Where Has All The Money Gone?
By Anita Lee
Lip Sync 9 will by the latest show under the direction of Michael McLaughlin. It has become the largest and longest running lip sync show in the world (believe it or not) and a local phenomena in Ajijic. Each year it grows and gets better. The January 2019 edition will bring in even more dance to augment the songs. 30% of the 2019 show will be dance or dance and song. You will see everything from Tap to Ballet, Belly, Latin, Modern and Irish dance. Song will include everything from show tunes, rock and roll, Latin, pop, to the unofficial national anthem of Canada. Performers ranging from 10 to 75 years and the show will have songs in six different languages. Songs next show by: Mick Jagger, Kate Smith, Bobby “Boris” Picket, Bob Fosse, Stompin’ Tom Connors, Bette Midler, Bruce Springsteen and The Village People.
All the money raised by Lip Sync after production costs for the performance goes to upgrading the auditorio, but many want to know what has actually been done. For those who don’t even know what or where the auditorio is, the auditorio is the community auditorium that was built in the 1970’s on the carretera just to the east of the Bugambillas shopping center. The auditorio is the largest venue from Chapala to Jocotopec, seating over 400 people theater style with a large proscenium stage. It hosts a myriad of events from theater to dance, concerts, meetings, graduation ceremonies and is the home of several local music and dance groups. It is THE cultural and community venue for all lakeside events.
Not much had been done to renovate or improve the original construction until 2009 when John Keeling under the auspices of Viva La Musica began to look into what could be done to address performers’ complaints of the facility. A group was formed, which became the nonprofit ProAuditorio, to do studies and look for grants, fundraise and help undertake this huge remodeling job. After obtaining a matching funds grant from the government, many technical studies were done and expert volunteers enlisted to begin the huge project of remodeling the auditorio.
As one of many fundraising events in 2011, Michael McLaughlin was asked to undertake the challenge of producing and directing Lip Sync as a way of raising money to help with the matching funds grant that ProAuditorio had obtained from the gobierno. With the help of Lip Sync, many arts organizations and generous private donors, matching funds were raised and the project begun in earnest in November 2012. The acoustics, lighting, sound, and air conditioning were addressed after being identified as priorities. At the finish of this stage, the venue was much improved but more work was needed and of course more money.
For eight more years Lip Sync, ProAuditorio and countless volunteers have continued to raise funds and little by little make improvements to the auditorio. This year you will easily see something done by ProAuditorio and the funds raised by Lip Sync. Gone are the bare wood seats, all the seats now have cushions and have been upholstered. One more item on the list completed, but many more need to be done. The bathrooms badly need to be addressed both backstage and in the lobby, dressing room space needs improvement, a sign in front and the list goes on.
The work would go faster if all attend the show and more money was raised. In the coming January the Lip Sync 9 will be the 18th at 4pm, the 19th at 6pm, and the 20th at 2pm. All seats will be 250 pesos and tickets will be available at the auditorio office, Diane Pearl’s and Mia’s or online at email@example.com. Mark your calendars, bring your friends and help us by coming, enjoying the wonderful show and start spreading the word. Cameras and picture taken are encouraged.
Ed. Note: The two women pictured are Heather Hunter and Allyson DeJong