A, E, I, O...URCA is one of the best TV Globo mini-series ever. And TV Globo produces the best programming and mini-series in Latin America, and exports them worldwide. I had the pleasure of seeing this one (and recorded it) while living in Rio. As the title suggests, the legendary "Urca" Casino is the setting of the drama. The casino actually serves as the backdrop of this period drama, which vividly recreates the Golden Age of Rio, in the late 30's and 40's. Anyone who was anyone, the "haute bourgeoisie," the most powerful and most ambitious in Brazil, from aspiring starlets to Carmen Miranda, from two-bit gigolos to millionaire playboys, from Nazi spies to Jewish socialists frequented the renowned casino. It was upon its closing, when the government decided to close all casinos in Brazil to fight crime and vice, that Rio began its decline as the Great Port and Leisure Capital of South America, further buried by the transfer from Rio to Brasilia of the national capital in 1960. In this rich, well-written acted series, we meet a good sample of characters who inhabited Rio during the late 30's and 40's. Standing out among them is the aspiring dancer, interpreted by the great young Brazilian comedian, actress and dancer Deborah Bloch, in the main role. (She can currently be seen with Amy Irving in BOSSA NOVA). Furthermore, the faithful reproduction of the period, colorful characters and excellent ensemble cast make this series stand well above most others. Watch out for re-runs of this outstanding feature.
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