I wanted to visit the Tropicana, well because, why not check out the historic and world renown cabaret while in Havana, Cuba. I was mesmerized by its history and had read wonderful things about the club's setting.
Having been developed on a six acre estate in 1939, it is known for its luxurious tropical gardens. Still at this location, the seating is under the stars, by the way, that certainly was an element drawing me in. Five stages of singers and dancers, performing Latin music under the stars with palm trees swaying in the breeze. So yes, I went for the club itself even more than for the entertainment.
Each group of tickets is accompanied by one bottle of Cuban rum per party, as well as one Coca Cola and one glass of champagne per person.
In its glory days, the Tropicana was flooded with stars such as Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Ernest Hemingway, Rock Hudson, Betty Grable, Ingrid Bergman, Marilyn Monroe, Jimmy Durante, Marlon Brando and on and on. Oh to have been there when Nat King Cole performed. It was an international draw for musicians, celebrities and yes, mobsters. This is how it played such an impactful role in spreading Cuban culture internationally. Now it is primarily frequented by well-heeled tourists and tour groups.
My husband was not too keen to go, saying he has seen it in the movies; my son, however, knowing a little of its history, was definitely interested. As a mom I did my homework, and it was cited as appropriate for teens.
And that was true. Yes, a few of the numbers had dancers in scantily clad costumes; however, none showed more skin than what you see at the beach, and the numbers were far from salacious in nature. Check out a few video clips below.
Unfortunately I didn't catch any footage or photos of our favorite performer who had such a beautiful voice. The acts were varied, numerous and fun. And as you can tell, the audience was pretty full.
The show ended a little quickly with a somewhat rushed finale because of rain beginning, but all in all it was a tremendously fun evening in a renown club. After the performers dispersed, it poured rain. The three of us sat sheltered down, enjoying the downpour and watching the crowd dispersed. A couple from the audience jumped up on the stage, in pouring rain, and had their own dance number. It was a delightful ending, definitely living la vida loca.