Linda La Blanche Reviews David de Alba's
"Retrospective Interview with Two Finocchio Club Legends"

INTRODUCTION:   My theatrical background as both a concert pianist and music reviewer not only accounts for my travels throughout the world, but has also enabled me to make the acquaintance and friendship of many of the most famous female illusionists of the 20th Century over the forty years-plus of my career.   In such time span, I encountered many privileged performers who had beauty, charisma and talent galore.   These people truly captured the essence of the feminine mystique, a fact that undoubtedly increased the popularity of female impersonation during the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.   However, as the world around us is changing, so is the concept of female impersonation, and very little resemblance of its “Golden Age” is left of that fine art today.   Fortunately, there is still a handful of wonderful performers who truly honor this art form and strive to keep it alive.

Linda La Blanche

David’s de Alba’s latest “Retrospective Interview with Two Finocchio Club Legends” played to a packed house last week, (8/21/2011) at The Onyx Theater in Las Vegas.   Directed and produced by David himself, the show is both an amusing and nostalgic journey into the past of female impersonation history.   It’s full of anecdotes, short video clips, and live singing by both “Finocchio Legends” David and Lavern Cummings.   The interview questions, asked by David de Alba to Lavern and himself, relate to their early beginnings and development of their careers throughout the years.   To avoid the monotony interviews usually ensue at times, David peppers the mood by adding his own brand of humorous comments at the appropriate moments.   Furthermore, there are a couple of times he adlibs when technical errors surprise them on the stage.

Older fans of female impersonators will be delighted to see Lavern Cummings, who, starting with the Jewel Box Revue and eventually settling down at Finocchio Club, reached the top rung of the entertainment ladder with his soprano voice.   Having lost this gift and now retired, he delivers a lovely song singing live, one half as a male, and the other half utilizing a recording of his female voice, while a photo of himself as a female of yesteryear on the stage gets the spotlight.   Quite effective, original and touching!

David de Alba shows his ability as a bilingual singer by singing in Spanish and English.   He recreates his Finocchio days by infusing drama and emotion to his performance, and demonstrates that he still has a lot of spunk and life to offer for a long time.   This new effort by David de Alba is absolute proof of his dedication to keep the art of female impersonation alive and ensures that it becomes part of the history of the LGBT movement.   Overall, this show offers a little of everything and will be particularly irresistible to female impersonation lovers.

Comments from fans:

Carollyn Faith Olson
Post Mistress and Proud Member of the Vanity Club (#435)
Founder of the Mature Woman Group

I loved how you combined the old films with the current dialogue.   You looked like a teenager in the one film at the hair salon...and I got to see your mother too.   What great memories.   It's too bad the show could not have run for another 30 minutes, but as it was, you and Paul were sensational.   You can both still perform.

Mary Lou Head, Las Vegas, NV

Oh, how I enjoyed your interview show, David.   I truly don't know what I expected, but this show was over the top!   And what a range of emotion, from exhilaration as you spoke about your travels, melancholy as you talked about days gone by at Finnochios to painful sadness as you spoke of your dear mother.   And we all learned that you are somewhat of a comedian!   Fabulous show!   I look forward to the next one that I get to enjoy!

Linda La Blanche Reviews David de Alba's
"Backstage Finocchio Memoirs"

In its second run, David de Alba’s “Finocchio Club Backstage Memoirs” played on Sunday, September 18th at the Onyx Theater in Las Vegas.   Mr. de Alba has produced and directed this new one-man musical show featuring the songs that made him famous as one of the world known famous Finocchio’s featured attractions.   Originally, the show included his music and funny backstage anecdotes Mr. de Alba told the audience, aided by a colorful collage comprising photographs of the entertainers of that time.   It also included film clips from the club and 8mm film with actual live performances of the Finocchio cast.

Additionally, the show has now been enhanced by the addition of two of the last surviving members of the Finnochio cast with a video clip featuring Keny Stewart (a ventriloquist) and his life-size doll Sylvia, as well as a short clip of Lavern Cummings, who reached the top rung of the entertainment ladder with his soprano voice.   For those who actually attended any of the shows at Finocchio, it was possible to feel they had been taken back in time.   Throughout the show, Mr. de Alba present himself as Boy-Chic, one of the three personae he impersonates on stage, and through several gorgeous outfit changes, he delivers songs of yesteryear in English and in Spanish in his own flawless, inimitable and delightful voice.   To sum up David de Alba’s performance: a boundless source of energy, charisma, talent and a golden voice. Magnificent!   David’s closing act dealt a coup de grâce to the show with a fantastic interpretation of Liza Minnelli’s “New York, New York”, and other great songs. A really outstanding cabaret impression!

This new show creation demonstrates David’s dedication to his art and thoughtful respect to the memory of his fellow performers. The lovely songs, the beautiful costumes, the trip to memory lane through the videos and David’s emotion and ingratiating personality, offer the perfect ingredients for a fun-filled afternoon at the theater.

Comments from fans:

Michelle Popkov, Washington, DC A few of my friends who had grown up in San Francisco told me about their experiences at The Finochio's club.   It was thus a great experience for me to see David de Alba's nostalgic view of the show he used to do when he revived the Finochio program at Las Vegas' Onyx theater.   Some of the most poignent moments were David's song about being true to yourself.   Shouldn't we all be that way? Our anxieties and phobias hold us back so often, and yet of we were as true to ourselves and David is, we would be just so much better!   David made a great connection with all of us when he did that song.   David's Liza Minelli impersonation was the greatest!   He showed a great musical range in covering "Cabaret" and "New York! New York!".   He made us all believe that was Liza right there in front of us.   David's interaction with the audience was very powerful and very sweet!   When he gave me a rose from a bouquet, I was just so touched!   FInally, towards the end of the show, David sang a song called "Smile".   There was such passion in the number, and it personally impacted me as I just had to smile as my tears of joy came forth.   This was a great show!   You need to see this great performer! Denise Gyenes, Las Vegas, NV I have seen David perform quite a few times in the past 2 years.   I thoroughly enjoy his performances.   He has a wonderful voice, charisma and wonderful impersonations of Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli.   I really enjoy hearing about his days at Finocchio's.   David is a class act.   Don't miss it if you have a chance to see his perform.   You won't be disappointed!!

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