August 29, 2009
Charo was everyone’s favorite guest on the Love Boat, wasn’t she? Her Cuchi!! Cuchi!!, her thick, Spanish accent, and adorable humor, and well, I suppose those huge boobs had something to do with it, too. I adored her when I was young and watched her on television every opportunity I had.
So, Charo is in town, you know. She’s playing a show that is ongoing at the Riviera. Now, your first thought is likely the same as mine, “CHARO?!”, and a chuckle. Then you think about it. You have to see her.
I drove by the sign one day when I was plowing down Paradise and made a mental note of “Charo, must see“. Then a few days later I saw an interview she did with Jason Feinberg on our local Fox TV station. Then I was in all kinds of a hurry to see her. She hasn’t changed a day. I mean, she looks exactly like she did when she was on Johnny Carson decades ago. How does she not age? And she is still so cute!
A ticket came my way and I was on it. This is open seating in a very small showroom inside, upstairs at the Riveria. So, this means you have to line up early or have to sit in the back. Not that sitting in the back is a bad thing, the showroom is so little that it doesn’t matter a whole lot.
Charo comes out and tell some of her jokes. She has a humor all her own. She talks a lot about what people say to her when they run into her walking around Las Vegas. One quote I remember was she said someone told her, “But I saw you 250 years ago!” I’m telling ya, this gorgeous woman has not aged a day. She insists she has not had any plastic surgery, and if she’s lying she has one talented surgeon.
There has always been a lot of talk about Charo’s actual age. Really, the talk should be about Charo’s actual name, which is Maria Rosario Pilar Martinez Molina Baeza, but who can remember all that to talk about it? Charo claims to have lied about her age in order to work in Las Vegas back in the 1970s. She was fifteen years old when she entered this country. Is it true? Well, if you look at her, you’d say it must be true. She looks as though she has not hit the age of sixty just yet.
Her show is a combination of many things. She does her cute little dance when she sings, which is more Charo wiggling than anything else with her trademark top of the head blond pony tail bopping away. She sings her disco songs. I can’t stand disco, but when it is Charo singing it, then I love disco.
Midway through her 1-½ hour show she needs to change her costume in order to play her classical guitar. So she introduces her dancers. These are real Flamenco dancers, none of that fake, lame stuff Michael Flatley was attempting and throwing in with an Irish Jig. This is serious dancing. And how awesome they are. For a little while there you forget all about Charo and are immersed in the loud Flamenco music and the rhythmic feet pounding louder and louder and skirts going flying and the colored lights swirling. Nice. Really, really nice.
Charo came back out and talked a little bit about her guitar playing. She is a very accomplished musician. Nobody would have ever heard of Charo if she didn’t have the schick. I do have vague memories of her playing guitar on television, but I, like most people, didn’t remember just how good she is. In Spain she trained under Andrés Segovia starting at age nine or so. And she still plays. It is a joy to listen and watch her play Classical and Flamenco.
She stops between songs to talk and spread a little more of her naughty humor. She did get down from the stage and run around in the audience hugging people and having her photo taken with fans. If you get the VIP seats you can sit up front where you get to partake in that.
Charo is a high energy woman with an awful lot of talent. I’m so happy she is still performing and is in Las Vegas for hopefully the long term. I will always adore her. It doesn’t hurt that Flamenco was one of my favorite type of music as a kid. I tried to learn to play it on my guitar but all I got was sore fingers.
Her show is a must see!
“Charo in Concert: A Musical Sensation” will run Wednesday through Monday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are priced at $49.99, preferred seating at $59.99 and VIP seating package at $69.99, plus applicable taxes and handling fees. The public may purchase tickets at the Riviera Box Office, on-line at www.rivierahotel.com or toll free at 877-892-7469.