Vedette (cabaret)

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Vedette is the term used in Hispanic American countries to describe female entertainers with multiple talents for singing, dancing, or acting. Although the Spanish term is derived from French vedette ("starlet") its meaning is equivalent to French meneuse de revue ("showgirl" or "bombshell"). Examples include Suzy King, Susana Giménez, Iris Chacón, Josephine Baker, Liliane Montevecchi, and Candida Batista.[1] More broadly, the term describes female variety performers whose talents typically include dancing, acting, and singing in theatres and carnavals. These risqué productions are similar to the French cabaret, burlesque, and revue.


"Supervedette" is a term used to distinguish a vedette who is known for her work and talent mainly in theater for many years. Most supervedettes are over 50 years old, like Susana Giménez, Moria Casán and Carmen Barbieri. Younger supervedettes are Valeria Archimó (42), Mónica Farro (38), Adabel Guerrero (35), Florencia De La V (39) and María Eugenia Ritó (38).[2] Nélida Roca was one of the first supervedettes in Argentina. Others include Graciela Alfano (1952-) and Reina Reech (1958-).

The "first vedette" leads all the other vedettes and dancers in a group of two or more vedettes. Examples include Jésica Cirio, Andrea Ghidone, Claudia Albertario, Mónica González, and Claudia Fernández.

Vedette Cómico is a vedette who is at the same level as the first vedette but is distinguished by her acting and comedy rather than her dance ability. In Bravísima in 2010, Belén Francese was the vedette cómico and Mónica Farro was the first vedette.[3] Examples include Rocío Marengo, Belén Francese, Silvina Luna. Even though Mónica Farro has been manly credited as a first vedette (now supervedette); she has also been credited as a vedette cómico and veteran supervedette. Carmen Barbieri and Florencia De La V started their theater careers as a vedette cómico.[4]


In Argentina and Uruguay in a theater show or musical (usually at a music hall or a revue) the vedette is the lead attraction: there will be a lead supervedette (sometimes two like in Barbierísima or Escandalosas), a first vedette (which can sometimes be more than one, example: Excitante with two or Barbierísima with three) and one to three additional vedettes. Some theater musicals have a lead supervedette and a guest supervedette, like Barbierísima with Carmen Barbieri as the lead and Zulma Faiad as the guest, or in Escandalosas, where again Barbieri is the lead and Moria Casán is the guest. Barbierísima also had the exception of having three first vedettes: Andrea Ghidone, Claudia Albertario and Andrea Estévez, and more than three extra vedettes: Gabriela Mandato, Adriana "Leona" Barrientos, Silvina Scheffler, Victoria Xipolitakis, Dominique Pestaña and Ivanna Paliotti. In 2011-12 Excitante had the late Estela Raval as the supervedette; Adabel Guerrero and Jésica Cirio as first vedettes; one second vedette, Estefanía Bacca; one third vedette, Chintia Fernández; and later an extra vedette, Virginia Dobrich.[5][6] In La fiesta esta en el lago in 2007 and 2008 there were no extra vedettes and three first vedettes: Valeria Archimó, Mónica Farro and Adabel Guerrero.[7]


Lupe Vélez, Mexican vedette

In the 1920s the image of the vedette in Mexico had begun to emerge with the stars of the revue, with figures such as Lupe Velez,[8] Amparo Arozamena,[9] María Conesa "La Gatita Blanca",[10] Prudencia Grifell,[11] Mimi Derba,[12] Esperanza Iris,[13] Celia Montalvan[14] and Lupe Rivas Cacho.[15]

The "golden age" of the vedettes in Mexico was between the 1950s[16] and 1980s. The Cuban Rosita Fornés was considered the most important exponent of the genre.[17] In the cabarets and night clubs of Mexico City, the "Exoticas" Tongolele[18] and Su Muy Key "The Chinese Doll" became popular.[19]

The vedettes, called "Rumberas", conquered the silver screen in the Golden Age of Mexican cinema in the 1940s-1950s, and created a cinematographic genre known as Rumberas film. The principal exponents were the Cubans Maria Antonieta Pons,[20] Amalia Aguilar,[21]Ninon Sevilla[22] and Rosa Carmina,[23] and the Mexican Meche Barba.[24]

In the following decade, Ana Luisa Peluffo,[25] Ana Bertha Lepe[26] and Zulma Faiad were very famous.[27] At this time the shows were becoming bolder.

In the 1970s and 1980s when, thanks to television, movies and magazines, the vedettes reached their highest point, successful vedettes became very numerous. Some of the legendary starlets who lit the marquees of Mexico City were Sasha Montenegro,[28] Rossy Mendoza,[29] Yolanda Liévana,[30] Olga Breeskin,[31] Lyn May[32] Wanda Seux,[33] Thelma Tixou,[34] Angélica Chain,[35] Gloriella,[36] The Princess Lea[37] and The Princess Yamal[38] who were also the stars of the Cine de Ficheras,[39] stars of the night life, particularly when the midnight TV show Variedades de Medianoche (Midnight Varieties) contributed to the "boom" of vedettes.[40] In the next decades, the most famous vedette was Niurka Marcos, who started as a dancer in the cabaret Tropicana in Havana, Cuba.[41]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Da Silva Villarrubia, Santiago Katriel (21 December 2008). "Adabel Guerrero - Mónica Farro y Archimó en Carlos Paz.". Pablo Layus (in Spanish). Retrieved October 6, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Carmen Barbieri viene "Bravísima" a Mendoza" (in Spanish). August 10, 2011. Retrieved October 15, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Mortal - Diario EL PAIS - Montevideo, Uruguay" (in Spanish). Retrieved October 5, 2012. 
  5. ^ "¿Dos diosas estarán juntas en teatro?". Teleshow de Infobae. September 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  6. ^ "Las diosas que se juntaron para conquistar el verano". Teleshow de Infobae. September 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  7. ^ Da Silva Villarrubia, Santiago Katriel (21 December 2008). "Adabel Guerrero - Mónica Farro y Archimó en Carlos Paz.". Pablo Layus (in Spanish). Retrieved October 6, 2012. 
  8. ^ Biography of Lupe Velez
  9. ^ Biography of María Amparo Arozamena Sánchez
  10. ^ Biography of María Conesa
  11. ^ Artículo sobre Prudencia Griffel
  12. ^ Artículo sobre Mimí Derba
  13. ^ Biography of Esperanza Iris
  14. ^ Mexican Silent Cinema
  15. ^ Mexican Comedians: Lupe Rivas Cacho
  16. ^ Cabarets in Mexico in the 1950's
  17. ^ Ninon Sevilla, Rosa Carmina Amalia Aguilar y Ma. Antonieta Pons Artículo en el que se menciona a Rosita Fornés como "La primera vedette de América"
  18. ^ Tongolele, the legendary vedette
  19. ^ Artículo sobre Su Muy Key and Bongala.
  20. ^ Biography of Maria Antonieta Pons in the IMBd
  21. ^ Biografía de Amalia Aguilar en su página web (en inglés)
  22. ^ Biography of Ninón Sevilla
  23. ^ Biography of Rosa Carmina
  24. ^ Meche Barba: The Mexican Rumbera
  25. ^ Artículo sobre Ana Luisa Peluffo
  26. ^ Artículo sobre Ana Bertha Lepe
  27. ^ Pequeña biografía de Zulma Faiad
  28. ^ Artículo sobre Sasha Montenegro
  29. ^ Biography of Rossy Mendoza in the IMDb
  30. ^ Biography of Yolanda Lievana in the IMdb
  31. ^ Biography of Olga Breeskin
  32. ^ Biography and Pics of Lyn May
  33. ^ Artículo sobre Wanda Seux
  34. ^ Artículo sobre Thelma Tixou
  35. ^ Biography and Pics of Angélica Chain
  36. ^ Artículo sobre Gloriella
  37. ^ Pequeño artículo sobre La princesa Lea
  38. ^ Pequeño artículo sobre La Princesa Yamal
  39. ^ The Cine de ficheras
  40. ^ Variedades de medianoche in the IMdb
  41. ^ Articulo sobre Niurka Marcos

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