Friday, June 22, 2012


photos to follow.....


'An Evening With the Phantom' was the first of its kind, an extravaganza featuring a fantastic singer who played the main lead in such internationally acclaimed musicals like Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Love Never Dies and of course Phantom of the Opera.

Yessiree, Ramin Karimloo actually starred as in performed in such acclaimed West End shows in London and elsewhere and was the main lead. Not some obscure or mildly wellknown or even very famous singer belting out the hits. Ramin sang all the hits when he performed live on stage which added to his appeal.

Mind you, the tickets were pricey at RM 1,000 per person but this was a world class act with a top rated star singing for a relatively small group in a ballroom. Of course if you go to London, you can see the entire musical with all the props and scene changes for under 20 pounds or RM 100 for a mediocre seat or 65 pounds (RM 325) for a good seat.

As The Star, Malaysia's leading daily with no near rival, was a media partner and Datin Tiara as promoter, it was a no-brainer the evening would be fabulous and it was.

I arrived at 7.15pm and was among the first. Ho Kay Tat, Group Managing Director and CEO of Star Publications saw me in my Melvin Lam cape that reached my ankle and asked if I was performing. Indeed quite a few guests who did not know me asked if I was one of the performers sneaking out for a drink before returning backstage!

Champagne flowed freely and wine was for the asking so it was an extremely glamorous and highclass event. I drank 6 glasses of Mumm and 2 glasses of wine so I wonder how Enfiniti managed to make a profit.

Datin Tiara came to mingle with the guests and looked a million bucks carrying an Anya Hindmarch bag with coiffure done by A Cut Above. She introduced me to Ashraff Dewal the new CEO of Enfiniti Vision Media who was rather dishy. He is nicknamed 'The Magician' as printed on his card. Fair enough as he has plenty tricks up his sleeve. However Datin Tiara's moniker is 'The Oracle'. I told the beauteous Datin, "You should change your title 'The Oracle' as it sounds so old and manly."

She sniffed, "Well the oracle in Matrix was a woman!"

I roared, "And did you notice how old, fat and UGLY she was?"

Datin Tiara was speechless as the truth sank in. I said soothingly, "Change your moniker to The Maverick!"

She nodded musingly. So this is my contribution to Enfiniti!

We were told not to take photographs which was strange as Ramin Karimloo and Annalisa Kerrigan did not remove their clothes or performed sexual acts on stage so why the ban? Both were fully and decorously dressed at all times and Ramin (sounds like a Japanese noodle) did not even wear a bowtie or bother to change costume. Many said I should have lent him my flowy, operatic cape for dramatic effect! After all the dress code was black tie for men and evening dress for women.

Datin Tiara Jacquelina went on stage to thank her sponsors which included Star Publications which was the Media Partner, A Cut Above, Estee Lauder, YTL Hotels, JW Marriott, Beaubelle, Anya Hindmarch, Encorp and Seng Hup which sponsored the grand chandelier. Of course I assumed the chandelier would come crashing down like the one in the musical and I was all prepared to pick up the crystal shards to sew onto my shirt. Alas, the chandelier defied the law of gravity and remained, er, well hung all night long.

Said Datin Tiara, "When I phoned Ho Kay Tat and asked if The Star could be our media partner and help with the publicity, he not only agreed but bought several tables to support us! Thank you so much."

The souvenir booklet also thanked Dato Seri Wong Chun Wai, Dato Nancy Yeoh, Ho Kay Tat and June Wong, all from The Star. 

Despite the moniker 'An Evening with the Phantom', not all the 16 songs were from 'Phantom of the Opera'. The show opened with Masquerade (spelled Maquerade in the booklet!) with beautifully garbed dancers that set the mood.

The second song Some Enchanted Evening had nothing to do with Phantom of the Opera. Nor did Some Enchanted Evening and The Impossible Dream from The Man from La Mancha and They Can't Take That Away From Me from Shall We Dance. 

However our much anticipated songs materialised in the next 4 songs as Ramin crooned Music of the Night, All I Ask of You, Think of Me and Phantom of the Opera, this time accompanied by Annalisa Kerrigan who is half Malaysian Chinese. 

It was truly magical the duo dueted with each other as each complemented the other's voice. I could almost visualise the backdrop of each song as I have seen Phantom of the Opera 7 times!

We were given a 15 minute intermission and I went to the loo. Bizarrely the passage into the toilet was incredibly narrow and Dato Effendi Nawawi and I could not walk out side by side. He commented on it anbd I said, "Yes, when Dato Nancy Yeoh was fat as a cow with hips wide as a table, she used to get stuck and women had to push her in and out." Dato Effendi gasped and said he would phone Dato Nancy the next morning and I had better say my prayers now.

The encore was Phantom of the Opera again with Ramin and Annalisa while the dancers reappeared for the finale. 

Tonight is the last night and there might be some single seats left so contact Enfiniti Vision Media.

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