November 2 was the Red Room Opening Night and Fifth Season Celebration at Act II Entertainment plus Danny's birthday party.
Us Two: Noemi Plasencia and Daniel Celis returned to the welcoming stage after impressing audiences this past summer season: "Spotlight on Vallarta" brought raves from any lucky person who caught their debut act here, although they have an established following in Bucerías, Nayarit. Locally, locally their name was unknown. We are so fortunate that Danny Mininni and staff secured this duo and convinced them to come, sight unseen, to this venue as the first act of that series. Paul Fracassi opened tonight's extra-special night singing especially for Danny "The Love Theme from The Godfather" after he pronounced Danny as the Godfather of Act II. "Speak Softly, Love" was first introduced as an instrumental theme in the 1972 film. We await the three themed shows Paul will present here this winter.
"Faith" and "Karma Kameleon" were fantastic starts to the evening, showing how their talents and personalities were so infectious. Daniel tends to sing the melody notes with Noemi singing a half note higher, resulting in a glorious harmonic sound. The guests gave back strong pleasurable vibes thus the duo remarked how the energy was absorbed into them and took the night into a higher realm. Nobody gets "Too Much Heaven" no more, but love overflowed the room with their luscious harmonies. Hearing this classic from The Bee Gees demonstrated that their long hours of rehearsals and performances have paid off in an immense way. Danny had called the fantastic duo "gorgeous" and "funny" and they cleverly split into Noemi's side of the people and Daniel's, encouraging a rivalry all in fun, then finally deciding that we were 'one'.
"California Dreamin'" was a highlight with Noemi blending above Danny's lead vocal. The band drove onward in the persistent beat. Country USA music was embraced with the lovely "I Need You Now" and although emphatic, it was dreamily seductive and Air Supply's "Lost in Love" continued in that 'needing love' vein. Us Two have assembled a terrific tight band: world-famous drummer Alex Shilinshy beating on a remarkable electronic drum kit called Roland Octapad, a small, single-unit system offering percussionists the equivalent of an entire electronic rig in one self-contained unit with the capabilities of an entire electronic collection; Eduardo Ozuna who played an exemplary bass guitar; Jorge Rodríguez stood out boldly as a guitarist who could play with the best of the best. His electric, yet soft and soothing strumming set the tone for many of the songs. The Moody Blues' "Nights in White Satin" was an example where the sound blending of the group led by Us Two projected a rich interpretation of this classic. The new white sateen tufted curtain backdrop shone brightly, shimmering with the color of the spotlights, from blue to red to green.
Opening Act II at Act II was a special song by Diana Valeria Villamonte from her new show and Danny's favorite song of all "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" Quickly, we realized she could sing it as good as Jennifer Holiday.
"I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" [Don't wanna close my eyes] is a surprising ballad from Aerosmith, bringing the beloved super duo back with their band, then reached upward with
"Ain't No Mountain High Enough". One of the most beautiful songs, from Christina Aguilera: "Say Something" brought both Noemi, cheekily dressed in a beaded romper and the audience to their knees in desperate last hope. They specialize in singing remastered arrangements of classic favorites. The songs they perform are well-known but characterized by their distinct interpretation and made their very own. Stirring the audience after the ballads came "Stand By Me" sending beating ripples through the air. It was stunning and very enjoyable. Their rendition of ABBA's "Dancing Queen made it loud and clear that this pair was a force this town would need to reckon with, becoming joyous. Happily, they are turning our entertainment world on its ears.
"Mrs. Robinson" was a bouncy fun trip through nostalgy. Arguably, the premier performance by Daniel was "House of the Rising Sun". His voice at its summit of purity and strength. One could feel how deep he was in the tune and lyrics. Jorge added his howling swooping guitar masterfully. The piece was phenomenal at the very least.
Noemi is from Guadalajara and studied at the Conservatory of Music at the University of Guadalajara. Daniel is from Cordoba, Veracruz and studied at the Conservatory of Music in Querétaro and joined bands throughout North America. She moved to Purto Vallarta in 2005 and spread the word of her vast singing talent. Both Noemi and Daniel sang in various bands throughout North America, absorbing various styles and musical genres. Then in 2012, Noemi and Daniel discovered each other and blended their incredible talents, creating "Us Two".
Absolutely no theater-goer should miss this presentation of young immense talent. What one hears and feels is a soft, sexy, easy beat with harmonious vocals, with shimmering and shaking added to the package. So many attendees felt the projection which showed in their bodies moving back and forth, front and back, showcasing the vibrancy of this terrific duo. Yes, Puerto Vallarta is brimming with fine talent and one needs to be present for one of their shows since they stand high and will do so for many years to come.
Before leaving the cheering and regretting crowd, we received "Piano Man", a masterpiece of Paul Simon, which was treated respectfully with the arrangement reflecting their musical approaches. Noemi played an impressive harmonica while Daniel strummed away backed by the guitarists and drummer.
Once again, a show of this caliber proves that the thriving community of Bahía de Banderas is a lure for talent from throughout Mexico, Latin America and many other homes of artists seeking appreciation of their bodies of work. We are blessed: the people who live here or visit regularly or for the first time. Us Two must not be missed.
Jim Lee using his Living Vallarta did the catering of luscious goodies of the Red Room's reopening and Danny's super-fun birthday party. Jim is accepting Holiday reservations.
You can catch Us Two in the Red Room of Act II Entertainment on November 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 28 and 30 at 7:30 pm; December 5, 12, 26 and 28 at 5:00 pm; December 7, 14, 19 and 21 at 7:30 pm; January 6 - March 31 every Saturday at 5:00 pm [dark January 13 and March 10]; February 5, 12, 19 and 26 at 7:30 pm.
Act II Entertainment complex is located at Insurgentes 300 (at the corner of Basilio Badillo & Insurgentes) 2nd Floor, Zona Romántica, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. Telephone is 322.222.1512. Show info and tickets available online at Act II PV. Box Office opened daily at 11:00 am on show days with a 2nd Box Office location across the street from Garbos on Pulpito street in the Romantic zone.
For more reviews of performances in Puerto Vallarta, visit More of Beck's Best: Theater, Cabaret and More!
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