The One & Only
Is In Havana, Cuba!
Read all about it in,
Tropicana Nights: The Life and Times of
the Legendary Cuban Nightclub
by Rosa Lowinger & Ofelia Fox
Available at Amazon.com & Other Fine Book Stores.
The Tropicana isn’t just a nightclub, it’s a showcase for Cuban music and dance that continues to spread Cuban culture internationally to this day.
Tropicana opened in 1939 at Villa Mina, a six-acre suburban Havana estate with lush tropical gardens. It's still going strong, after a number of setbacks, not the least of which was Fidel Castro's squelching of nightlife and other social outlets. After Martin Fox took over in 1950, choreographer Roderico "Rodney" Neyra staged spectacular shows in the club's newly constructed Arcos de Cristal, parabolic concrete arches and glass walls soaring over an indoor stage. Headliners included Josephine Baker, Nat King Cole, Celia Cruz, Xavier Cugat and Carmen Miranda; and celebrity visitors ranged from Brando and Durante to Hemingway and Piaf. Tracing the evolution of this "paradise under the stars" against the backdrop of Cuban culture, politics in pre-Castro Cuba and mob connections, journalist Lowinger (Latina) interweaves the personal stories of Fox and his widow, playwright-teacher Ofelia Fox, who recalls, "It was a life set to music. What could be better?" The superb talents of Cuban music's Golden Age were resurrected in the Oscar-nominated film Buena Vista Social Club (1998), but Lowinger's scintillating chronicle offers an overview—not found in that film—of the florid, splashy era when "Cuba was an endless party, and Tropicana was its epicenter."
- Publishers Weekly
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