Kami Desilets Opens One-Woman Show

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.

Three Reasons That Make The Boutique Theatre Unique

Over the past decade, Puerto Vallarta’s Emiliano Zapata neighborhood has blossomed into a live entertainment mecca for visitors and locals that enjoy theatre, comedy, music and much more. While many bars and restaurants feature live entertainment, there are only four venues south of the Rio Cuale that feature theatre-like seating: The Palm, Incanto, Act II Entertainment and The Boutique Community Theatre. Each of these venues continues to carve its own personality, and many visiting performers can be frequently spotted attending performances in venues other than their own. But what makes us special? Here are three reasons:

By Locals, For Locals

As its name states, The Boutique is a community theatre, and has remained so since it was founded over a decade ago by Carrie and Ken Sebryk. This means that performance opportunities are granted to Puerto Vallarta permanent and seasonal residents.

Learning Opportunities Abound

The Boutique hopes to enhance the quality of life of local residents by providing learning opportunities, both on and off stage, often helping members of the community to explore artistic capabilities within themselves they never had the opportunity to explore before. Whenever possible, The Boutique relies on members of the professional performing arts community (visitors or locals) who look to inspire others with their knowledge and past experience.

Cultural Events, Too

For those in our community that are hungry for some “brain food,” The Boutique schedules lecture series in the morning and early evening hours, in addition to theatre, comedy and music performances. For example, our Connect With Mexico Thursday morning series encourages English-speaking locals to embrace Mexico and its customs in conversations moderated by bilingual political analyst Carlos Navarro. Local musicologist Paco Ojeda presents monthly music appreciation lectures on diverse topics, along with weekly film screenings with insightful remarks enhance the viewing experience.

As we begin to set the stage—no pun intended—to announce a call for submissions for our 2019-2020 season (yes, we know it’s only January, but we want to raise our own bar, too!) we are excited to remind ourselves and others of our mission, and to improve on our own guidelines and procedures to provide our community with a more fulfilling experience each day.

We celebrate that The Palm, Incanto and Act II Entertainment have endeavored to raise their own bar by continuously bringing to Puerto Vallarta increasingly renowned performers, for the benefit of our destination. That said, we are thrilled to be the only venue south of the Rio Cuale that is 100 percent dedicated to creating performance and backstage opportunities by locals, for locals and visitors that may have had a close experience with community theatres elsewhere. If you think you are ready to reach beyond your comfort zone and try some new skills, or perhaps you have valuable experience you would like to share with our community, we would love to hear from you!

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.

Mikki Prost Takes a Break From Patsy Cline, Premieres Billie Holiday Tribute Show

Local performer Mikki Prost has been keeping American country music singer Patsy Cline’s legacy alive through tribute shows for close to a decade. Ready for new challenges, Mikki has been devoting all her time and energy over the past few months to develop a new tribute show, The Incomparable Lady Day—Billie Holiday, The Musician, opening at The Boutique Community Theatre on Tuesday, January 8.

Mikki first discovered Cline’s music at the now-defunct Santa Barbara Theater. “I grew up knowing some of her more popular, or crossover hits, but didn’t come across her complete body of work until much later in life,” she is quick to confess.

She eventually developed her own show with a Tribute to Patsy Cline, presented at Qué Pasa on a monthly basis to much success. Subsequent involvement with a local production of Supreme Dream (featuring music by The Supremes) connected her with Good Morning, Heartache, a song recorded by Holiday in 1942 and subsequently revived by Diana Ross in the 1972 biopic, Lady Sings the Blues. “The song kept tapping at the back of my head,” she recalls. Subsequently, she developed Shades of the Blues, a tribute to blues singers. “My performances do not feature just song after song,” she affirms. “The audience gets the whole package. They get to enjoy the music, but they also get to learn about the singers and the songs they used to sing.”

A member of the Boutique Theatre family since 2010, Mikki has found ways to keep her Patsy Cline tributes fresh, changing repertoire, and even show format. Last year she introduced the “jukebox” concept in which audiences were provided with a song list so they could custom-pick the show they wanted to enjoy. “Every performance was completely different from the one before,” she recalls.

It would seem that Good Morning, Heartache, tapped at the back of her head enough to develop her upcoming tribute to Lady Day, as Billy Holiday was nicknamed by her friend and musical partner, Lester Young. She will be accompanied onstage by José Lupe on lead guitar and Chas Diaz on bass and on piano for a couple of songs.
The Incomparable Lady Day—Billie Holiday, The Musician plays every Tuesday in January and February, except for February 26, at 6 pm at The Boutique Community Theatre.

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.