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Has Imelda taken over Lani in The Strip?

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Imelda Papin Lani MisaluchaFUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo
January 09, 2009

Curtain-raisers:

•  A songwriter and his “signature” singer are, to use a cliché, playing sweet music together to the hilt — as in, with the songwriter going to the extent of filing for annulment of his marriage to another woman with whom he has children. The lovebirds are now living together in the States where they will be “legal” anytime soon. They click — thanks to music which has brought them together — notwithstanding the age gap between them (he’s more than a decade older than she).

•  A popular, in-demand actress (very visible in movies and television) is all smiles in public even after she broke up with her boyfriend of a few years. But in private, she’s suffering, she’s in pain, unable to come to terms with the break-up. Following Karylle’s example (after she broke up with Dingdong Dantes), the actress is now going through counseling. Maybe she should also go into a retreat to complete the healing process.

•   A popular actress (A) who can feign sweetness in public is really, incorrigibly mataray. Remember when she was pitted against her co-star (Actress B) in a TV series? It was not just a gimmick; the bad blood between them was for real. One time, while sharing a dressing room, Actress A looked at herself in the mirror while fixing herself, saying (talking to the mirror) while casting side glances at Actress B seated next to her, “Ang ganda-ganda mo talaga, ang sexy-sexy mo! Kaya naman ‘yung iba diyan inggit na inggit sa’yo...insecure na insecure sa’yo!”


My friend came home last week from Las Vegas with an interesting piece of news: “Guess whose huge billboards were all over The Strip. Yes, those of Imelda Papin! I can’t believe it!”

Has The Sentimental Songstress taken over where Lani Misalucha has left off? (Lani’s stint in Vegas is over and she’s now performing in other parts of the US).

She might soon, if she has not yet.

Now touted as Queen of Music, Imelda did a good show last Dec. 27 at the showroom of Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, that’s why she begged off from the Legends show last Dec. 30 at the PICC starring her colleagues Claire dela Fuente, Eva Eugenio, Rico J. Puno, Rey Valera and Nonoy Zuñiga, plus Canada-based Joey Albert who filled in for Imelda.

So how was Imelda’s show?

Here are excerpts from a review sent to Funfare by somebody who was there:

Not only Filipinos but also Americans flocked to Orleans Hotel. Among those in the audience was Tony Zacca, so-called Mr. Entertainer of Las Vegas, who looked “visibly impressed.”

Imelda performed with 10 dancers, international recording artists Peggi Blu and Oren Waters, and world-virtuoso harp player Mariano Gonzales, with the special participation of Ron Dante (of The Archies). The musical direction was by Grammy winner Ted Perlman.

The turn-out was amazing considering the recession in America. But the audience trekked to the show in droves, which is their way of spending an enjoyable and meaningful time with family and friends, especially among the Filipinos. Giving an added dimension to the show is the creative dance interpretation of daughter Maria France Imelda (Maffi) to the song Contradiction, a Vehnee Saturno composition (with the English lyrics contributed by the legendary Norman Gimbel). A surprise number was the poignant rendition of Silent Night with a harp accompaniment by Imelda’s sisters Gloria and Aileen, together with Maffi.

On Imelda’s radio show aired every Sunday at KLAV 1230 AM Radio (The Talk of Las Vegas), the manager of Orleans Hotel and Casino called the program to congratulate Imelda who is the only Filipino artist included in the prestigious hotel’s roster of international performers and entertainers.

Said Imelda, “I thank Mr. Oscar Parel, CEO of 618 International Entertainment, Inc. and the concert producer, who went all out in the promotion of the show. He put up of 10 billboards all over The Strip, placed ads in newspapers and launched radio infomercials.” Imelda has recorded her latest CD called Voice of the Heart under the same outfit, which is released by the Warner Music Group (ADA) and is available in all Border bookstores, Barnes and Noble bookstores, Zia Record Exchange, Amazon.com, itunes and 618 International Entertainment, Inc., among other outlets.

For the first quarter of 2009, Imelda has shows lined up at the Cache Creek Hotel and Casino in Brooks, Northern California, on Jan. 24; and at the Vibe Showroom of the Morongo Hotel and Casino in L.A. on March 14. The Orleans Hotel and Casino management is scheduling another concert in April. More shows are scheduled in San Diego and Hawaii.

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