Act ii Stages Puerto Vallarta Present Follies La Rouge Show. Behind a sheer curtain, four dancers were seen poised for when the curtains were pulled, they started dancing across the stage. The audience immediately showed a great response. Danny Mininni approached and in a sporty outfit complete with a top hat, he welcomed everyone to this night of burlesque, vaudeville, Broadway and joy. The idea of Kimberly LaRue staging an adult-themed extravaganza here has been on the backburner for over five years. Follies Were Born. Kim dates back to choreographing “A Chorus Line” for Act2PV first production in 2014.
Immediately, the costumes took center stage. The colors, fabrics, feathers and boas were bright and exciting to all viewers. Cast members flowed out singing and dancing to La Cage aux Folles “We Are What We Are”/”I Am What I Am”.
Kimberly has an extensive background in choreography in musical theater throughout New York. For these Follies, she presents wonderful singers, flamboyant feathered showgirls and sleek agile male dancers, all of whom are seen in varying amounts of clothing. There are plentiful stripping and an underlining current of comedy, much of it ‘old-style’.
A cast of 25 includes some leads and many skillfully rehearsed dancers. Cate Valcic is seen and heard in two other ongoing Act2PV shows where she shows her immense talents and abilities. Jesse Rose Roberts returns after a stint as publicity director here, playing a fine Miss Mae Western, spouting off some of her classic early movie lines, all written by her. Alex McLauchlan, a delightful handsome man of an astounding voice, gives solos with sheer confidence. Hal Bonta possesses a voice for the entertainment field. He soars without missing a note and may send shivers down your spine. Steven Retchless is tall, slender and agile having competed in pole dancing competitions. He easily slides from male to female with a kick of his ultra-high heels. Aquarius Funkk, a theatrical multi-talent happy to be a part of this illustrious cast. Danny Mininni needs no introduction and he opened the show ad closed it. He has a stage background and delivers his lines with certainty whether male or female. Eli Estrada and Miana Melendez are the cuties adored by all theatergoers for broad smile, style and singing.
“Nature Boy”, a strange, enchanted boy was a lovely song evoking quizzical minds. “Meet Me ‘Round The Corner [in a half an hour]” is considered one of the best burlesque sketches. The staging is delightful between the flirting lady and the hapless guy who likes what he sees. A sexy song, seductive and cool, was “Welcome To Burlesque”. “Nothing’s what it seems.” Is what is being presented real or merely imagined? Secretly dancing in a cabaret, the lady pleads “Don’t Tell Mama”: “Don’t reveal my indiscretion. Give a working girl a chance.”
“Coming Back as a Man” was an event in itself. A young beauty slowly strips off each piece of clothing and adding another portion until the lady becomes a man. The smooth sliding from stage parts holding the materials is well-done and teasing in its effect. “Greatest Show” beckons everyone to the circus of The Greatest Showman. The mood remained in the borderline between fantasy or reality. The strong driving dance beat sent ripples of excitement through the crowd. Much applause followed.
Liza Minnelli [Steven] appeared out of “Cabaret” singing the title tune. She summoned us to drop everything and join the fun on stage: “Come hear the band.. Come blow your horn. Start celebrating.” Appropos for Puerto Vallarta, a Latin segment with much hilarity was created by Jesse including “Habanera”, “Bésame Mucho” “Too Much Tequila”, “Cerveza Boys” and ample bold body moves.
What Follies show could be complete without Offenbach’s “Can-Can”? Wide skirts were fluffed and swung revealing the long slender legs of the girls. This risque dance originated at The Moulin Rouge in Paris 1880s. The dancers were energetic and superbly choreographed. Near the finale, a grand dame appeared with a tight bright red gown. Hortense [Whoretencia] chatted with the audience in vaudevillian fashion: Two men were watching her and one asked, “Is that Hortense?” He was answered, “No, she looks pretty relaxed!”
The astounding evening of fantasia ended with a reprise of “We Are What We Are” mashing into “I Am What I Am” which served as an excellent theme for what had just been observed and enjoyed. The full cast of twenty-five took individual turns for center stage applause. The standing ovation sent a direct message to all involved that this was a splendid production and everyone should stand proud.
The show is produced by Act II Entertainment. Conception, Staging, Directing and Choreography by Kimberly LeRue,with special thanks to Ana Vasquez Rodriguez. Costumes by Federico Nuñez Murias.
Act II Entertainment – Stages – Seventh Season Insurgentes 300 [corner of Basilio Badillo and Insurgentes], second floor 322-222-1512
Show info and tickets available online at www.act2pv.com
The box office is open from 10 am – 10 pm. E-mail: [email protected]