Yesterday was our wedding anniversary 44 years so Jim and I went out for the evening. Originally, we were just going to have a nice meal but then I heard that Vivo Treasure Island had a new show as well as an internationally renowned chef so I contacted the venue to see if there was any availability. It turned out that the new show was VERY, VERY new, only their second performance.
We arrived just after 7.00 for a 7.30 start thinking we would have difficulty parking but despite Vivo having lots of work done including a new car park we found a spot immediately. We received a warm welcome from the cast, Bambi, Johnny and Barry Pugh then Barry Sparkle escorted us to the bar for a pre-show drink. There were, like us, quite a few people who were early. This is because the previous shows used to start at 7.00 and word hadn´t spread to everyone who had booked that the format had changed.
After souvenir photos we headed inside to a quite different venue from the one we had previously known. Whilst it had always been tasteful, the new layout meant it was rather classy and the atmosphere intimate, especially as a talented guy playing a sexy sax welcomed us. We learnt his name was Rene, but think Rene Sandoval and his rendition of The Way You Look Tonight rather than René Artois and Allo Allo.
Our waitress Megan introduced herself and took drinks orders, which she regularly renewed throughout the evening and once everyone was seated, we were officially welcomed by Marc Craig and Pip Brown who following a couple of Rat Pack and Michael Bublé numbers told us to tuck into our food that was just arriving.
Wow! Scottish smoked salmon and prawn timbale looked very posh and tasted divine. Then wild mushroom soup – Jim said do I like that? No, was my reply but don´t worry I do. Some chance! It was so good I had to stop myself from picking up the soup bowl and licking it clean. I can´t remember tasting any soup so good and Jim’s comment, “I thought you said it wasn´t my thing I loved it.” The main course was Ballotine of Chicken, this was a very large chicken breast stuffed with cream cheese and jambon farci wrapped in ham and served with a fabulous side dish of creamy dauphinoise potatoes and broccoli. If I have one criticism, which also goes for Jim the portion could have been smaller but that is only our opinion, I am sure there are those who no matter how full they are love to see their plate piled high. However, I hate to waste such delicious food and rather than do that I asked Megan for some foil and brought home some chicken for my girls, which they enjoyed for breakfast. Our final course was either ice cream or profiteroles. Justly deserved compliments must go to the chef and his assistants who produced such excellent food in such a tiny kitchen.
Throughout the meal we were entertained by Heather who reminiscent of torch singers such as Ella Fitzgerald and Peggy Lee delivered a collection of atmospheric, chansons. Fluid, assured and with an underlying catch of vulnerability her voice is the perfect vehicle for a journey that began with the upbeat, “Guy from Ipanema” before things grew contemplative with “Fever” and “Misty”. I forgot I was in Tenerife and was transported to smoky jazz and supper clubs – picture Ronnie Scott’s in the late 60s. If the show had ended there I would have been more than happy, it had been a fantastic evening, however there was more to come.
Part two was party time, magic, dance, song and pure madness. I won’t say too much about it as you should really go and enjoy the whole spectrum of what this young talented troupe can do – be it enough to say they are total professionals and put their hearts and souls into each number.
I used to think that John Sharples was the glue in Vivo’s Dinner shows and really didn´t know what to expect when I learnt that he was leaving the island. I wish John well in whatever he has decided his next venture will be however full credit must also go to Barry Pugh who having been one half of a double act for so long has admirably and excellently adapted to ensure the humour continues. Marc Craig and the rest of cast have ably stepped up to the plate and gone from strength to strength, giving a show that satisfies all tastes whether you are young or old.
When the show finally closed Barry Sparkle ensured everyone had had a great evening. I have said before he should give all PRs lessons on how to make the customer feel important, however I think he must also have been having lessons from the Ritz or the Savoy, he is so smooth he is the perfect host.