Tropicana Nights: The Life and Times of the Legendary Cuban Nightclub

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9780156032605: Tropicana Nights: The Life and Times of the Legendary Cuban Nightclub
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At Tropicana you could play the roulette wheel, dance to the latest mambo or rumba, or simply ogle the parading goddesses of the flesh. It was the brightest jewel in 1950s Cuban nightlife, and Nat “King” Cole, Liberace, Josephine Baker, and Carmen Miranda performed there before audi­ences that included Ernest Hemingway, Marlon Brando, and Joan Crawford.   In Tropicana Nights, Rosa Lowinger and Ofelia Fox, widow of Martin Fox, the club’s last owner, take us back to its glory years. Ofelia, the “first lady” of Tropicana, shares her memo­ries, undimmed by decades of exile, with Rosa Lowinger, also a Cuban exile, whose parents frequented the club in its heyday. Together, Lowinger and Fox vividly portray the cultural rich­ness and roiling social problems of pre-Revolutionary Cuba and take the reader on a tour of one of the world’s most glam­orous venues at its most brilliant moment.

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From the Back Cover:

"From following the island's economic and political roller coaster ride to identifying the major players in Cuba's hyperactive, glamorous and influential showbiz . . .  [Lowinger] places the fabulous show palace in a meticulously researched context."--The Miami Herald

Tropicana is to Cuba what the Bolshoi is to Russia or the Moulin Rouge to Paris or the Blue Note to New York: an enduring cultural mecca. Part casino and part cabaret, it was all Cuban--the only nightclub owned and run by Cubans rather than by the American mob. Nat "King" Cole, Liberace, Josephine Baker, and Carmen Miranda performed there before audiences that included Ernest Hemingway, Marlon Brando, and Joan Crawford. Tropicana Nights not only brings back the days and nights of the club's greatest glory, when it was the brightest jewel in 1950s Havana nightlife, but also vividly portrays the cultural richness and roiling social problems of pre-Revolutionary Cuba. 

 
"Rich with history and anecdotes ripe with a genuine love of the Tropicana, you can almost hear the rumba and see the sequins shine once again."?Playgirl

"Looks at a part of Cuban history through the most intoxicating of perspectives . . . The work paints a vivid picture of Havana’s heyday and transition into a communist economy."?Cigar Aficionado


Rosa Lowinger was born in Havana and grew up in Miami. A writer and art conservator, she first visited Tropicana in 1998 and, as she put it, was "struck dumb" by its beauty. She lives with her family in Los Angeles.

Ofelia Fox (1924-2006) married Tropicana owner Martin Fox in 1952. They moved to Miami in 1962. After her husband’s death, she became a teacher and playwright and was twice awarded the Carlos Felipe Award.

About the Author:

Rosa Lowinger was born in Havana and grew up in Miami. A writer and art conservator, she first visited Tropicana in 1998 and, as she put it, was "struck dumb" by its beauty. She lives with her family in Los Angeles.

Ofelia Fox (1924-2006) married Tropicana owner Martin Fox in 1952. They moved to Miami in 1962. After her husband’s death, she became a teacher and playwright and was twice awarded the Carlos Felipe Award.

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Rosa Lowinger; Ofelia Fox
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