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Charo charms with poise, presence and fiery talent

Charo is one of but a few headliners whose name has adorned a Vegas marquee in one-word fashion only—Frank, Elvis, Wayne and Cher also come to mind. But to experience her high level of energy and enthusiasm live in person is to suggest there should be two names gracing the Riviera marquee, as in Charo-Charo. In other words, one name for each of what seems like two people co-habitating the petite frame of this entertainment firecracker from the Iberian Peninsula, who does double-time on stage.

She is a seasoned performer and in remarkably good shape, never loosing an ounce of her spunky energy during the 90 minute, fast-paced show. At a recent performance she even demonstrated her fitness and vigor with a half dozen, accurately executed jumping jacks in three-inch heels while smiling for an admiring crowd.

But she’s not just an athlete; she can also deliver a one-liner in self-deprecating fashion.

“I look like a cucaracha with diarrhea,” she says referring to the stringy, black dress she was wearing. And about her pouty lips she confirms, “No, I have not had lip augmentation–big mouths run in the family.” And then she lets the audience know in comedic style that English is not her first language…as if anyone over the last several decades has ever doubted her origins.

Nevertheless: musical offerings and dance artistry are the real cornerstones of her show.

Charo sings several selections and displays Dancing with the Stars rhythms even while descending from the stage into the audience for some face time with fans.

She introduces a supporting cast of five artists she refers to as “the best flamenco dancers in the world,” and with barely much room on stage for five people to stand, much less perform, the group breaks into passionate dance movements and up-tempo footwork that are the embodiment of the traditional dance from Spain’s Andalusia region. One dancer with amplified “tap shoes” takes center stage and performs what might be considered a world-class flamenco ballet; the audience hears every strike of the sole and heel on the floor through the house speakers. What a beautiful cascade of rhythmic steps.

But Charo provides the show’s climax. Dressed in a classy sequined tuxedo accentuating her nice shape, she demonstrates a studied command of classical and flamenco guitar learned as a young girl back home from maestro Andrés Segovia. Among others, she offers under muted color stage lighting a skillful rendition of Ravel’s Bolero on acoustic guitar; one that truly places her among the most accomplished guitarists.

Charo is an exciting performer who earns her applaues the old fashioned way–by providing electrifying entertainment without the support of smoke and mirrors, lasers or a fog machine–and who like many a lone headliner must carry their own show. And she thoroughly succeeds using her finely tuned talents, high energy, commanding charisma and physical stamina.

It’s nice to see her name in lights on a Vegas marquee once again; even if doesn’t read Charo-Charo.

By Jay Barber, Catalina Media Group

Filed under: Entertainment

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