Just in from Vancouver, Bonnie hit the historic Cine Rios theater in Rosarito on the crest of a scorching heat wave, and promptly appeared on stage in the persona of Liza Minelli in Cabaret, thus setting the tone for a steamy performance. Preceded by her reputation from last year’s one-woman show, DIVAS, Bonnie was back by popular demand, as evidenced by the number of fans in the audience.
Stepping out of character for the first of her many interactions with the public, Bonnie expressed her pleasure at being back, although I think at that particular moment life felt more like a steam bath than it did a cabaret. But, to quote her, “This is where the magic happens… there is an amazing exchange of energy between the performer and the audience.” While fanning themselves, the crowd gave her life.
With the help of our own Sylvia Dombrosky acting as wardrobe mistress, Bonnie morphed into nineteen more characters from 70 years of Broadway musicals. Sporting an astounding array of costumes ranging from outlandish gowns with boas to the skimpiest of covers, each outfit capturing the essence and period of the song, she acted the heck out of each impersonation with blazing force. The program promised and delivered a surprise in the massive theatrical presence of Mae West in full regalia swaying on and off stage, bewitching her fans with sexual double entendre. With the audience in the palm of her hand, her boy friend Joe as sound engineer, her mother, Rose, in the next to last row, Bonnie had turned this show into a family affair.
Mentioning favorites is not easy. I enjoyed it all. Not immune to the gripping quality of Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, even if I have heard it a hundred times, nor to the hauntingly plaintive On my Own of Les Miserables, I cannot help but favor those songs I feel reflect a character trait of Bonnie’s: being good at being bad, like Whatever Lola Wants, Not Getting Married, Let’s Misbehave and Anything Goes.
Would it come as a shock to hear that after her Rosarito stint, Bonnie and her entourage went to Vegas where she crashed CHER’s show at MGM, creating a stir as she impersonated the star?
Bonnie, Rosarito loved your talent and spirited personality. We hope you’ll make this a yearly event.