Tags: Cuba | Tropicana | club | decades

Cuba's Fabled Tropicana Nightclub Turns 70

Tuesday, 29 Dec 2009 11:42 PM


HAVANA, Cuba — When the Tropicana nightclub and casino opened its doors in a leafy Havana garden on Dec. 30, 1939, the second World War was raging in Europe, "Gone With the Wind" had just hit U.S. theatres and a rebellious youngster named Fidel Castro had just turned 13.

So much has changed in the 70 years since - but not the Tropicana show, which offers those willing to pay the price an intoxicating peek at an era when Cuba was America's naughty island playground, a place where nearly anything was possible, and legal.

The club marked its big anniversary this week with the same celebration of glamour and kitsch, sin and sensuality, sequins, feathers, showgirls and Latin beats that has made it one of the world's most famous - and infamous - nightspots.

In a gala that stretched past midnight Monday, about 850 tourists, government officials and special invitees watched tributes to Tropicana legends such as Nat King Cole and Rita Montaner and listened to pulsating salsa, samba and son music. There was a big band, a contortionist act, an a-cappella rendition of "The Banana Boat Song" and a two-man acrobatics team in skintight leotards.

And then there were the showgirls.

To read full Canadian Press story — Go Here Now.


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2009-42-29
Tuesday, 29 Dec 2009 11:42 PM
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