Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - On Saturday, July 22, Act II welcomed the amazing musical duo, "Us Two," to The Red Room Stage for a Summer preview of their upcoming Winter show, 'New Voices, Old Beats,' which opened to a packed house and very enthusiastic crowd.
Although new to Act II, UsTwo is definitely NOT new to the music scene. The beautiful Noemi Plasencia is from Guadalajara and studied at the Conservatory of Music at the University of Guadalajara. Daniel Celis is from Cordoba, Veracruz and studied at the Conservatory of Music in Querétaro. Both Noemi and Daniel sang in various bands around Mexico, but in 2012, Noemi and Daniel discovered each other and melded their incredible talents, creating an amazing chemistry together.
Rumor had gotten around that this musical duo was not to be missed, and Danny and Noemi certainly proved that rumor to be true. Glowing reviews of Us Two immediately began pouring in, like this one that local entertainment writer, Gary Beck, posted to his Puerto Vallarta Shows Facebook page, More of Beck's Best: Theater, Cabaret and More!
Although they have only two more shows in this sneak preview run, Danny announced causing our cheering that Us Two would return for the upcoming fall/winter season here on Act II's stage. When dates are announced, secure your seats quickly because you can be assured the room will fill appropriately quickly and often. No theater-goer should miss this presentation of young immense talent.
What one hears and feels is a soft, sexy, easy beat with harmonious vocals, shimmering and shaking added to the package. So many attendees felt the projection which showed in their bodies moving back and forth, front and back, absorbing the vibrancy of this terrific duo.
Yes, Puerto Vallarta is brimming with fine talent but one needs to be present for one of their shows since they stand high and will do so for many years to come. Danny called them "gorgeous" and "funny" and from then on the two sparred as to who was which one. Settle this now: each is both those delightful adjectives.
A rousing yet sweet "Mrs. Robinson" initiated our trip along their stardom route right before our eyes and ears. Noemi Plasencia studied at the Universidad of Guadalajara's Conservatory of Music and performed with many musical show bands. She moved to Puerto Vallarta in 2005 continuing her singing career.
Daniel Celis hails from Cordoba, Veracruz. His artistic interests started quite early. He studied at the Conservatory of Music in Querétaro, played in bands throughout North America, leading him into various musical genres. His life's course led to Puerto Vallarta in 2012 and he joined with Noemi in forming this new duo, Us Two.
A third member was the world-famous drummer Alex Shilinshy who beat on a remarkable electronic drum kit called Roland Octapad, a small, single-unit system offering percussionists the equivalent of an entire electronic rig in one self-contained unit with the capabilities of an entire electronic collection.
"Ain't No Sunshine" came across as a silky, slinky and gliding version which enriched the listeners to another sound of this tune. The lovely "Too Much Heaven" from The Bee Gees was styled exactly to their singular sound. Noemi layers her vocals with high notes which nearly stun the audience. "Stand by Me" sent beating waves through the air. It was stunning and very enjoyable.
"I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" [Don't wanna close my eyes] is a surprising ballad from Aerosmith. Their strong voices sprung everyone higher with that wondrous melody. It came out loud and clear that this pair was a force this town would need to reckon with, becoming joyous. Happily, they are turning our entertainment world on its ears.
A lively rendition of "Hit The Road Jack" took Ray Charles' riding the exile tracks away from his girl. Swinging back and forth, emphatic in the lyrics and frustrating movements. Daniel would not have traveled away... and who would want him to?
A sultry, seductively enticing "Black Velvet" made some shiver in its beauty. Wham's "Careless Whisper" brought us back to earth, smiling at this intense harmonic display.
"Piano Man," a masterpiece of Paul Simon, was treated respectfully with their arrangement reflecting their musical approaches. Noemi played an impressive harmonica while Daniel strummed away, singing boldly. "California Dreaming" saluted the many listeners in the crowd who hailed from this state. Noemi sang with clarity the part of Mama Cass. It was a delectable rendition, followed by a strong lusty "Bésame Mucho," which at this show was sung lovingly and with swirling vocals.
The Beatles would be pleased with Us Two taking their classic "I've Just Seen a Face" and making it a love ballad, emphasizing the chorus word "Falling." One more Spanish language song was offered, "Fuiste tú," a marvelous composition of Ricardo Arjona who recorded it with Gaby Moreno. A beautiful rendition of ABBA's "Dancing Queen" was so remarkable in their covering classic hits and enveloping them into their beings.
"Lost in Love" ended the night, bursting with succinct harmony, thrilling everyone in attendance. But "Otra" brought them back for a salute to John Lennon which would have made him proud, "[Just Like] Starting Over."
Once again, it proves that the thriving community of Bahía de Banderas is a lure for talent from throughout Mexico, Latin America and many other homes of artists seeking appreciation of their bodies of work. The lucky ones are the people who live or visit here. - Gary Beck
If you missed the Act II debut of UsTwo, you have two more chances to see them this Summer: on Saturday, July 29th and again on Saturday, August 12th. Both shows will be at 7:30 pm in The Red Room.
Tickets to all shows can be purchased online at actiientertainment.com, or at the box office, which opens at 4 pm on show days. Don't have a credit card? Now you can buy your tickets through Cupocity at OXXO!The Act II Entertainment STAGES complex is located on the corner of Insurgentes and Basilio Badillo on the South side of Puerto Vallarta. For more information, call (322) 222-1512, or follow Act II on Facebook. Click HERE to see what else is playing at Act II STAGES.