PEr FYI

June 26, 2017

Muay Thai Live, Bangkok…1 1/2 hours simply flies by

Thai boxing, also known as Muay Thai, is similar to regular boxing but with the addition of kicks, knee and elbow strikes and various clinching techniques.  It is reputedly one of the fastest-growing sports in the world.

In a nutshell, Muay Thai Live at Asiatique Bangkok is a choreographed live performance combining entertaining performances with sounds, lighting and music effects and muay thai fights with storylines. Directed by award-winning Thai film director Ekachai Uekrongtham, the 90 minutes show traces the history of the art of Thai boxing and its place in Thai culture.

I never thought I’d say this of a local production but one and a half hours simply flies by. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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March 26, 2017

Calypso, Bangkok…burlesque, or rather more appropriately boylesque

Filed under: Activities, attraction, cabaret, restaurant, show, Thailand, theatre — Tags: , , , , , — PEr @ 8:41 pm

Bangkok is, without question, the world capital of gender-bending performing arts.

At Calypso, the ladyboys take the stage for a 75-minute-long splashy show that features dancers, lavish costumes, musical interludes and comedy. Some of the boys-as-babes try their best to impersonate and lip-sync some of the most well-known female musicians.

Yes, everything is opulent and over the top. But the prices are steep and the bar staff can be snooty.

My advice? If you’ve seen this kind of cabaret before, there won’t be a lot of surprises here. But if you never have — or if you’re a fan — it’s probably worth the coin to take in Calypso. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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September 11, 2015

Universal Citywalk, Orlando…super touristy but I love the atmosphere

Universal Citywalk is a shopping and entertainment area that is free for anyone to enter. You don’t have to go to the parks. You can hang out here. Located at the entrance of their main theme parks, there is a lot to see & do; plenty of dining options, drinking holes, souvenir shops and cinemas. All or almost all of them are chains so you aren’t getting any local flair here.

The largest Hard Rock Café in the world, The Bubba Gump Shrimp & Co and many more…no matter what your taste, you can find something you love here! For what they do, Hot Dog Hall of Fame is great. The place itself was pretty teeny tiny but they offer a line up of 9 hot dogs all served with French fries. The Detroit: Koegel dog, Abbott’s coney chili and diced onions was simply outstanding. I wish I had ordered two.

CityWalk’s Rising Star, Bob Marley-A Tribute to Freedom, Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville, AMC Universal Cineplex 20 with IMAX and many others provide entertainment that comes alive when the sun goes down. More than 10 million people worldwide have experienced the unique style of Blue Man Group. Three mysterious, talented, and energetic bold and blue characters takes the audience ona goofy, kiddish, colorful, big ole party…which would be fun for kids. It’s definitely so overloaded with skits/acts that you almost forget there’s legitimately no substance to them. I’m not sure why the audience was laughing so hard; either they were into the silly acts or they were all high.

Super tourist-y or not, I love the atmosphere and hustle & bustle of CityWalk. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

 

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July 3, 2015

Faulty Towers Dining Experience, London…a thin imitation which is only intermittently funny

For the uninitiated, Fawlty Towers, a cult classic BBC sitcom which ran for 12 memorable episodes is one of the funniest programmes of all time, frequently topping polls of viewers and industry insiders.

Faulty Towers Dining Experience – with a subtle spelling difference, presumably to avoid legal confusion – is only intermittently funny, serving up a thin imitation. That becomes obvious in the aimless pre-show, when people-hating hotel owner Basil and his “dragon” wife, Sybil merely argue bitterly, with limited English-speaking immigrant Spanish waiter Manuel. Once seated, our group of five was seated with a family of five on a table. The show is touted as an “immersive” experience, and it doesn’t get much more immersive than having the actors move round the tables, often serving you, frequently interrupting you, and occasionally – yes, this happened – climbing up on your table and performing matador impressions. Part of the ‘show’ is scripted so that means the actors get free reign to ad lib and directly engage with guests as well but the cast struggle in their improvisation to evoke the quality of the original. 

The 3-course 70s-inspired meal is fairly underwhelming; more cafeteria than restaurant, so don’t expect fine food or you’ll come away disappointed.

If, and only if you are, like-minded, hard-core Fawlty fans, go, but whatever you do, don’t mention the war. And remember to check your soup before you taste it. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 5, 2015

Impression West Lake, Hangzhou…visual uniqueness

Impression Westlake is a 1-hour award winning open-air musical extravaganza created by renowned film director, Zhang Yimou on the West Lake of Hangzhou at night. A dazzling light display turns the lake’s natural surroundings into an intricate part of the show. The stage was built 3cm below the water. The performers seem to be walking, running, dancing on the water.

The story is based on the local folklore “The Legend of the White Snake” – one of West Lake’s most famous legends set in the Southern Song Dynasty.

Kitaro, the music director, is still at his best after so many years of magical and glorious musical landscapes. The pieces here are different from his 80’s and 90’s style, but it still has the core elements that he has been using all of this time. The beautiful melodies and themes from impressions west lake were so hauntingly beautiful, it gave me goosebumps listening to it.

The best way to enjoy the show is to simply sit back and absorb it for it’s visual uniqueness. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 9, 2015

The House of Dancing Water, Macau…..a daredevil’s dream but not on my top three must-watch shows

Touted as Macau’s most expensive show at HK$2billion, this 90-minute aquatic spectacle is a bit like watching the merrymaking of semi-naked Greek gods, their physiques so perfect and weaving elaborate stunts, dives, and explosions into a love story. The plot doesn’t quite make sense and only serve as a thread to connect each stunt.

My first impressions of the 360 stage was that it looked immersive and I don’t really think there’s a bad seat in the house. A pool at the centre of the stage appears and disappears throughout the show. Right off the bat it got pretty exciting with a spectacular and bizarre mix of theatre, acrobatics, stunts, dance and water.  Then nothing…  Though it was very poetic and aesthetically beautiful, there were scenes where it appeared the actors were just stalling for time, (which they probably were), but in this case it was super obvious and boring. The 15 minutes Evil Knievel stunt show was exciting but seem so out of place.

Though the stunts throughout the show are a daredevil’s dream, but the overlong House of Dancing Water is definitely not on my top three must-watch shows. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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