Close this search box.

well established and here for you

independently owned and operated since 1977

Ladies and Gentlemen, Charo!

Her full name is María del Rosario Pilar Martínez Molina Gutiérrez de los Perales Santa Ana Romanguera y de la Hinojosa Rasten. But you can call her Charo.

A global musical and comedy sensation, Charo is one of the most recognizable entertainers in show business: with her thick Spanish accent, her glittery outfits, her comedic timing, her buoyant sex appeal, as well as her mastery of flamenco guitar.

“I am so happy we are living in a musical time where people understand and appreciate Latin music and classical music,” says Charo.

Born and raised in Murcia, Spain, Charo, whose name is short for Rosario, studied flamenco and classical guitar with Spanish virtuoso Andrés Segovia. Her talent and passion for the guitar was apparent early in her life, but so too was her naturally funny ways.  So while it was her musical abilities that first got her noticed, it was her dynamic personality and fun-loving manner that propelled her into superstardom. Charo made her American television debut in the mid-1960s on The Today Show, followed by multiple appearances on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.  Not only was a television star born, but so was Charo’s famous catch phrase “cuchi-cuchi.”

“I always love music, but cuchi-cuchi catch on,” says Charo in her famously thick Spanish accent. “So I say, ‘I going to get rich on ‘cuchi-cuchi.’ It survived. But I always say I want to play flamenco, but because of my accent people think I say ‘flamingo.’ But now my dreams come true.”

Over time Charo has firmly established herself as a master of flamenco guitar, selling out concert halls worldwide, winning numerous awards, and recording chart topping hits since the 1970’s in every genre from disco to Latin to pop. After almost 45 years in the entertainment industry, Charo has been a tremendous ambassador for classical and Latin music, introducing a type of music to audiences that might not otherwise listen to flamenco, by mixing comedy and classical guitar. And that is just the kind of show audiences can expect on Wednesday, August 17, when Charo takes to the stage at Town Hall with a brand new show making its debut in Provincetown.

“I’m sorry I haven’t discovered it before,” says Charo, about her first trip to Provincetown this week. “All my friends say ‘It is so fun. It is so beautiful.’ I live in Hawaii for many years and it is so beautiful, but everyone tells me ‘Wait to you see Provincetown.’”

“I am so happy at this time in my life,” says Charo. “My recommendation is to have a passion and don’t let it go. I believe in this and I never let it go. “

Charo is a passionate anti-bullfighting activist.
Photo: John Parra, Getty Images

 Charo’s hit show Charo in Concert: A Musical Sensation at the Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas played to sold-out audiences and rave reviews and has really put the performer on the map, musically, here in the United States, where she was traditionally known for her lengthy television resume with guest spots on The Carol Burnett Show, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, Donny & Marie, The Mike Douglas Show, Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special, The Surreal Life, RuPaul’s Drag Race, as well as eight appearances on The Love Boat and 45 guest appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

An American citizen since 1977, Charo left the spotlight somewhat in 1985 when she moved to Hawaii with her husband, Swedish businessman Kjell Rasten, to raise their son.  In Hawaii, she produced and starred in a variety show, Tropical Heat, at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort in Waikiki for a ten-year run. It was also during that time that Charo learned to speak Japanese to entertain the large number of tourists from Japan in Hawaii, and she wrote and recorded her 1994 album Guitar Passions, which won Best Female Pop Album of the Year at the Billboard Latin Music Conference and reached platinum status worldwide. The renewed attention to Charo’s music continued to grow, and in 2003, she received a Screen Actors Guild Award for her contributions to Latin music and its promotion worldwide.

Another one of Charo’s passions is the rights of animals. For many years Charo has worked to end bull fighting in her native Spain, as well as in Latin America. 

“Why would people be so excited to see an animal tortured,” says Charo. “It is barbaric. I just have to do something.”

As a little girl she lived just a short walk away from her hometown’s bullfighting ring.  Every Sunday she could hear the crowd cheer and she knew that when she heard the cries of “Olé” and the trumpets blaring, the bull was dying. Charo and her sister would cry and her mother would say, “There is nothing you can do. Please, don’t cry.” When she was older and saw her first bullfight she “got sick.”  Since then she has become a visible and vocal opponent to bullfighting. Charo began a campaign to get tourists visiting Spain to write to the Spanish government asking them to outlaw bullfighting, she recorded a dance version of the traditional bullfighting song “España Cañí” (Gypsy Spain) in 2008, produced a video entitled “España Cañí: Dance, Don’t Bullfight,” and most recently, she appeared in a video produced by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which shows the horrific torture and slaughter of a bull at a fight. Her efforts, along with those of other activists, are beginning to pay off. Opinion polls in Spain show the majority of people are opposed to bullfighting, especially the younger generation with an over 70 percent disapproval rating. And on January 1, 2012, Catalonia, will become the first Spanish region to make bullfighting illegal.

“I feel like the ‘Cow of the Year’,” jokes Charo. “I love the bulls and the bulls love me.”

Charo has also been a long time voice against discrimination of all types and for the equality of all people, including the LGBT community. Charo notes she is thrilled that Spain legalized same-sex marriage in 2005, and for the gains made in the United States. Charo’s performed at the White Party in Palm Springs, was the grand marshal of the Gay Pride parade in West Hollywood two years ago, and will be the grand marshal of the Carnival Parade here in Provincetown on Thursday, August 18.

Parades hold a special place in Charo’s heart. As a child in southern Spain, the wealthy would put on elaborate parades for the town, with huge floats, dancing in the streets, throwing flowers, lighting off huge fireworks displays, always accompanied by music.

“When I grow up and I am in a parade myself I get excited,” says Charo. “Spanish people make parades like no one else. Every time I am in parade I feel like when I was a young girl. I’m very excited.”

Charo is also excited by the very real possibility that there will be many dressed in drag as her for Carnival.  And while she is certainly a one-of-a-kind talent and performer, a household name for her style and spice, perhaps the only time in her life she was out-sparkled and out-shined was by other drag queens. Two years ago, Charo was in Puerto Rico at an AIDS charity fundraiser and was asked to judge a “Charo Look-A-Like” contest, which she declined as she didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by telling them they didn’t look good as her. But she had a better idea. She would enter the contest herself.

“There were three Charos on stage and we ‘cuchi-cuchi’ and we dance and we shake,” says Charo. “And I lost. One of the judges say to me I have a terrible wig. I wasn’t wearing a wig!”

Charo will be performing in concert at Provincetown Town Hall, 260 Commercial St., on Wednesday, August 17 at 8:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $45 and reserved preferred seating is $85. Tickets are available at or by calling 508.487.2313. Charo will also be the grand marshal for the Can’t Stop the Music Carnival Parade on Thursday, August 18, which begins around 3 p.m. and goes from the Harbor Hotel down Commercial Street to the Coast Guard station.

Recent Posts

Sign up for our Newsletter

Scroll to Top

Sign up for our Newsletter

Graphic Artist

Ginger Mountain

Ginger Mountain (MS Communications Media, BA Fine Arts/Teaching Certification K-12) has been part of the graphic design team at Provincetown Magazine since 2008. Ginger has worked as a creative director, individual contractor, and freelance designer with clients representing many areas —business software, consumer products, professional services, entertainment, and network hardware to name just a few — providing creative layout and development of a wide range of print media content. Her clients ranged from small local businesses to large corporations and Fortune 500 companies, from New Hampshire to Georgia

Keep in touch

Fill in your details and I will get back to you in no time.

Phone: + 1 508-487-1000 ext 6
[email protected] 14 Center St. Provincetown MA, 02657