What’s a Mother to Do? The Week of October 14-20

Since starting the Hua Hin Arts Guide, I’ve been trying to do individual posts whenever new items, or review topics, or whatever, have come up. Now I’m coming to grips with a not-so-harsh reality: There’s just too much going on!

If I try to post each item separately, I won’t be able to keep up, new posts will push old ones down where they may not get the attention they deserve, and things will get left out that are of interest but too small to warrant a separate post.

So I’m going to try a new approach. Starting here, I’ll do a weekly post that ties up the general news, capsule reviews of that week’s shows, reminders of upcoming performances of interest, and general information.

Let’s see how that all works out…

Plearnwan Anniversary Celebration

On the evening of Saturday 23 October, the Plearnwan Vintage Eco-Village (or just ‘Plearnwan’) will celebrate its first year with a special day of entertainment. In case you’ve been out-of-state or sleeping under a rock, Plearnwan is a highly unusual tourist attraction, a virtual ‘movie set’ impression of what Hua Hin and other Thai towns were like 100 years ago, built within an innovative (and slightly bizarre) structure constructed entirely of recycled materials. If you’ve been around, you also know that it’s been a smash hit, with busload after busload of visitors from Bangkok every weekend.

Besides a lively event in itself, the Plearnwan First Year Celebration is a reminder that in just a single year, our town has had no less than three highly unusual, attractive, and even high-end arts venues open, including Plearnwan itself (okay, it stretches the definition of arts venue, but it’s interesting and the building itself is certainly worth noting), the amazing Cicada Market, and the Vic Hua Hin Performing Arts Complex. We have been truly blessed. What will this year bring?

Plearnwan is located on Petchkasem Road at Soi 38, just to the North of the King’s Palace on the left-hand side (watch for the crowds, tour buses, and t-shrt vendors). The First Year Celebration will begin at 7pm on Saturday the 23rd of October.

The Punchline Comedy Club

On Thursday the 14th Hua Hin residents had a chance to enjoy a rarity in our town: top-of-the-line standup comedy in English as The Punchline Comedy Club brought us its unique brand of traveling entertainment.

Besides standup comedy in our fair town, the Punchline show offered us another novelty: good entertainment in a real-estate office. Yes, that’s right. These occasional (once or twice a year) shows are presented in the offices of Hot Property Hua Hin, the same good folks who may have sold you your last condo, the subject of a few gags in the evening.

The Punchline performance was quite good, with talented comics from Australia, Portugal, and the UK. Despite the breadth of the national origins, most of the comedy leaned heavily on the British side. Even Philberto from Portugal drew very heavily from his residence and performances in London. I admit some geographical and ethnic references went over this American’s head, but it was all good fun. Hopefully, we can look forward to the next show. For some background on this interesting enterprise, check out http://www.punchlinecomedy.com/.

October Arts Camp at Vic Hua Hin/Patravadi School

Some weeks back, we told you about the upcoming October Arts Camp at the Vic Hua Hin and Patravadi High School. Well, this is the week. For the last several days, and continuing through Sunday, Kru Lek Patravadi has been hosting a group of 50 youngsters aged 5 to 16 in a truly unique program. I was privileged to witness Kru Lek and her team at work with their young charges, and was very impressed.

In the morning each day, students receive instruction in movement, voice, acrobatics, dance, and showmanship. The afternoons are given to rehearsing (and writing on the fly!) a group show to be presented at the end of the program. I watched the rehearsal on the 5th full day, and was very impressed by the discipline and ability these youngsters show. With students staring at pre-school, you can imagine that not every toss and cue is faultless. But the show unfolds all the same, and its quite a sight to see.

Teachers in the Arts Camp program include veteran artists of the Patravadi Theatre in Bangkok and here, along with several of the older students of the Patravadi High School serving as teaching assistants. Considering that these students themselves have only been under Patravadi’s instruction for one semester, the maturity and responsibilty they take on is indeed impressive.

Khun Patravadi is indeed an impressive lady in many respects. But I’ve come to see that her true genius and passion is in getting the very best out of young people. I’m going to be very interested to see what happens as the students of the Patravadi High School and the various Arts Camp sessions mature. It could make a real difference in the future of this country.

Cicada and Vic Doings

At Cicada Market, October is the month for the first Thailand-wide Street Dance Competition. This Saturday (the 16th) will be the first full program of elimination rounds. It should be exciting.

As on every Saturday, the Vic Hua Hin delivers a real state-of-the-art theatrical production. This month’s show, entitled “In Between” highlights pieces developed by several Patravadi Theatre veteran artists (and includes a really terrific experiment in cross-cultural comedy involving a blackboard and mating habits of several species of animal). Also, this show marks the debut of a Hua Hin resident musician in the ‘orchestra pit’, as Mister Paul Bankes contributes his virtuosic classical guitar to the proceedings.

We know it’s short notice to catch tonight’s two shows, and who can be in two places at once anyway? The good news is that both of these highly-worthwhile shows will continue on Saturdays throughout October. So make your plans and don’t miss this great stuff!

Hua Hin Jam Scene

The Hua Hin high season jam scene continues to crank up, as more musicians (and audience) arrive in town. This coming Monday (the 18th) will mark the 4th session Monday Night at Ray’s Place for this season. Time does fly when you’re having fun. To top that off, Chez Lou Lou over by the train station will kick off their very first session for this season on Wednesday the 20th. First times are best, so you ought to be there. Better yet, go to both sessions! A lot of people do.

Whew! We told you there was a lot to talk about! See you ’round!

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