La Villa Open Mic Night
One of the things that makes me sort of sad is when someone has a talent and doesn't use it. If you have a beautiful singing voice, you should sing. At church, in a chorale, Christmas caroling, or on stage. If you can dance well: do it. Tango lessons are currently being offered in Boquete, take them. Teach your feet and torso the dance of seduction. Are you an artist or photographer? Show your work. What's that from the Bible about hiding your light under a bushel?
This past Saturday, February13th, my husband and I went to La Villa coffee shop located in the BCP hexagon room. It was magical because there were all sorts of people sharing their talent. If there was any light being hidden, I didn't know about it. All I saw and heard was talent everywhere. When we walked in, Vicki Whittle was singing Stormy Monday. Sultry and sweet. Thanks for sharing Vicki! That's some nice light you got going!
Others who sang were Rhody Edwards, McKayla Chase, Kent McNaughton, Lucy Farrell de Rios, Lucy's dad, Susy Brymer (who should have danced too- damn that woman can move), Dave Ross and Sandi Stephens. Rhody was the emcee and accompanied the vocalists on keyboard. An acoustic guitar was available for anyone who knew how to play.
I knew most of the songs: Spooky, What a Wonderful World, You've Got a Friend, You Don't Know Me, Always on My Mind, Lay Lady Lay, It's Too Late, and lots more classics and old favorites.
The audience was lovely. They clapped, whistled and called out the performers' names as they finished. As Vicki told me "Saturday was good fun, despite initially still suffering nerves. I think La Villa is a much more comfortable space for people who would like to join in with open mic. It's a lot more relaxed."
I got up and did a one person improv skit. A big step for me but as the audience called things out to me, I became less nervous. The more relaxed I was, the funnier I became (as gauged by laughter.) I had a really good time.
La Villa is a coffee shop owned by Lucy and Abel Rio, so coffee and espresso based drinks are deliciously rendered, plus lots of organic teas and smoothies. A limited bar of liqueurs, wine and beer are also served. Their regular hours are: Tuesday (for the morning market) till mid-afternoon; Wednesday-Sunday 8-8
Also served at La Villa are "Bocadillo" plates-- tapas for sharing. Gourmet bruschetta featured mild goat cheese, Prosciutto, and/or grilled vegetables and topped with sunflower sprouts and blackened red peppers. I eyed the salads but my husband and I ended up with bruschetta, which was fresh and tasty. La Villa will begin to start serving a "special meal" on Saturdays for those with a heartier appetite.
What is Lucy's vision for Open Stage night? "My ideal night would be some singer/songwriter acts, some improv, some 'sing along' numbers where the audience can all get up and do a song together, some original poetry, some duets/trios with a few rehearsed numbers, some stand up comedy, and at least one surprise! In a perfect world, we would have some participants performing in English and some in Spanish, and I would love to get a wide range of ages performing as well.
"We at La Villa are passionate about a life less ordinary. For us, that means supporting all the interesting things that people do: watercolors, dominoes, bird watching, book club, yoga, shadow puppets, theater, photography, knitting, tai chi, and of course, music. So, we are also open to community members wishing to host any kind of cultural event here. Right now we have a completely full February schedule, but March still has some open days. For anyone wishing to host an event, we say YES!! come in and arrange a time. Free."
Open Stage is every Saturday, from 5:30-8 PM, but hours may be extended as it gets more popular. Rhody Edwards says that La Villa is "the place to be late Saturday afternoon for fun, drink, food, & entertainment." Come perform or be the audience. To get a slot in the lineup, call Rhody at 6678-9759. Or if you want, just show up; see how lovely the audience is, and add your name once you get your courage up. Or just show up, watch and listen. Be awed. Clap a lot.
Just show up.