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.