy the treat of live, professional dance troupes in town, are few and far between. If, like me, you enjoy seeing live dance performances up-close and personal, you may want to consider Broadway Nights, a dance revue presently being offered at the Blue Seas Club every Friday for an indefinite time.
The brainchild of Jacobo Martínez Guerrero, choreographer and director of Darudha, a new, young dance company in town, Broadway Nights is an eclectic selection of songs, most from the musical stage, set to dance. Some of the numbers have been chosen to showcase the troupe’s primary asset: their extraordinary dancing ability. Other selections are of the “illusion” variety, where it is expert lip sync and nicely-picked costumes that sell the performance. Throughout the entire show, which runs without intermission, Martínez and six other dancers—three male, three female—expertly overcome two major hurdles: the size of the stage and the ability to slide in and out of it inadvertedly, and change costumes without any noticeable pause between numbers. The constant exits and entrances executed during numbers kept the stage from feeling crowded at all times. And when all dancers were together, it was clear that many rehearsal hours have paid off in order for them to perform elaborate, albeit intimate choreographies without bumping into each other.
I do have a wish for Darudha, and something for the venue to keep in mind. Tourists from up north have the benefit of having fairly regular access to touring companies that perform Broadway’s top productions from city to city. As such, I did some informal surveying of friends and visitors in the past few days with a simple question: if being in Puerto Vallarta, you are given a choice to see a “Broadway” revue and one that features latin rhythms, songs and dances that you are not as familiar with, which one would you prefer? Most of them said they would prefer the latter. So, as long as the format of this particular revue is open ended, why not throw in a few numbers that showcase latin rhythms? Salsa? Rhumba? Samba? With those bodies and such talent, I’d be on the first row! Even changing the name from “Broadway Nights” to something more worldly and mysterious might make an increased number of passers-by curious about the show.
Blue Seas is sitting on a small goldmine with this performance space/lounge. They have already invested in building their own wooden platforms, effectively raising the makeshift stage enough for everyone to enjoy a good view of the show. As such, the space could easily be also used to showcase a jazz trio, or a vocalist. But if the venue is truly interested in exploring this avenue, they absolutely must also invest in adequate sound and lighting equipment, which would greatly enhance the quality of their shows. At the very least, installing an inexpensive light fader and having someone fade the stage lights to black after each number would honor the hard work put forth by the dancers. This improvement alone would greatly add to the overall mood of the performance, keeping the venue from seeming amateurish.
But regardless, Broadway Nights is a sexy, gender-bending tour de force, a not-to-be-missed opportunity to enjoy the real deal in a small, intimate venue. I don’t think there is any other space in Puerto Vallarta where you can enjoy such talented eye candy that close. And here’s a tip: when the dancers call for volunteers to come up to the stage, do it. I won’t tell you why, but you’ll be glad you did!
Here is a two-minute snippet of the performance. I apologize for the quality of the video, however. My handy camcorder does not excel in low light situations, and the aforementioned lack of decent lighting only made matters worse. Trust me, our eyes are far more forgiving than consumer-level technology when it comes to low light situations, so you will enjoy a great show! Also, you may want to take a look at this post, which features photographs I took of the dance troupe just a couple of weeks prior.
I actually set out to write this review at the Blue Seas lounge, the same room used for the performance, on a Sunday morning, as I had previously seen folks enjoying the comfortable space during the daytime, laptops in front of them. So I set out there ready to sample their brunch menu. This turned out to be a very bad idea. Wireless internet access is not free at the Blue Seas. And little did I know, the lounge is used during the daytime by their staff as a sales office. Since being surrounded by timeshare reps trying to make deals with newcomers interested in buying into the resort is not my idea of a peaceful Sunday morning, I left. Blue Seas does offer an al fresco seating area, but it’s not shielded from the sun enough, making laptop usage unpleasantly difficult. Instead, I chose Choco Banana, only a block away, where I enjoyed the same ocean breeze, a lovely brunch, a shaded area, and free wi-fi.
Blue Seas Beach Club
Malecón 1, Los Muertos Beach