Living in this city gets more exciting every day! The business, political, social and entertainment sectors are bursting with life, and it’s getting difficult to keep up with the excitement. Since this is the Lifestyle section, I will not dwell on the action-packed political and business arenas but instead focus on the wonderful shows, places and adventures happening in our metropolis. Indeed, life is more thrilling than fiction!
Today (Sunday) is the last day of “Mamma Mia!” at the CCP. Unfortunately, my crazy schedule was just too full to arrange a cast party, just like I did for “Cats” last year. But I heard from Smart Infinity’s grand dame Julie Carceller that “Phantom of the Opera” is coming, so I will get another chance at partying with the stars.
For more kid-friendly entertainment, “The Sound of Music” in Resorts World has been extended until May. My good friend, artist Pinky Amador, will surely be very busy this summer because of her performances in the musical.
For the more avant-garde and dynamic, just opened is “Fuerza Bruta,” a stomping, flying, smashing theatrical production at the Manila Hotel Tent until March 26. The Argentine show is excitingly avant-garde, and the best seats in the house are found by standing and walking around, interacting with the troupe.
Fuerza Bruta is Spanish for “brute force,” and truly the acts are high-energy, including a man running at full throttle on a giant treadmill, dancers bursting through a series of moving walls, tumbling performers suspended in mid-air, and, best of all, beautiful dancers swimming in a clear pool suspended overhead. The production is brought to Manila by Hoopla Inc., the same group that brought in Cirque du Soleil’s “Varekai.”
My hubby Dennis and I were invited to the premiere on Valentine’s Day. We didn’t really know what to expect but the idea of a novel experience was exciting. Arriving at the Manila Hotel Tent, we entered and marveled at the lounge area executed by Carlo Calma. Past the lounge, behind a black curtain was a 360-degree interactive theatrical experience.
This is the sort of show where the audience can define the experience. The more energy from the watchers—shouting, spinning, dancing, touching—then the performers up their levels, too. Our show got progressively more hyper, as the initial shock wore off and we understood the interactivity of the entire performance. A Latina dancer found my brother-in-law Robin and then smashed a cardboard box into his head and out came a cloud of confetti.
My favorite part would be the amazing performance in the overhead pool, where the courageous cast breaks free from theatrical convention.
“Fuerza Bruta” has truly stunned audiences around the world. For tickets and inquiries, call 3201111, or visit www.hoopla.ph. Tickets are also on sale at the Manila Hotel concierge.
The Manila Hotel and Fox International Channels are the official sponsors of “Fuerza Bruta” in the Philippines. The Manila Hotel is also the official hotel and residence of the “Fuerza Bruta” cast.
After the show, our group checked out the newly opened Buddha-Bar (see www.buddhabarmanila.com) at Picar Place along Kalayaan Avenue, Makati City. Famous for its mystical, exotic and mesmerizing lounge music, Buddha-Bar has just raised the bar in dining and entertainment in the country.
The Asian fusion menu is quite delicious, and, better still, not too expensive. The three-level complex has a chic, tent-covered, terrace deck framing a shallow pool. This is the perfect place for a late-night or early-morning chill-out, with the nearby bar serving a wide range of cocktails.
Buddha-Bar was brought in by Picar Development, a subsidiary of the AMA Group, which developed the first-class, residential condo tower, Stratford Residences. The managers are all from Paris, where the original Buddha-Bar is located.
For those with a sweet tooth and a keen eye for fancy, delicious pastries, check out The Cake Club. Located at Bonifacio High Street in Bonifacio Global City, the new resto features top-top ice creams and cream-of-the-crop cakes. The cozy and sophisticated interiors are a match with those of mother company Diamond Hotel, so we can expect the same five-star dining experiences in a more relaxed setting.
The Cake Club offers Diamond Hotel’s best-selling cakes, pastries and an a la carte menu selection. Daniel Back, the executive pastry chef of the Diamond Hotel, has created mouth-watering cakes and pies with fresh fruits and nuts.
At the intimate opening, Cake Club owner Cecile Ang told me how excited she is about this place because it also serves the award-winning chocolate brand from Hokkaido Japan, Royce Chocolates, to go along with Hediard Tea and Malongo Coffee. Both latter two French brands are internationally renowned for their distinct flavors and quality. The Cake Club is in the newest area of Boni High Street, the center popularized by Jamba Juice.
For the ultimate in luxurious lifestyle, our city now has the Imperial Residence at Sofitel Philippine Plaza (www.sofitel.com). The Imperial Residence is actually a collection of five distinct suites covering a total of 575 square meters, designed by the world-renowned Spin Design Studio of Japan.
The crème de la crème is The Imperial Suite, which boasts elegant living spaces, state of the art creature comforts and unrivaled views of Manila Bay. The Suite has its own kitchen, and the Sofitel chefs used it to prepare a wide array of pastries, chocolates, fruits and other decadent treats.
The launch of Imperial Residence was pure magic. Mixologist Timothy Barnes whipped up cocktails of the night he called Chanel No. 5. Harpist and singer Noelle Cassandra regaled the crowd. It all felt so indulgent.
Goran Aleks, general manager of Sofitel Philippine Plaza, told me: “There is nothing like The Imperial Residences. These suites have housed some of the world’s most illustrious personalities and they will continue to do so in the future.”