Life is a stage where you can choose to perform a drama, comedy or musical. Add a fantabulous set and elaborate costume designs, and the stage is ready as the setting for life’s drama.
Needless to say, my own play would be filled with costume changes, moving backdrops and dramatic lighting. The performance would be an engaging lip-sync musical with lots of witty punch lines. It would also have giveaways for guests, and an after-party on gala night. Guests would be requested to come in drag queen costumes with exaggerated makeup and feathery, false eyelashes.
I would like my play to have all the elements of what I saw at the press night of “M Butterfly” at the Maybank Performing Arts Theater in Bonifacio Global City. Amazing night it was, as guests did their “Oscars” walk down the red carpet, and also admired the gallery display of top photographers, whose framed artworks were up for auction, with all proceeds earmarked for charity.
The photographers included Patrick Uy, Wig Tysmans, BJ Pascual, Raymund Isaac, Mandy Navasero and Manny Librodo. Master photographer Jun de Leon chose to take “M Butterfly” lead actor RS Francisco underwater for his photo.
Pinky’s 35th year
Pinky Amador, celebrating her 35th year in theater, plays Helga, the legal wife in “M Butterfly.” Directed by Kanakan Balintagos, “M Butterfly” stars RS Francisco, with Olivier Borten, Lee O’Brian, Norman McLeod, Mayen Estañero, Maya Encila and Rica Nepomuceno.
“M Butterfly” runs until Sept. 30; call 8919999 or visit ticketworld.com.ph.
Drag queen birthday bash
The exciting night went on at Nectar Bar just across for the Sea Princess Drag Queen birthday bash. Nectar Bar owners Paulo Castro, Mike Lavarez and Dan Lichauco hosted the extremely fun party complete with a lip-syncing contest and stage dancers.
Many were outrageously dressed in drag, such that they were almost unrecognizable. They went home with prizes from Fila, Watsons, Wilcon Depot and Assembly.
It was actually a joint celebration with my eldest son Bryan Prieto, who turned 33 that day. At the party, some of the cast of Red Turnip Theater joined the fun after their rehearsals for “A Doll’s House Part 2,” its latest production. They invited everyone to the show, also at Maybank Theater.
Music plays a vital role in any event. I got my fill of jazz at the recent fun evening dubbed “Jazz Beyond the Blues.” I saw an electrifying performance, with wit and humor, by Australian saxophonist Serge Le Goueff.
Rani Singam, gifted with a voice like that of jazz queen Ella Fitzgerald, likewise performed with guitarist Andrew Lim. Guest of honor Singapore Ambassador Kok Li Peng was proud to bring into the Philippines the artists.
The show concluded with the dynamic trio of Bituin Escalante, Michael Williams and Nicole Asensio. They wowed the audience with their jazzy take on modern hits.
Produced by Jean Goulbourn, the concert aimed to raise funds for Natasha Goulbourn Foundation’s (NGF) scholarships for psychology majors. The show reached standing-room only level quickly, with friends going to Jean and pledging P100,000 per scholar annually.
It was an evening that recognized NGF’s movers, influencers and inspiration. Among the awardees were: Bro. Armin Luistro, for paving the way for NGF’s Wellness Emotional Resilience in partnership with the Department of Education, which impacts 18 million children; Dr. Ricardo Soler, who helped start NGF; Chiqui Roa Puno and Dr. Ed Tolentino, both movers of Hopeline’s biggest supporter MHAct; Yoly Crisanto, SVP for corporate communications of Globe; and Ernie Lopez, for his holistic understanding of life.
A heady combination of fine art, luxury handbags and the finest champagne came together last Sept. 10 at the Conservatory of The Peninsula Manila. Salcedo Auctions hosted an exclusive dinner and private viewing on the eve of the vernissage of the highly anticipated auction event, “The Well-Appointed Life,” presented in partnership with Louis Vuitton and Dom Pérignon.
Guests were treated to a visual and gustatory feast. Louis Vuitton showcased its Exotic Leather Collection, while Salcedo Auctions put together a display of the highlight pieces of its “Important Philippine Art” auction to be held at the Rigodon Ballroom on Sept. 22 at 2 p.m.
Dom Pérignon vintage champagnes 2009 and 2006 were paired with a menu specially curated by executive chef Allan Briones of The Peninsula’s Old Manila.
Taking center stage was the historic boceto of Juan Luna’s “Spoliarium.” Other notable works included paintings by Félix Resurreccion Hidalgo, a pair of rare tipos del pais by Felix Martinez, two “Golden Period” paintings by National Artist Fernando Amorsolo from the 1920s, and National Artist BenCab’s “La Familia.”
Also on display were Mauro Malang Santos’ “Carroza,” Romulo Olazo’s “Diaphanous Anthuriums No. 76,” H.R. Ocampo’s “Cantata for Lourdes and Revelation” and National Artist Jose Joya’s “Two Faces of Villafernandina,” “Fire Lake,” “White Symbol” and other works by Philippine National Artists.
Contemporary Philippine art included works by Elmer Borlongan, Ronald Ventura, Rodel Tapaya and Mark Justiniani.
“The Well-Appointed Life” by Salcedo Auctions should be on the calendar of anyone who appreciates the better things in life.