From Iraqi pop and a Khaleeji stage show to acrobatics and stand-up comedy, there is a lot to see and experience over the next few weeks
From Assala Nasri to La Perle: kick off your Eid celebrations with these UAE gigs
These weekend’s Eid festivities are not only limited to public spaces. The UAE’s performance stages are also set to return from hibernation as it kick-starts its summer season with a bunch of new shows and the return of old favourites. Here are a bunch of gigs to check out during the month.
La Perle by Dragone
After performing in 10 shows a week over 10 months, the acrobatic team and special effects crew of this spectacular show deserved a well-earned break over Ramadan, but now the cast and crew are together once again for another run at their purpose-built venue at Dubai’s Al Habtoor City. There’s also a summer deal, with ticket prices discounted by up to 40 per cent, so this really is the best time to catch the thrills and glamour of the production that was conceived by Belgian choreographer Franco Dragone.
For all tickets and timings, visit laperle.com.
On Saturday, Syrian singer Assala Nasri will be performing at the Dubai Opera for the first time. The songbird and television personality is preparing to dazzle audiences at Dubai Opera with more than three decades of her material, ranging from pop hits and operettas to classic Arabic folk songs. With more than 20 albums in her career and a hectic concert schedule, Nasri rarely slows down and has always developed her craft. Describing her approach to work to The National, she said: “I don’t feel that my music is stagnant. It’s the opposite. Mentally, I have the same passion and excitement as the days when I first started.”
Tickets start from Dh450 at www.dubaiopera.com.
3 Stars, 1 Heart
A triple whammy of Filipino music talent will take the stage for this concert – pop singers Regine Velasquez, Christian Bautista and Julie Anne San Jose. While all three are successful in their own right, it is Velasquez who shines the brightest, having racked up more than eight million album and download sales since winning a television talent show in 1984. British-Filipino singer Bautista has also found joy and fame among many media platforms as a television host, film actor and model. Meanwhile, San Jose recently finished work on the drama Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa and has returned to the studio to record her next album. Perhaps fans in the UAE will be lucky enough to hear some new songs when the trio performs at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Tickets begin from Dh150 and are free for children under six years of age. For details, call 052 993 1164.
To know how big Atif Aslam is, you need to consider his free show last August at Dubai’s Global Village. More than 10,000 people crammed in to see the effortlessly smooth singer perform a set of his hits. With a fan base spanning the subcontinent, the Pakistani has regional hits with Woh Lamhe, Tu Jaane Na and Toota Jo Kabhi Taara from the recent movie A Flying Jatt. A composer and accomplished guitarist, Aslam likes to fuse his pop sounds with elements of rock and funk. While he has been quiet when it comes to recording solo albums, he has actually been busy lending his talents to major Bollywood productions. His work appeared in the soundtracks to the films Hindi Medium and Qarib Qarib Singlle last year. He will perform at Dubai World Trade Centre.
Tickets are from Dh110 at dubai.platinumlist.net.
Dragon Mart 2 is joining the Eid celebration by hosting Iraqi singer Mohamed Alsalim, who began his career in his home city of Baghdad. He scored a hit with his debut 2011 single Habab in Iraq, before launching across the Middle East with follow-up Qalb Qalb. Alsalim continues to win over audiences, with recent songs Naam Enta and Zak Men regularly played on Arabic stations. He will perform in Dubai on the back of Ana Al Basma, his latest album.
For details, go to www.dragonmart.ae.
Bruno Vlahek and Dubravka Vukalovic
Dubai Opera will conclude the second season of its in-house Music In The Studio series, which is comprised of monthly shows held at the venue’s pitch-perfect and intimate stage on June 20. The finale will be a virtuosi music display as the International Piano Four-Hands Competition winning Croatian duo Bruno Vlahek and Dubravka Vukalovic perform on one piano, delving into a programme that takes the performers, both noted soloists, into the music of Chabrier, Saint-Saens, Ravel, Granados and de Falla.
Tickets are Dh150 from www.dubaiopera.com.
The Laughter Factory
The UAE’s longest-running live comedy series is back in gear after Ramadan. There are five shows – beginning on June 20 in Abu Dhabi’s Park Rotana before moving on to Dubai’s Crowne Plaza and the Grand Millennium on Thursday and then both Movenpick JBR and the restaurant Senara on Friday. Along for the ride is a trio of UK-based comics new to the UAE. Joe Bor is a regular on the comedy circuit and landed writing jobs in British entertainment programmes including satirical hits Mock The Week and Have I Got News For You. American comic Desiree Burch is a self-described “NY to London transplant”. She has appeared on British television shows Live at the Apollo and Frankie Boyle’s American Autopsy. Meanwhile, Nick Page has performed everywhere from Switzerland to Afghanistan. No doubt a few anecdotes from his travels will pepper his set.
For ticketing details, visit thelaughterfactory.com.
Al Beit Beit Aboona
For lovers of Arabic comedy, this show promises to be a treat. As part of the Abu Dhabi Summer Season programme, a stage adaptation of the hit Gulf comedy drama Al Beit Beit Aboona will arrive in Abu Dhabi. First screened on MBC in 2013, the Kuwaiti production follows the lives of a pair of divorced women Halima (Haya Alshoaibi) and Naema (Soad Ali) as they live with their respective parents. The series follows their often-funny struggles as they try to get back on their feet while battling against the social stigma sometimes directed towards divorced women in Gulf societies. Both actresses will be in Abu Dhabi for the stage production at Al Raha Beach Theatre.
Tickets from Dh100. Children under the age of 8 are not permitted