By the time you read this, Winnipegger Kami Desilets will have performed her brand-new, one-woman show “I’m Playing Me” twice at The Boutique Community Theatre and will continue to perform it every Monday evening for the foreseeable future. Kami and her husband, Craig, discovered Puerto Vallarta some seven years ago while doing some work for their next-door neighbors. “My husband is a builder,” she explains. “He was hired to do some work for our neighbors, who happened to own a condo in Puerto Vallarta. Rather than accept financial payment, we agreed on an exchange for several months’ rent at their property.” Like many before them, they fell in love with our destination and began making plans for a permanent move.
Back home, Kami had been a theatre creative, producing and acting in shows, so, upon their first trip, she was eager to explore the performing arts in town. “There wasn’t nearly as much going on like today,” she recalls. She eventually got around to visiting Nacho Daddy and The Boutique Community Theater. “The first time I saw The Boutique, it still had an open-air ceiling and palapa roof. Craig and I saw a few bands there, and were completely blown away once the space was renovated to become more of a performance space.”
Other vacation trips ensued, including a particular one in which, the day before returning home, she heard about a general audition at Act II Entertainment. Eventually, she ended up performing there for two solid seasons.
Having moved here full-time a year and a half ago, Kami is now in charge of overseeing live entertainment at Jim Lee’s new venue, Qulture, but has kept close ties with Boutique Theatre founders, Ken and Karrie Sebryk, resulting in her current one-woman show, which features an eclectic selection of stage songs she enjoys performing.
“The title of the show, ‘I’m Playing Me,’ comes from a song with the same name, composed by Jeff Bowen for his Broadway one-act musical [title of show],” she explains. Although her original idea was to select songs that reflected her own life and personality, her predilection for character songs took her in a different direction. “I tend to lean towards character pieces, songs that tell complete stories from start to finish.”
So, rather than telling her life story through the songs, Kami relies on props and costume changes to keep things lively, as she moves from one character to the next, interspersing a bit of trivia and personal tidbits from time to time. Stage music fans will be delighted to discover that many of her song choices do not come from commercial shows, and those not familiar with Broadway musicals will enjoy themselves with Kami’s ability to transform from song to song.
“I’m Playing Me,” starring Kami Desilets, is presented at The Boutique Community Theatre every Monday evening. Join us for dinner at 5 pm, and show at 6 pm!
Paco Ojeda is The Boutique Community Theatre’s Publicity Manager. A Puerto Vallarta-based freelance communicator, he writes news and stories for Puerto Vallarta’s English-speaking community at his blog, paco-ojeda.com.