De Alba on Adame 

By Entertainer David de Alba*

  Many years ago I had the good fortune to meet Marlo Adame when we both were working at the world famous Finocchio Club in San Francisco.David de Alba & Marlo Adame 
backstage at Finocchio's When I was asked by the management to emcee the show, I had the privilege on several occasions to introduce his act to the stage.   He was an excellent dancer with classical training and could dance on pointe (on the tips of his toes).   He would talk to me between shows about things like pineapple pies, which he could not find in the City.   Once I even shared some of his famous guacamole dip.   Ah, those days . . . We lost touch after leaving Finocchio's, but recently, thanks to a dear friend of ours and co-worker René de Carlo, and the Internet, we meet once again.   I decided to make up for lost times and conduct an interview on him.   Now all the way from the beautiful country of Mexico, I bring to you ladies and gentlemen of Cyberspace, this accomplished artist, Mr. Marlo Adame!  (NOTE: To accomodate the artist, the following interview is a literal translation from Spanish to English by David de Alba.)

Marlo as 
 Vikki Carr David:  My dear Marlo, let's start at the beginning before I met you.   Where were you born and were did you spend your youth?

Marlo:  I was born in Tamaulipas, Mexico, and spent my childhood there and in Texas, USA, until I was 15.

David:  Were you encouraged by your family to train as a classic dancer or was it your own calling?

Marlo:  Since I was a child I liked the arts and especially dance.   When I decided that I wanted to go to a school of dance my family was never opposed to it.   On the contrary, they always supported me and are very proud of the results.

David:  How did you hear about Finocchio's?   Did you have to audition with other dancers before you were hired?

Marlo:  I heard about Finocchio's when I was working in Hollywood, California, in a place called "La Plaza Saloon", and actually it still exists.   My friends were asking me why I didn't go to Finocchio's, because I had the talent to be there.   That's when I decided to go to San Francisco.   I spoke to Mrs. Eve Finocchio and she gave me the opportunity to do an audition, and as it happened, from that day on I started to work there.

Marlo at Finocchio's 
in the production number 
 " Parade of the Wooden Solders "

David:  Do you have any good or bad memories of the time when you were living in San Francisco, California, that you could share with us?

Marlo:  Yes, I do have one bad memory from working at Finocchio's.   You know David, in this profession there are some people who are very jealous, and on one occasion a co-worker of mine called the Immigration Dept. to have me deported from the United States.   But because I have always had my papers in order, they couldn't do anything to me.

Good memories, there are many.   Among them are the applause of such marvelous public that night after night enjoyed the revue.   Another of my good memories is that I met many nice people, especially coworkers like you David, and René De Carlo.

David:  After you left Finocchio's where did you go to continue your career, and was it hard to get new contracts?   Did you go through a theatrical agent?

Marlo:  Let me tell you, I came to Mexico for a vacation.   I never lost contact with my friends, and it was in Mexico City that I initiated my career.   When I went to visit them they offered me a job.   That's how I started my work in television.

Marlo 'Miss America for FIs' 
Hollywood, CA, early '80sDavid:  Marlo, what is this after all these years since our Finocchio days, you tell me now you won this huge trophy?

Marlo:  This contest [Miss America for FIs] took place in Hollywood, California.   I was working at Finocchio's then and asked Mrs. Eve Finocchio if I could go and she gave me permission.

There were 36 contestants from other states.   I had the honor to win First Runner Up and that is why I was given that gigantic trophy.   The contest was covered by the local newspaper, but I was not able to buy it.

David:  I heard that you worked in programs starring the famous actress Silvia Pinal.   In what capacity did you participate?   Was it intimidating working with a living legend from Mexico?

Marlo:  Yes, I worked with great stars like Silvia Pinal, Enrique Guzmán, Manuel "El Loco" Valdéz, and Julio Alemán, in the program "Siempre en Domingo" with Señor Raúl Velasco.   In all these programs I worked as a male dancer and choreographer, and was never intimidated by any of them.   On the contrary, they treated me very well.

David:  I understand from talking to you on the phone, that you are the head of your own theatrical company.   What is that all about?

Marlo:  Mira, in Mexico, just as in any other part of the world, there is a lot of talent and with my own credentials due to my Showbiz experience, I formed my own company, "Marlo Travesti Show", which was well accepted because it is a family oriented revue.

Marlo at Finocchio's, 
 "The Tarentella "

David:  Do all of the impersonators in your show perform "live" as we did when we were at Finocchio's or do they pantomime to records?

Marlo:  Let me say to you, in Mexico there is not a single place where one can sing "live."   That's what I believe made Finocchio's so special and famous.   Here all the impersonator shows are done by pantomiming to recordings.

David:  Being that you perform in Mexico, do the entertainers imitate famous Latin American lady Stars or do any of them do North American Stars also?

Marlo:  In my company, the same as in other places, these shows are international.

David:  What does your own act consist of now?   Do you sing as well as dance, and do you do any impersonations?

Marlo:  Actually I am working in a place called "Stardust" in Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán.   I am the Master of Cerimonies and also do imitations like Vikki Carr, Linda Ronstad, Chelo Silva, and Eydie Gorme, among others.

David:  Do you have someone to handle your lights and sound?   As you may remember, at Finocchio's, the emcee had to do it all.

Marlo:  Here in all of these revues there is a person in charge of lighting and another for sound.   For me it would be impossible [to do it all] since I am the artistic director, and am responsible that everything comes out the best possible in the end.

Marlo on stage 
 in his Travesti Show, Mexico

David:  How do you compare the audiences you are performing for in Mexico to the tourists that you and I played to when we were at Finocchio's?

Marlo:  The Mexican audience is very good, especially when they see talent and a good revue.   Where I am working now, there are many foreign tourists, and I can communicate with them in English, and they have a good time.   The public likes me.

David:  Do you intend to book your revue outside of Mexico, let's say here in the USA, or do you prefer working close to home?

Marlo:  The opportunity has never arrived to take my show to other countries.   And yes David, I would like get a contract in another country, since it is always nice for the public to see something different.

David:  You have performed on television in many popular shows and also on the live stage.   Which of those two mediums do you prefer, and why?

Marlo:  As you know, I have worked in many important television shows.   My satisfaction is that millions of people saw those programs, but I much prefer to work "live."   Because you are in direct contact with the people, the warmth can be felt and the applause is enjoyed more.

David:  When you are not performing on stage, do you have a favorite hobby or activity, and do you have a "day job"?

Marlo:  Of course I do have a hobby.   When I have time I like to write songs.   I have already about 110 songs, 50 with music and the rest without.   At the moment all of them are unpublished, but I hope that soon someone will sing some of them.

David:  Are there any theatrical dreams you would like to achieve in this new millenium?

Marlo:  My dream for this millenium . . . let me tell you David, I have many.   I will tell you the most important ones: first, lots of health, second, that someone will sing some of my songs, and third, that I will continue to work as well as I have up to now.

David:  If you could relive a moment from the best times of your life, what would that be?

Marlo:  I would like to regress time and relive the nights when I danced in the "Herodoto Aticus Theatre" in Athens, Greece.

David & Marlo 
 Oct. 2000 David, I want you to know that it is an honour for me to have an artist friend like you, and having worked together, you always had a smile for everyone.   You showed your friendliness, never any jealousy toward anyone.   Why should you . . . you had a lot of applause from the audience.   Another thing I like about you is that you always tried to help your co-workers.   These things make a human being like you seem larger than life.     Marlo Adame

You can e-mail Marlo c/o Carlos Candiani at

* Cuban/American entertainer David de Alba (also known as "Heri, Hairstylist of the Stars") is known for his live singing impressions as a concert artist since 1965.   He has worked at the world famous Finocchio Club of San Francisco (USA) for many years.   Visit the award winning Web Site "David de Alba’s Theatrical Arts & Tributes" at and you can e-mail him c/o