Racetrack soon to be amusement center; more concert venuesBy Allan Policarpio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
In addition to Smart Araneta Coliseum, Newport Theater and the SM Mall of Asia Arena and concert grounds, local and foreign acts will have another venue for shows when Ayala Land, Inc. finishes the initial phase of development of a new entertainment hub in Makati City in 2016.
Circuit Makati, a P20-billion project, is set to rise on a 21-hectare piece of property where the Sta. Ana racetrack used to be. The hub is expected to house three key amusement venues: Circuit Theater, Black Box and the Globe Circuit Events Grounds.
“The Circuit hopes to help uplift the entertainment industry by providing these venues for all our talented performers,” Ayala Land president Antonino Aquino told the Inquirer at the launch of Circuit Makati on Tuesday.
The 1,500-seat Circuit Theater is meant for Filipino theater and musical productions, Aquino said.
“It will be as big as what you might have in the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) as far as capacity is concerned,” Aquino said(According to its official site, CCP’s main theater, the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, can seat up to 1,821 people.
Situated at the Circuit Lane—the central walkway akin to Bonifacio High Street—is Black Box, a smaller, more intimate multipurpose amusement establishment. “It will be good for art exhibits, music recitals, comedy shows and workshops,” Aquino said.
For rock concerts and the like, there will be Globe Circuit Events Grounds—a two-hectare open space that can hold about 20,000 people.
“We intend to use the grounds even before the complete development of the Circuit,” Aquino said. “We will hold shows there as soon as possible.”
The grounds will have a canopied area for smaller events. There will also be a sports park for interactive outdoor activities like urban karting, skating and maybe football games.
Malls, hotels, office buildings and residential condominiums will also be built in the circuit.
To give people a taste of the Circuit facilities, a mini concert was held Tuesday night under the grounds canopy.
Zia Quizon opened the show night with Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” followed by Christian Bautista who sang Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger.” The two sang a duet, another Rihanna hit, “Where Have You Been.”
The Hotlegs performed a fun number recreating the scene inside the famous Sta. Ana Cabaret. The all-male hip-hop dance crew Jabbawockeez, in the country for a string of shows, electrified the crowd with production numbers that were as frenetic as they were humorous.
Fashion models sashayed in dreamy creations by designers like Joji Lloren and Ivarluski Aseron while Karylle gave a moving rendition of Kuh Ledesma’s “Magbalik Ka Na Mahal” from the pop ballet-musical “Rama Hari.”
Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, international singer-actress and granddaughter of the “Queen of Kundiman” Sylvia La Torre, sang a selection of Disney themes and Broadway musical songs. Then Leo Valdez’ booming voice filled the air with a few tracks from “Katy.”
“It’s always a great feeling for artists and performers when a new venue gets opened,” Zia told the Inquirer. “Each venue provides a different energy and vibe that we can feed from.”
Karylle noted that the project could help promote tourism. Plus, she said, “When there’s a new place, creativity and exciting ideas come up, too.”
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