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January/February 2017

By John Amodeo for Cabaret Scenes

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico isn’t your typical coastal resort destination. The palm tree-covered cliffs that drop down to sandy beaches, met by an endless blue sea, bely the disarmingly cosmopolitan city that lurks just behind the tropical paradise veneer. Set on Mexico’s west coast some six hundred miles north of Acapulco, most people, particularly American tourists, only encounter the town as a day excursion from their cruise ship. Those people might miss the extraordinarily varied and sophisticated food scene, the art galleries so numerous they comprise a whole district, and the warm and friendly inhabitants, whose mischievous sense of humor you can only get to know when you sit down and stay a while.

And then there is cabaret. Thanks to a discerning and robust expat population of Americans and Canadians and a talented and appreciative local population, cabaret thrives in Puerto Vallarta. For many years, The Palm Cabaret and The Red Room dominated Vallarta’s cabaret scene.

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But, as of this
publication, a new kid will have landed on the block. With a soft opening this past December and an official opening scheduled for mid-January, Incanto adds another cabaret option for eager locals and visitors alike.

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Within the vibrant Zona Romantica, surrounded by countless restaurants, clubs and shops, Incanto opens amidst an existing buzz. It even sits delightfully within earshot of the musically rushing Rio Cuale. “Well, with the awesome
terraces over the river just two blocks from the beach, it will be a great space to enjoy a cocktail or small bites before and after a show downstairs in our theater or upstairs in the more lively piano bar,” offers Tracy Parks, the new club’s owner.

Tracy Parks

An Oklahoma native, who then went on to act, direct, produce and teach theater in Chicago, Parks also was booking manager for The Palm Cabaret for five years before opening Incanto. He became hooked on cabaret after a trip to New York City back in the ’90s. “I have always enjoyed the concept at The Duplex in New York,” recalled Parks, then relating it to what he would like to see at Incanto, “Creating that kind of experience, casual but a bit classy, with great entertainment is important to me. An element of surprise is key, too. Like at The Duplex, you never quite knew who’d be on the piano. I remember one Monday night the entire cast of The Lion King was in the audience (it was their one night off), taking turns singing for us.

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It was great fun.”

With a full bar, a light food menu (with an expanded menu planned for later in the spring), a 90-seat cabaret theater with a generous-size stage, fully equipped with sound and lights, an upstairs 70-seat piano bar, and Parks’ experienced team, many who came with him from The Palm, Incanto plans to make a splash in the Vallarta nightlife. Already, Parks has booked Spencer Day, Eric Michael Krop and, making his Puerto Vallarta debut, Michael McAssey for this opening season.

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He will also include a few locally produced shows, like Duende, a fusion of Latin, jazz and gypsy music, as well as artists like Miss Hope Springs and La Voix from London.

“Incanto” is Italian for “enchanted,” but “canto” in Italian also means “singing,” a play on words Parks claims is intentional. “It is a fun word that conjures up just the right ideas and images.”

Editor’s Note:
Incanto is located at Calle Insurgentes 109, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco 48300 Mexico. For more information, visit their Facebook page,, or their website,

John Amodeo

John Amodeo has been a contributing writer to Cabaret Scenes since 1998, has written cabaret articles for, was a cabaret journalist for Bay Windows (1999-2005), and then for Edge Publications (2005-present).  John has been producer, assistant producer, and host for several Boston-area cabaret galas over the past 25 years, and produced Brian De Lorenzo’s MACC-nominated recording “Found Treasures.” His liner notes grace several cabaret CDs. John holds degrees in landscape architecture from Cornell and Harvard Universities, and has been practicing landscape architecture in Boston for 35 years, where he is a partner in his firm. John was a founding member of the Boston Association of Cabaret Artists (BACA), and served as BACA Vice President for 2 terms. He is happily married to his favorite cabaret artist Brian De Lorenzo.