By Oliver Carnay
- the L.A. Version!
A comparison with the one I watched in Manila
I was ebullient enough to watch "Queens
On Fire" - Grand Olympic Stadium concert (the second stop of an 8-city U.S.
tour, San Diego was the first) and really curious as to how such a lavish
production (held at the Old Ultra on February 11 & 12) would be presented
when it went on its U.S. tour this April.
The most anticipated day, April 2nd came.
A throng of cheers filtered from the crowd, which was to the hilt of the
Pops and Regine -- two major
talents that have outstripped most artists when it comes to being concert
queens -- maintained a healthy dose of verve each time they came up on stage.
Without a doubt the pairing of two voices blended well, which could be seen
in several duet spots. Erik Santos added glory to that vibrant evening, and
projected well beyond audience expectations as he belted out two of his signature
songs "I Believe I Can Fly" and "This Is The Moment." In fact, it was one
of the most applauded segments. One even said, "magaling pala talaga'ng kumanta
si Erik", and promised he would look forward to his next L.A. act.
Regine's rendition of "Shine" and 'I Believe'
were also well applauded. The two divas' portion with Erik Santos was another
one, and I think was among the best moments of the repertoire. Pops was the
'sexier' one while Regine was 'naughtier.' The spiels were natural. Regine
brought her comedic flair up while Pops, after all these years, still was
in her regal momentum. Actually, I've enjoyed more during their spiel
interactions than with the whole repertoire - with interruptions from those
rude security staff. I must tell you that Grand Olympic Auditorium has the
most 'unfriendly' security guards in Los Angeles. But that's another story!
I couldn't help but compare the original
production (that I saw when I was
in Manila) with the Grand Olympic Auditorium presentation
- the first was lavish and longer, more costumes, more (and better!) dancers.
The Queens were on fire, both sizzled on one
stage, but edgily tarnished by the visibly lackluster performance of local
dancers, an eyesore onstage. To sum up, there were only two dancers who were
good enough to pass as real dancers. Dancers add luster to the total impact
of the show and it creates and supports the effectiveness of the featured
artists. In this case, people were laughing at the dancers. You see, the
audience deserves "what was advertised." Two or three professional dancers
would do justice (and we're not asking for anything more) as opposed to ten
dancers who can't move and fit themselves in one stage. In this part, Starmedia
failed to live up to my expectations.
Knowing that the L.A. crowd was the 'hardest
audience to please,' I was short to assume that they would choose the best
gowns worn from the show in Manila (the all-white attires were my favorites
and the Spanish dress worn by Regine). Several segments were cut down from
their original repertoire in Manila. I'm not sure if they are going to rehash
this in other cities.
I could understand if the producers were tight
on budget. But this is Starmedia we are talking aboutwho had always
promised to deliver us "good quality entertainment" in concert-medium
productions. To me, it was just fair. I was waiting for the fireworks but
the only technical addition I saw was the confetti hurled up during the last
few minutes of the show.
So much for the superlatives most of the writers
have printed about this concert. Don't get me wrong because this concert
is still one concert 'not to be missed' despite its shortcomings. (More pics
from the L.A. concert at
'Beauty Day' ni Dra. Vicki
Belo sa L.A.!
Nagkaroon ng "Beauty
Day" at press conference si Dra. Vicki Belo sa New Otani Hotel (downtown,
L.A.) kamakailan. Katulong ng beauty-queen-maker ng L.A. na si Monet Lu at
ng Pilipina na si Angeli Lacson (Marketing Manager ng Obagi Clinic), sa
panga-ngasiwa ng press conference at pag-imbita sa mga piling panauhin. Tinalakay
ni Dra. Vicki Belo ang importansya ng pangagalaga ng balat at kaibahan ng
skin care treatment para sa mga balat-Asyano at ng mga ibang lahi.
Nobenta porsiyento ng naka-pakinig sa talumpati
at eksplanasyon tungkol
sa makabagong teknolohiya sa pagpapaganda,
katulad ng liposuction, laser light treatment, at iba pang procedures na
ginagawa sa Belo Medical Group ay na-engganyo na'ng mag-pagawa kay Dra. Vicki
Ilang beses na'ng naanyayahan si Dra. Vicki
Belo sa iba't-ibang panig ng mundo para maging speaker tungkol sa mga makabagong
teknolohiya at kaalaman sa pag-papaganda. Hindi lahat nito ay available sa
lahat ng lugar ng Estados Unidos, katulad ng "mesotherapy", na iilan pa lamang
ang gumagamit sa Beverly Hills. Sinuman ang interesado at sumangguni kay
Dra. Vicki Belo ay puwede ninyong buksan ang web address na www.belomed.com
at mag-iwan ng e-mail address kung saan kayo puwedeng makontak.
Richard Gutierrez, um-attend
at in-interview ng foreign media sa Premiere ng "Kung Fu Hustle"
Marahil ay nakabalik
na ang sikat na young actor na si Richard Gutierrez sa Maynila habang binabasa
ninyo ito. Ang tinaguriang pambato ng GMA 7 na si Richard Gutierrez ay
nagbakasyon din ng matagal-tagal dito sa L.A., nang matapos ang highly-rated
na teleserye niya na "Mulawin". Ngayong nakabalik na ito sa Maynila ay
magsisimula na siya ng panibagong tv-series, ang "Sugo". Nang narito pa si
Richard, naglambing ito sa akin para mapanood ang "Kung Fu Hustle" at um-attend
ng Premiere Night nito sa Cinerama Dome. Kaya naman tinawagan ko kaagad ang
kaibigan kong publicist at ipina-reserve ito ng tiket sa Will Call. Nailakad
si Richard sa red carpet at na-interview pa ng foreign media. Malakas ang
karisma nito sa mga nag-aabang na mga media.
Medyo may pagkaka-hawig pala sa "Kung Fu Hustle"
ang bagong action/comedy tv series na gagawin ng guwapong aktor sa GMA 7
pagbabalik nito sa Pilipinas, kaya gusto nitong mapanood ito. Kabilang sa
mga nakahalubilo ni Richard sa after-party ay sina Chris Judd, Black Eyed
Peas, Dustin Nguyen, James Hung, Greg Araki, Michelle Krusiec, Eugenia Yuan
(Mail Order Bride), Roger Fan (Better Luck Tomorrow), atbp.
Naka-tsikahan ko si LaLaine nang concert ni
Leah Salonga sa Universal Amphitheatre. Si LaLaine ay kilala bilang Miranda,
ang best friend ni Lizzy McGuire sa sikat na television show ni Hilary Duff.
Magkakaroon ito ng bagong tv show sa WB Channel 5 na siya mismo ang pangunahing
bida, spoof ito ng karakter ni Miranda sa Lizzie McGuire.
Alam pala ni LaLaine na padating si Richard
dito sa L.A. ay siguradong magkikita silang dalawa dahil simula nang umalis
sa Pinas si LaLaine nitong nakaraan ay magka-text ang mga ito. Kasalukuyang
abala si Lalaine sa pagsu-shooting ng bago nitong video para sa single na
kanyang iri-release under Warner Bros. Records label company. Pero siguradong
isisingit ng dalawa ang kanilang pagkikita. May mamuo kaya sa kanilang pagiging
Dessa, May Hinaing sa
Nakausap ko ang tinaguriang "Divette" na si
Dessa. Nakabalik na ngayon si Dessa sa Los Angeles at pinaghahandaan nito
ang comeback concert nito na pinamagatang "Divette in White
Black" na gaganapin sa Alex Theatre (Glendale, California) sa buwan ng Mayo.
Syempre, katulad ng titulo nito, nag-iisang nakaputi si Dessa at ang mga
"men" naman ay sina Armand Mandia, Erick Lerma, Retz Gajardo, at ang magaling
na komedyante/entertainer na si Bobby Solis.
Kapapanganak lamang nito last month at mayroon
itong reklamo laban
sa Ichiban, ang dati nitong regular na kinakantahan
na sing-a-long comedy bar sa may Daly City, California. Hindi raw siya binayaran
nito ng ilang buwan at kasalukuyang ina-asiko nila ni Jay Inoue (ang kanyang
live-in partner) kung magdi-demanda sila ng breach of contract laban sa may-ari
ng Ichiban. Malakas daw yata ang loob ng may-ari dahil nataon na bumalik
na ang komedyanteng si Leonard Obal sa Ichiban, kaya may pamalit na sila
para gawing headliner. Pipilitin kong kunan ng komento ang may-ari ng Ichiban
o kung sinuman sa panig ng Ichiban ang ibig na ibahagi ang kanilang side
tungkol sa alegasyon na ito ay nakabukas ang kolum na ito. Kontakin ninyo
lamang ako sa firstname.lastname@example.org
RUSBLOOM ni Rustom Padilla,
Hindi Na Siya Ang May-Ari!
Masyadong komplikado at
masalimuot ang nasagap kong balita tungkol sa RUSBLOOM. Matatandaan na dito
sa kolum na ito unang lumabas ang tungkol sa magarbong launching ng RUSBLOOM
Skin Care na inilunsad ni Rustom Padilla at ng ka-partner nito, ang mag-asawang
Bennie at Julius Espina. Nagkaroon na ito ng dalawang launching sa California
(Panorama City at West Covina).
Pagkatapos na umikot ang balita sa Los Angeles
ang tungkol sa paghihiwalay ng landas ng dating aktor at ng mag-asawang Kuya
Julius at Ate Bennie Espina ay sinadya ko si Ate Bennie sa kanyang opisina
at detalyadong ipinaliwanag sa akin ang dahilan ng pagkasira nila sa negosyo
ng itinuturing na sana nito'ng "adopted son."
Mabigat ang mga dahilang tinukoy ni Ate Bennie
at maaring lumikha ng ingay. Hinihiling niya at ipinakiki-usap na "off the
record" muna ang kanyang mga ipinagtapat nguni't sinabi ko rin sa kanya na
karapatan ng mga tao na malaman na hindi na involved si Rustom sa produkto
nito. Nagpapasalamat ako sa tiwalang ibinigay ni Ate Bennie sa paglalahad
ng mga dahilan at maseselang bagay na kanyang ipinagtapat sa akin.
Matagal ko na'ng kakilala sina Ate Bennie
at masasabi kong isa sila sa mga taong mababait na nakilala ko sa Los Angeles.
Sandigan ito ng mga malalaking entertainers o artista sa Pilipinas kapag
dumadalaw ang mga ito sa Los Angeles. Dating prodyuser sina Ate Bennie at
Kuya Julius ng mga malalaking concerts noon (nina Randy Santiago, Rosanna
Roces, Sheryl Cruz, Sylvia LaTorre, Tito German Moreno, at marami pang iba
ang ilan sa mga nai-pag-prodyus nito), nguni't tumigil na ito sa pag-pro-prodyus
at inasikaso na lamang ang kanilang mga sariling negosyo. Hanggang sa makilala
nito si Rustom Padilla during the time na mag-concert sina Juday at Robin
Padilla sa Orpheum Theatre. Dalawang taon ang itinigil ni Rustom sa bahay
ng mag-asawa habang kumukuha ito ng Directing class sa UCLA.
Ipinakiusap ni Ate Bennie na ayaw muna nitong
magsalita sa media tungkol sa pagkawala ni Rustom sa RUSBLOOM nguni't
ipina-a-alam niya sa lahat na tuloy pa rin at available ang RUSBLOOM products
na mabibili sa mga outlets ng Island Pacific Supermarkets sa Los Angeles.
(More pictures at
Paul Schrader's EXORCIST:
The Original Prequel Set for Release on May 20
Billy Crawford attended world premiere at BIFFF
Paul Schrader's version of 'Exorcist: The
Beginning', the original prequel which has been shelved by Morgan Creek (the
Renny Harlin version was released a few months ago and is now available on
DVD) had its World Premiere on Friday, March 18, 2005 during the recent 23rd
Brussels International Festival of Fantastic Film (held between March 11
- 26, 2005) and set to release for theatrical on May 20, 2005, at the same
day with STAR WARS: THE REVENGE OF THE SITH. Morgan Creek International is
aiming for the title "Dominion: A Prequel To The Exorcist."
Billy Crawford, who plays the possessed kid
Cheche in the film and currently in the middle of his European tour (promoting
his "Big City" album) stopped by in Brussels to attend the World Premiere
together with his director, Paul Schrader.
Renny Harlin's version, which hit theatres
last August earned poor
reviews and a lackluster $42 million at the domestic box
office despite an $80 million budget. "Schrader's intelligent, quietly subversive
pic emphasizes spiritual agony over horror ecstasy, while paying occasional
lip service to the need for scares," according to Variety magazine. One critic
said that "Schrader has delivered a 100 per cent Paul Schrader movie, drenched
in the spiritual and moral angst that's watermarked his career," and added
that the chiller is "probably too talky and angsty for mainstream auds."
The movie was noted it even includes a surrealist homage to the dream sequence
in Hitchcock's 'Spellbound.'
It is exciting to know that Paul Schrader's
version received better reviews (than Harlin's) from the festival screening,
and that Morgan Creek is planning to have a limited theatrical release before
it goes on DVD. Now, if it will do good during its theatrical release (whether
because of Billy Crawford's popularity in the Fil-Am community, or most horror
movie die-hards are very curious to see the Schrader version) will Morgan
Creek be swayed to have a wider release? The answer is still hanging as the
most anticipated final chapter of the STAR WARS trilogy goes nationwide and
will surely eat up all movie theatres.
Paul Schrader's rendition of 'EXORCIST: The
Original Prequel' stars Stellan Skarsgard, Billy Crawford, Clara Bellar,
and Gabriel Mann. Here's the synopsis given:
1944. Lankester Merrin, a parish priest
in Holland, is forced by retreating Nazi soldiers to pass life-and-death
judgement on his parishioners. This action destroys his faith, breaks his
spirit. In 1947 Merrin, now an archeologist, makes a startling discovery
in the Turkana district of northwest British East Africa (Kenya). An ancient
Byzantine church has been found buried and in pristine condition. It was
built, then buried. This discovery brings the attention of the archdiocese
in Nairobi who, through Major Granville, assigns young Father Francis go
to Derati in Turkana and watch over Merrin's work. In Derati Francis meets
Rachel Lesno, a camp survivor who runs the medical clinic and Emewki, the
hotel owner. Francis sets about setting up a church school. At the dig site
Francis visits Merrin and Chuma, his foreman. After Rachel arrives to administer
to a stricken worker, Cheche, a crippled local boy about 15 appears, looking
for water. Merrin attempts to aid him but is confront by an angry pack of
hyenasis found injured in the village and brings him to Rachel at the clinic.
After a disturbing dream, Merrin shows Francis the now uncovered church.
The interior is guarded by giant statues who appear to be holding something
down. The walls are covered by Byzantine mosaics featuring the War in Heaven,
Archangels Michael and Lucifer. Beneath the church, Merrin, Francis and Chuma
discover an ancient primitive crypt which had been used for Satanic worship
and sacrifice. Merrin surmises that the church was built atop the crypt to
hold the evil in and then itself buried. Cheche is oddly affected when the
crypt is opened. Merrin and Rachel set out to help Cheche's condition, brining
in a doctor from Nairobi to reset his leg. Cheche's condition improves radically
and implausibly. He's getting better too fast. At the same time everything
else is getting worse. Sebituana, the local chief, is convinced the church
as unleashed an evil demon...
With more than a decade of experience in
the entertainment industry OLIVER CARNAY is an accomplished international
Fil-Am writer, Publicist, Talent Manager, Project Consultant, Booking Agent,
Event Organzer, Photographer, Concert Line-Producer, movie associate producer,
and Concert Booking Agent.
Oliver has written for major publications,
domestic and international, including Asian Journal Publications
BALITA MEDIA, INC. ("Balita USA", "Weekend Balita" and "Go4Women
Magazine," available online at
ASIAN-AMERICAN PEOPLE'S JOURNAL (circulated in northern and southern
part of California), Philippine and other Asian Headline newspaper
- circulated in Sacramento, San Francisco and its vicinities) also published
in northern and southern parts of California.
In San Diego: FAME Magazine and
PHILIPPINES TODAY. In New York / New Jersey he writes an entertainment
column for CAROUSEL PINOY ENTERTAINMENT
He is a contributor for BUZZINE Magazine
www.siklab.com, PARA TODOS
Magazine, and other L.A. based publications.
He is the Los Angeles correspondent of
Global Pinoy Entertainment Corporation (GPEC) which publishes S Magazine
(circulated in Manila, all over the United States and Europe) and PINOY
GAZETTE (published in Hong Kong and Japan.
He is an active member of the National
Press Photography Association (N.P.P.A.), Press Photography Association
of Greater Los Angeles (P.P.A.G.L.A.-see
www.ppagla.org for member
listings), and is under the directory list of the Motion Picture Association
of America (M.P.A.A.) covering movie Premieres, junkets, and other major
Oliver is the Publisher of
an online entertainment newswire magazine. Always a pioneer in bringing first
rate news about Fil-Am talents in Hollywood as well as introducing them to
the Filipinos and Fil-Am communities in the U.S. and in the Philippines.
Oliver Carnay is the proprietor of
International Artists Production Company established in 1995 where
he had produced, directed concerts and stage plays.
Oliver Carnay is in full blast as a Talent
Manager and Publicist. He is the proprietor of International Artists PR
& Talent Management
full-service publicity and talent marketing company, which represents a roster
of multi-ethnic actors, musicians, directors, writers, and other celebrated
artists in Hollywood. Oliver Carnay takes pride in being a member of the
Talent Managers Association