One thing that entertainment lovers are always looking for is the discovery of superb talent or a breathtaking show. We live for those moments that transcend the average and sweep us away with the extraordinary! One needed to look no further than The Palm Cabaret on Thursday night and the opening show, Branden & James’ ‘Rock the Opera’ for that pot of gold. Packed to the rafters, with standing room only, fans flooded into The Palm to see the brilliant combination of classical music, opera and popular tunes communicated by the thrilling tenor voice of Branden and his amazing piano accompaniment along with the absolutely gorgeous cello and vocal accompaniment of James. Combining classical and opera intros with popular tunes, Branden & James have outdone themselves with this new show.
Back for their 4th season of shows in Puerto Vallarta, a lot has been happening for these musical wonder boys since their first debut in our beloved town. A fabulous new album they’ll release in 2020, shows around the world in prestigious clubs like Feinstein’s 54 Below NYC and San Francisco, headlining cruise ships and later this year, the launch of a multi-city US tour. Branden’s new memoir, ”Lyrics of My Life”, comes out May 12th, and the word certainly will explode throughout the entertainment industry about this talented duo. Move over Il Divo, The Three Tenors and The Canadian Tenors. You guys are great, but there’s some new talent to share the spotlight!
‘Rock the Opera’ takes place Jan 30, Feb 1, 2, 6, 9, 15 & 16 at 7:30 pm and on Feb 8 at 5:30 pm at The Palm Cabaret. This show is a musical mash-up celebrating two of the most epic musical art forms. Music by David Bowie, Elton John, Aerosmith, Lady Gaga, Bach, Puccini and more! Branden & James will also play two special Valentine’s shows called, “All You Need Is Love” on February 13th at 7:30 pm and February 14th at 9:30 pm.
The story of their music and their love for each other is epic. Branden had a successful career on stage and in recording before meeting the Australian cellist, James. Branden had finished as a finalist on season 8 of America’s Got Talent, along with appearances at The Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Los Angeles Opera. He also participated in two world tours with the renowned Twelve Tenors and two solo releases worldwide. James’ many musical accomplishments, including accompanying Olivia Newton-John, Idina Menzel, and Bernadette Peters in various concerts. James is the mastermind behind their unique arrangements of classical and pop songs.
‘Rock the Opera’ includes wonderful songs like “Besame Mucho,” “Hotel California,” “Roxanne,” “Nights in White Satin,” “Royals,” “A Space Oddity”, “Nessun Dorma” and the list goes on. And the song, “Wild Horses” was dedicated to the memory of Freddy Mercury who was so instrumental in raising people’s awareness about the HIV crisis and treatment.
From start to finish, ‘Rock the Opera’ is a musical thrill ride. The cello’s wide dynamic range is so satisfying. Both Branden & James display incredible rhythm, good intonation and perfect pitch to give a totally satisfying performance. With many familiar tunes of the 60’s & 70’s combined with century’s old classical music, delivered by fabulous vocals and accompaniment, ‘Rock the Opera’ is a first-rate hit show from its debut on Thursday night.
A very, touching and heartfelt tribute to his beloved country of Australia, was given by James. His love for Australia, along with his heartbreak for what the country is currently experiencing with the fires was felt by all of us. There were also accolades given to the brilliant Australians who have contributed so much to music and entertainment throughout the world.
As the show drew to a conclusion, we were moved by their performance of “Come What May,” from the musical Moulin Rouge. We were reminded of their love for each other in the words: “But I will love you until the end of time, Come What May.”
Branden & James are at The Palm Cabaret until the middle of February. This is one of the best shows you’ll see this season. The Palm Cabaret and Bar is located at Olas Altas 508 in Romantic Zone. Tickets can be purchased at the venue’s box office or online at www.thepalmcabaret.com.
BRANDEN & JAMES