Cabaret Quarterly, Special Resort Number, Volume Five,
poss 1956, p56]
CABARET GUIDE TO HAVANA
Batista (B-4544). This is the largest and most
club in the world. Located on what was once a
estate, Tropicana has ample room for two complete sets of
areas and dance floors, in addition to well-tended grounds
beyond the night club proper. Tall trees rising over
and through the roof in some spots lend the proper tropical
which blends well with the ultra-modern architecture of the
club. Shows include a chorus line of 50 and the
perform on catwalks among the trees. Rhythms and
colorfully native, with voodooism a frequent theme.
Top talent is
imported from abroad. Minimum at tables is $4.50 per
this can be avoided by sitting at central bar which has a
good view of
Nacional), 21st and O (U-8981). This is the newest of
night clubs, having opened its doors in January of
in the city's largest hotel, the cabaret actually consists
Casino Parisien, where there is dining, dancing and shows
name singer or dance couple); the Casino International with
layout; and the Starlight Terrace, a bar connecting the
sections. The casino is managed by Wilbur Clark, who
Las Vegas' Desert Inn. The minimum is $3.50 at the
Hwy. (BO-7979). Sans Souci is located in a
but this year has undergone a major program of renovation
expansion. Shows, like those of the other major clubs,
production numbers including name acts, usually
Good-looking U.S. showgirls are an added attraction.
There is the
same gambling layout as at the other big cabarets, including
craps, chemin de fer, and slots. In addition, Sans
instituted an innovation at night clubs: bingo, with prizes
, 23rd and
(U-5207). Housed in a onetime indoor dog track,
eminently successful in concealing its past beneath a lavish
Gallic fittings and atmosphere. It is the only major
which is entirely indoors, and is conveniently located in
the center of the city. The entertainment lens toward
continental as well as American show names backed by lush
dance production numbers masterminded by mercurial Joe
Expensive, and favorite with native Cubans as well as
The casino is open from 4 pm daily.
THE SPANISH AIR
TABERNA SAN ROMAN
Pedro and Oficios (M-4460). Cured meats hang from the
bullfight posters decorate the walls and wine jugs sit on
shelves. A band provides dance music (Cuban and
Spanish), and on
Saturday nights the Spanish equivalent of a jam session gets
customers make impromptu music and someone plays a bagpipe
not Scottish). Located on the water-front, the Taberna
off the tourist track.
(-9729). This place provides Spanish music, singing
in its shows. Customers try to drink wine by pouring
it in a thin
stream from Andalusian jugs directly into their mouths (a
endeavor). Enough wine, and soon the customers join in
Prado (W-9452). The Tasca is decorated to resemble a
bandit's cave. Guitarists, singers, pianists and
double duty providing the show and also providing music for
EL BUMP AND EL GRIND
, Zanja No.
(W-9497). The girls in the line at the
have never heard of a G-string and get along very nicely in
thank you. Their uninhibited if somewhat in-expert
only one part of a unique mixture that is burlesque, Havana
style. Blackout skits, unintelligible to the visitor
speak Spanish, are alternated with dance numbers by leading
and snappy movies, both of which are easily understood in
language. The theater, once a Chinese playhouse, is in
in Old Havana, near the main shopping district. It's
stuffy, but at $1.25 you could hardly expect more.
SMALL AND CUBAN
(I-5072). About 15 minutes from Havana, the Bambu is
rustic surroundings. Shows consist of local talent.
, Fifth Ave.
(B-7794). This is located in Havana's Coney Island
Genuine native rhythms (rumba, mambo, cha cha cha) are
played by small
orchestras who know their stuff. Customers on the
often provide the best show in the place when they really
and C (B-7807). It is but a few steps from the Panchin
Pennsylvania, and the "atmosphere" in both places is much
same. Teachers from U.S. dancing schools come to these
get the real lowdown on Cuban dances.
and Prado (M-9296). A cozy place off tourist-traveled
Boulevard, with dance music and a show, consisting of the
and mambo dancers.
, Concha and
Cristina (X-2928). A small place providing good local
shows and music.
, Prado No.
(M-4888). This is an outdoor café a la Paris, with an
all-girl orchestra providing the music. Customers sip
drinks and watch the crowds go by.
Monserrate (M-5031). The Floridita (formally known as
proudly calls itself "the cradle of the daiquiri" (named
after a Cuban
river). It has developed daiquiri-making into an art,
provides daiquiris with different flavors to suit the
tastes. The Floridita's best customer is also its most
Cuban resident Ernest Hemingway, who uses a special outsized
named "the Papa." The place has fine food and good
singers and small musical groups.
(f-7684). Primarily a restaurant (a la Monseigneur of
this place has one of the best bars in town. Pleasant
provided by a string ensemble, with the musicians separating
to the different tables to play.
La Copa. This is a haunt for local Americans.
pianists provide listening music, but some people like to
252 (M-4178). This is an old-time mecca for tourists,
locals (Cubans or Americans)go here. Sandwiches are
and a "conjunto" (small musical group) provides music.
These two may be closed or open, according to the whims of
(A-7324). The Colonial uses local talent, frequently
please the tourist trade upon which this place lives.
tourist-aimed, with a minimum of $1.50 person at the tables.
Highway (X-3019). Risque shows and private rooms where
pornographic films are shown for a price keep this place
whenever the authorities decide to crack down.
End of Page
1998-2014 Cuban Information Archives. All Rights