A #GirlfriendsGetaway With @NocturnalWenchy And @sterkinekor At @RosebankTheZone

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Last week I got to have a Girlfriends’ Getaway with Ster Kinekor thanks to the ever fabulous Nocturnal Wenchy!

20140910_IMG_192009_edit We were joined by several social media users of the female persuasion including Jenty, and it was really cool to be able to catch up a little.
Girlfriends’ Getaway is for girls only. No guys allowed. So if your man is completely anti-anything resembling a chick flick, grab a gal pal or two and do the Girlfriends’ Getaway.
Ster Kinekor provided us each with popcorn and a Coke, and we each got a very girly although uninspired goodie bag. Bubble bath and tampons?!? I could have done with something a little more entertaining or glam…

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So here’s me seated with my popcorn, which – true to form for me – I successfully spilled as I sat down. Every time.

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The movie we got to see – Begin Again – actually surprised me, in a good way.

A chance encounter between a disgraced music-business executive and a young singer-songwriter new to Manhattan turns into a promising collaboration between the two talents.

Here’s the trailer for you:

I was quite blown away by the sound track for one thing, and I will definitely be acquiring it for myself as soon as I can.
Not having read anything about the movie beforehand I was honestly expecting a RomCom, and there are times in the movie when you really do believe you know how its going to end. But very cleverly, and without any jarring or non-sensical plot twists, it pulls off a surprising ending. Well… it was for me, I don’t know if anyone else guessed how it was going to end… 😀
There was love, and lots of music, and some laughs, and even though the end kinda felt like they’d run out of time and they had to say a whole lot very quickly, I would absolutely recommend seeing it.

The next Girlfriends’ Getaway is on 8 October if you feel like a bit of a girls-only night: “Gone Girl“.

Ooh, and, as an added bonus, my Glugster got to go and see a movie while I was having a girls’ night out thanks to movie ticket vouchers from Ster Kinekor! As I don’t drive at night my sweetheart husband usually takes me to this kind of function, and he then has to go home and wait till its time to pick me up and this time he didn’t have to!

~~As per my Ladybloggers pledge, I must state that I was gifted with a ticket to the movie and it was suggested that a review of the movie would be appreciated.~~

You Must See @showtime_sa’s @cirque_eloize!

My Glugster and I were privileged last week, to attend the media and VIP performance of

Cirque Éloize iD

at Montecasino’s Teatro.

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As we arrived and I fetched my press pack, I heard someone say “Barry’s just arrived…” and turned around to see none other than Barry Ronge! 😀
I’m usually terrible at recognising faces, but as the auditorium started filling up I saw SO MANY FAMOUS FACES! I was really glad when the show started and the lights went down and I could stop playing lookee-loo!
So just ‘coz I CAN do a whole lot of name dropping from last Wednesday’s performance – before I tell you about the actual show – here goes… I had a lovely chat with Barry Ronge after I went up and introduced myself, I had my picture taken with Cito, Ilze Klink and Emmanuel Castis (and went totally fan girl when I was speaking to Cito). Alex Jay got hauled on stage and we spotted Gugu Zulu, Anne Power, JJ Schoeman (whom I have met before), Timothy Moloi, Carol Manana… I could go on but you know how I hate to brag. 😛

And now onto the show.
I’d seen a snippet on YouTube, so I knew it was nothing I’d ever seen before, but it went WAAAY beyond incredible. My hands were literally sore from clapping when we left!
Could you imagine a contortionist and a break dancer dancing together!? It so worked!

ID Cirque Eloize

20140820_CirqueEloize_ID_ContortionDuo2And could you imagine a woman on a ribbon trapeze, performing with an inline skater?!! It was so beautiful, so fluid…
Guys on a pole, trampolining on and off a wall, a juggler, a guy on a stunt bicycle, a girl in a hoop… It was mesmerising!

The show has beauty and artistry for the ladies in the audience, and it has the absolute cool factor for the men!

Cirque Éloize’s dazzling and energetic show entitled “iD” started in South Africa for the very first time at the Teatro at Montecasino on Tuesday, 19 August. Showtime Management, SA promoters of this unique visual spectacular that combines contemporary circus arts and urban dance announced the show is extending by a week to accommodate public demand.
“iD” must close on 14 September.  
With a limited season of only four weeks, patrons are encouraged to book now to avoid disappointment.
Its a dance fuelled adrenaline rush. Get ready to be blown away by the pulsating and captivating performances that make Cirque Éloize iD the not to be missed family entertainment happening of the year. Hurry, book now at Computicket. Special family packages available via Computicket. For Montecasino Group Hospitality and Show and Stay Packages please dial telephone 011 367 4250

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SHOW INFORMATION

VENUE
Teatro at Montecasino

DATE
From 19 August until 14 September 2014

SHOW TIMES
No Monday shows
Tuesday to Saturday @ 20h00
Saturday @ 15h00
Sunday 14h00 and 18h00[GP1]

TICKET PRICES
TuesdayWednesdayThursday @ 20h00 & Sunday @ 18h00:
R120, R150, R250, R350
Friday @ 20h00Saturday @ 15h00 and 20h00 and Sunday @ 14h00:
R150, R200, R300, R400

FAMILY PACKAGES
Family Package (4 to 6): R300.00 per ticket
Valid Tue – Thu at 20h00 & Sun at 18h00 – Top Price Only
Only available at Computicket stores or the call centre on 083 915 8000

STUDENTS DISCOUNT
50% Discount on top price only – subject to availability
TuesdayWednesday and Thursday 8pm performances ONLY. Available after 2pm on the day of the performance.
Part-time and full-time students, including visiting international students. Student must be present with their student card. One show ticket only per valid card that must have a recognisable original photograph. Only available at the Teatro/Montecasino Box Office.

BOOKINGS
Computicket by calling 0861 915 8000 / 011 340 8000, visit www.computicket.com or visit your nearest Computicket service centre.

CORPORATE BOOKINGS
Strictly Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm ONLY
Contact: Beth McKey
Landline: 011 476 5456
Cell: 073 321 2191
e-mail: sales@showtime.co.za

ONLINE
Cirque Éloize iD:   http://www.cirque-eloize.com/en/shows/id
Montecasino:  www.montecasino.co.za,
Showtime Management: www.showtime.co.za
Follow Cirque Éloize iD on Twitter @showtime_SA and @cirque_eloize and find Showtime Management on Facebook http://Facebook/showtimemanagementsa

~~As per my Ladybloggers pledge, I must state that whilst I was gifted two tickets to the show I was not asked or paid to blog or tweet about the show. I must also say a big thank you to Showtime and Montecasino for giving me two tickets to the show, which meant I could take my sweetheart with me!~~

The @TsogoSun #SunCares Diepsloot Schools Arts Academy Showcase

If you think back on your school career- and your children’s school career, I’m sure your memories include countless concerts and speech festivals! Probably starting in nursery school!

I remember rehearsals during and after school, late nights performing, costumes made and/or rented, tickets sold, seats booked, sitting through seemingly endless song and dance routines to see your child on stage for maybe 5 minutes… or in my case – watching the teachers trying to catch my child as he ran behind the curtains at the back of the stage!
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My precious knucklehead is not a performer. He didn’t like being on stage, he didn’t like performing, unfortunately for him he usually didn’t have a choice. When I was at school I loved the concerts and the speech festivals, I wish I’d been more confident and shown more of what I was able to do!

Following on on that train of thought, I am oft reminded of the things I take for granted.

Like school concerts.

I was invited to attend the Tsogo Sun SunCares Arts Academy Showcase for seven Diepsloot primary and secondary schools.
These children spent a year auditioning, training, work shopping and rehearsing to perform on this stage, their first ever concert!
Their unbridled enthusiasm, their confidence, their eagerness to show their audience what they’ve been practising was absolutely infectious!
Dressed to the nines in fabulous, brightly coloured costumes and wigs they’d had their make up done and they took to the stage like old pros!
I was grinning and laughing and clapping throughout the show, and the one solo by Ndovhedzo Ndouvhada from Diepsloot West Secondary School gave me a lump in my throat and such goosebumps. Wow.
My favourite performance was definitely the “Superheroes” from Paradise Bend Primary School! They were so adorable I wanted to put them in my handbag and take them home with me!

Here’s the official press release and photographs, so that I don’t get anything wrong:

Tsogo Sun Landscape

Press release
11 October

SunCares youngsters hit the stage with their newfound skills

The stage is all set for the Tsogo Sun SunCares Performing Arts Academy’s year-end concerts which will joyfully showcase what 480 youngsters from 12 underprivileged schools in Gauteng have learned through the integrated programme in the course of the year.

Vusi Dlamini, Group HR Director of Tsogo Sun explains, “The Academy aims to make a real difference in children’s lives by developing their artistic talent, providing life skills development, and supporting the educational framework by creating extra-curricular activities, as well as potentially providing tertiary opportunities to learners within the programme.

“It was piloted in one school in 2012 and then launched in 2013 as a carefully designed full-year curriculum using the arts as a catalyst to provide opportunities for change in the lives of young people in communities around Johannesburg.” The SunCares Arts Academy provides a foundation in the basics of drama, dance, vocal training and voice projection, together with a structured lifeskills course that covers a broad spectrum of topics to empower the youngsters to make sound choices throughout their lives. 

The Academy is running in seven schools in Diepsloot near Montecasino and five schools in Mayfair near Gold Reef City, with 480 learners in total – 40 from each school. The learners go through a rigorous selection process to ensure that they have the potential and the dedication to do well in this Arts programme. Grade 4 to 7 learners are selected for the primary school programme and Grade 8 to 10 for the high school programme. Nine primary schools and three high schools are enrolled in the programme this year.

By the time the end of year concerts come around, the youngsters are bursting with excitement and anticipation – and extremely keen to show off their newfound skills to their communities as well as to a wider audience. “The concerts focus on the performing arts that have been learned through the year and incorporate items that display the different school groups’ dancing and performing skills as well as individuals who have shown particular talent in a specific area,” says Shanda Paine, Tsogo Sun’s Group CSI Manager. “The concerts are inspiring and are quite remarkable evidence of what can be achieved with a lot of enthusiasm, a desire to work hard and apply learnings, well-trained facilitators, and a fine-tuned curriculum.”

Renowned South African singer PJ Powers is the patron of the Tsogo Sun SunCares Arts Academy and is deriving immense pleasure from time spent with the children, coaching and encouraging – and instilling a sense of confidence in their ability to be the best they can be.

Tsogo Sun commissioned Minimax Performing Arts, which has been providing young South Africans with a platform to express themselves through the performing arts for more than 12 years, to develop and run the programme in the schools with four co-ordinating staff members and 12 facilitators who are given on-going weekly training.

As with all Tsogo Sun’s SunCares programmes, the Arts Academy is founded on strong partnerships with relevant bodies that include the Department of Education, with the schools, with leading learning and training institutions, and increasingly with the communities where the children who attend the academy live. The scepticism that was evident among parents of the selected children at the start of the programme has dissipated as the children’s academic standards have been maintained, their lifeskills have improved, and they have developed exciting new skills in the performing arts.

The first two concerts are held within the communities where the schools are based and are attended by adjudicators from the National Eisteddfod Association (NEA), who then select the top performers and the best schools to go through to the finals. These will be held at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City on 23 October and will culminate in an awards ceremony for the winners in several categories, including the top high school, the top primary school, the best three individual performers, the most enthusiastic educator and the best performing facilitator.

“This successful initiative has given us the means to provide gifted youngsters from Diepsloot and Mayfair with the knowledge, confidence and lifeskills needed to reach their potential through the performing arts and it is a privilege and a pleasure to be able to give them the opportunity to develop skills and then showcase them on stage in front of an appreciative audience,” concludes Dlamini. “Tsogo Sun is committed to this investment in these young lives and looks forward to many future concerts and to seeing these young lives blossom into accomplished people as they move on in their lives.”

For more information on SunCares, visit www.tsogosun.com, you can also join Tsogo Sun on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TsogoSun or follow @TsogoSun on Twitter.

ISSUED BY TSOGO SUN HOLDINGS. FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT:
Priya Naidoo | General Manager- Communications | Tel: 011 510 7583

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Kids with Denise Zimba from V-Entertainment

Kids with Denise Zimba from V-Entertainment

Mapaseka Koetle (Scandal), Koketso Modiba and Angelo Collins (Big Brother) and Tumi  Moche with the kids

Mapaseka Koetle (Scandal), Koketso Modiba and Angelo Collins (Big Brother) and Tumi Moche with the kids

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Carnival!

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Beach Party

Tumi Moche from MasterChef, Mapaseka Koetle from Scandal with Angelo Collins from Big Brother

Tumi Moche from MasterChef, Mapaseka Koetle from Scandal with Angelo Collins from Big Brother

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~~as per my Ladybloggers pledge, I must state here that I was not paid to write this blog post and that all opinions contained herein are mine and mine alone, apart from the official press release of course~~

Now I Know I Like Oysters!! #SSMonte

I was invited to visit the deck at Southern Sun Montecasino and sample their Oysters & Bubbly special offer!
Its such a gorgeous hotel too… I wish my photography skills were up to giving you an idea of what it looks like inside.

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And did you know that you can sit on the deck at the Southern Sun Montecasino even if Punchinello’s restaurant is closed!?
I didn’t!
And after my visit, let me tell you what – I could sit out on that deck all day, every day!
There’s a little dam with ducks and swans, and the deck provides fabulous shade and chairs that are dangerously comfortable!

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So until October 13th 2013 – thats this Sunday- you can enjoy 6 oysters with a glass of J.C. le Roux Pinot Noir (my personal favourite bubbly just by the way) for just R69! You can have another glass of bubbly for R29, or go all out and buy the bottle for R129.

And who knew oysters were so yummy!
I had mine with lemon and pepper, and a little drop of Tabasco, and the ladies from SS were kind enough to show me how to make sure the oyster is completely loose in its shell before pouring it into your mouth.
I get that its not everyone’s cup of tea but I am now a HUGE fan! They literally taste like the sea!

And after chatting to a Punchinellos sous chef, I now know that oysters are actually seasonal, so if you want them for a function you must make sure to order them well in advance.

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~~as per my Ladybloggers pledge, I must state here that I was not paid to write this blog post and that all opinions contained herein are mine and mine alone~~

A Bloggers #GRCExp at @GoldReefCitySA – Parker’s

Did you know there was a Parker’s at Gold Reef City’s Casino Hotel?

We didn’t, not till we got there and were told we’d be seeing a show!

When we walked out of Parker’s, I actually had sore tummy muscles and a headache from laughing! It was some line-up let me tell you.
@meltsieb was the host for the evening with @darrenmaule headlining.
Also on stage was @MarkDotBanks@moniquenortje@alfredadriaan and someone- something- I have only ever seen in the movies, a comedian completely failing on stage… He called himself The Couch Ninja and he was the only act I couldn’t find on Twitter. I felt SO bad for him. I almost wanted to laugh just to make him feel better.

I don’t often watch stand-up comedy because I laugh myself into an asthmatic coughing fit which is most disturbing to witness, but on Saturday night I managed to rein myself in by forcing myself to stop laughing when I felt like my chest was getting dodgy.

And I’m glad I could stay for the whole show. Obviously not every comic caters to everyone’s taste, but Monique Nortje was hysterically funny and Darren Maule was fantastic! They were by far my favourite acts of the evening. And Alfred Adriaan used his open mic opportunity to its fullest and I can see him going far on the comedy scene.

Next time you’re at Gold Reef City – whether you’re gambling or rocking the theme park, make a plan to end your day with a show at Parker’s Comedy in The Globe.

~~as per my Ladybloggers pledge, I must state here that whilst we were gifted with this incredible adventure, I was not paid to write this blog post, and all opinions contained herein are mine and mine alone~~