Twenty years ago, Tropigala's dinner shows were likened to those in Las Vegas. Then Vegas exploded. Now, people liken Tropigala's entertainment to that found on cruise ships. Luckily, it's the cruises of today, not 20 years ago, reflecting a high standard of professionalism and production value.
4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Hours: Supper club shows 8 and 10 p.m. Friday, Saturday; 8:30 p.m. otherwise
Cover: varies for shows; dinner packages available, typically $39-$59 per person
Dress: neat casual to neat
Parking: $8 valet
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Despite a potentially off-putting veneer of hucksterism, there really isn't anything else around like Tropigala's offerings. You may doubt its appeal if you attend the early (8:30) show as we did, a multitiered, 650-capacity room that was perhaps one-third full. Still, that afforded us stepped-up service and the ideal, terrific-sightline seating of our choice.
When we left after the show, the line was snaking out the door and into the vast Fontainebleau lobby. Don't fret if you prefer later shows and dinners; seating is about 90 minutes before shows start, so there is plenty of time to order and eat.
Menus are available a la carte or as VIP or show packages, and children's menus are available as well. Hotel guests also can get comped or discounted shows. Other than costumes that sometimes show an abundance of skin, the shows are family-friendly.
We caught Hollywood Magic, a variety act that entailed only a little actual magic. The title refers to the magical days of classic Hollywood, with songs and choreography reflecting early genres of the silver screen in turn: musicals, westerns, sci-fi, etc.
Before and after, a female lead vocalist, accompanied by bongos and keyboards, sings Latin and standard ballads, although few couples used the vast dance floor during our visit, preferring to get down to the meal.
Service is also old-school, with staff in white tie, attentive, courteous and unobtrusive.
In addition to these shows, Tropigala books such acts as Jose Feliciano or Willy Chirino. (Arturo Campa plays tonight, and Jose Luis Rodriguez March 26.)
Nightlife newsTonight: St. Patrick's Day isn't over at Fort Lauderdale's Downtowner, 408 S. Andrews Ave. (954-463-9800). Free festivities continue through the evening. Booney Tunes performs from 1-6 p.m., then guitarist Tab Benoit showcases his Cajun rock 'n' blues at 8 and 10 p.m. sets.
Saturday: Ages 35 plus will enjoy a visit to scenic Ben's Steakhouse Atrium Lounge, 3400 S. Congress Ave., Lake Worth (561-967-3400). Dance on two areas and enjoy adult contemporary music.
Sunday: Sit in a swing, watch the boats go by and listen to music running the gamut from Southern and classic rock to reggae and country at Crab Pot, 386 E. Blue Heron Blvd., Riviera Beach (561-844-2722). Cheers, Pinecrest Square, corner of Dixie Highway and Cypress Creek Road, Fort Lauderdale (954-771-6337) celebrates its 20th anniversary. From 6 p.m.-4 a.m., enjoy drink specials, bands, dancing and an old-fashioned cookout.
Tuesday: The atmosphere is casual at Bahama Breeze, 2750 Sawgrass Mills Circle, Sunrise (954-845-9311). Located on the outer fringes of Sawgrass Mills Mall, this island-themed restaurant offers live music nightly, but you can only hear it when seated on the outside patio.
Thursday: Professional singers often join in with Karena and Michelangelo, proprietors and performers at Michelangelo Piano Bar, 25 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach (561- 272-8009). The nightspot also showcases wine and art.
Staff writer Jeremy Lang can be reached at email@example.com. or 954-356-2338. Joan Brazer Durante, a freelance writer based in Plantation, writes the nightlife news. Please send news concerning local entertainment events and performers via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to Joan Brazer Durante, Entertainment Department, Sun-Sentinel, 200 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-2293.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times