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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Batman on the loose - Christian Bale to come to Chiang Mai

NAP and Art, Living and Lifestyle (ALL) 2005

Horse’s unexpected birth

American Voices’ artists at Payap University Chapel

Don’t miss ‘The Musical Concert 3’

“An Evening At Home” charity dinner, to benefit women and children

Batman on the loose - Christian Bale to come to Chiang Mai

Job going for a Chinese US Marine speaking Thai

Vincent Leutwiler (student trainee)

A new war-action-drama movie is set to begin shooting in Thailand in August this year. Directed by Werner Herzog, it stars Christian Bale (best known for his role in the recently released movie ‘Batman Begins’) and Steve Zahn.

Extras auditioning in Chiang Mai

Auditioning for extras has already begun in Chiang Mai and roles on offer are US Marines, a Chinese pilot, two Thai pilots and others.

The story line in the British funded movie is about an American pilot who gets shot down over Laos in the Vietnam War. The movie, ‘Rescue Dawn’, is based on Werner Herzog’s 1997 documentary “Little Dieter Needs to Fly” which is the true story of German-born Dieter Dengler who makes his way to America to join the Army and is then shot down over Laos.

Christian Bale stars as Dieter Dengler and Steve Zahn plays a worn-down POW, and together they plan to escape.

Christian Bale is well known for several movies including ‘Batman Begins’ and Steven Spielberg’s 1987 ‘Empire of the Sun’. Entertainment Weekly crowned him as “one of the top eight most powerful cult figures” of the past decade and also as “one of the most creative people in entertainment”.

Werner Herzog, a well known German director started traveling the world on foot when he was 14 and worked night shifts as a welder to make enough money for his first movie which came out in 1961 when he was 19. Since then he has produced, written, and directed more than forty films, published more than a dozen books, and directed as many operas.


NAP and Art, Living and Lifestyle (ALL) 2005

Taking a nap would have been better

Suchada Thongsawan

Everybody who drove on Nimmanahaeminda Road these last couple of weeks was greeted by big banners (welcome back to ‘Banner City’), announcing two different activities between July 15-July 30. Art, Living and Lifestyle (ALL) 2005 and Nimmanahaeminda Art Promenade (NAP).

They were having fun, the children who took part in the shoe pottery painting, which was perhaps the dizzy ‘highlight’ of this mid-year NAP.

However, Chiang Mai residents who know and had been to the NAP Art promenade activities in previous years, were disappointed when walking through Soi Nimmanahaeminda 1 last Saturday, if they were expecting the previous art and design promenade with hundreds of stalls, artists, high class d้cor items, parades and fashion shows.

This year it was different. Yes, there were some stalls but only from the shop owners who have shops in the Soi anyway. Yes, they did display some art, but the glamour, the charm and the flair was missing. People were seen walking down to the renovated Gong Dee Gallery, stopping at the inviting wine corner of Amari Rincome Hotel, and walking back out.

The idea was good, and Soi 1 and Soi 4 could have easily combined their activities, and Soi 1 need not have changed their former concept which was a lot more fun for everybody concerned and involved, be it visitor or organizer.


Horse’s unexpected birth

Dad keeping mum

Vincent Leutwiler (student trainee)

A horse at Ladda Land Riding Club unexpectedly gave birth to a foal in the middle of the night on July 25.

Mama Cindy and her baby 24 hours old and smaller than a full-sized dog.

Nobody knew the horse was pregnant because it had been recently bought in Pattaya and then brought to Chiang Mai. The owner, who was out of the country, returned on July 26, completely unaware that her horse, Cindy, had given birth to a foal.

The horse’s caretaker and stable hands were starting to suspect Cindy might be pregnant because of a weight gain and her increased appetite. The veterinarian was called and an appointment was scheduled for Tuesday morning, but when she arrived, instead of a sick horse, there was a small foal happily drinking milk from its mother.

At this stage the mother is refusing to name the father, before checking with her legal representatives.


American Voices’ artists at Payap University Chapel

To promote art and cultural exchange, the U.S. Consulate Chiang Mai and the U.S. Embassy Bangkok, in conjunction with Payap University Chiang Mai, will organize a free concert given by American Voices artists at Payap University Chapel, on Thursday, August 18 at 7.30 p.m.

John Ferguson & Ira Spaulding.

The concert will feature the renowned American Voices’ artists including vocalist Ira Spaulding, and baritone and choral conductor and pianist, John Ferguson. Both performers had visited and performed in Chiang Mai last December. This time they will entertain their audience with such favorites as American Traditional (Aaron Copland), Broadway (Rodgers and Hammerstein, Mitch Leigh, George Gershwin), and Gershwin’s Excerpts from the songbook for piano solo, and his Excerpts from Porgy and Bess.

Admission is free. However, tickets will be distributed on a first come - first serve basis. Bookings can be made by calling the Music Department of Payap University, tel. (053) 248-037.

Prior to the concert performance, the two artists will also conduct a series of workshops/master classes for Payap students and invited professional musicians, and music instructors.


Don’t miss ‘The Musical Concert 3’

Sandy Clark

Many hours of sweat, tears and anticipation have ensued for the almost 120 participants who want to make musical history in Chiang Mai with ‘The Musical Concert’, Episode 3.

15 leading singers, 17 dancers, 20 supporting actors, 24 in the chorus line and 42 musicians, plus stage hands and the trainers are looking forward to evergreens from 12 different Broadway style musicals.

A couple of young dancers during practice with Ajarn Nakarin Jaiklah ‘Nut’ (with hat), the choreographer.

Producer Tianchai Sooktiang from the Voice Studio says that the idea of conducting a musical in Chiang Mai was born in San Francisco earlier this year after he and Ajarn Nakarin Jaiklah or “Nut” (his teacher of the ‘Dance and Drama’ section and choreographer) had experienced the San Francisco Dance Center for Rhythm and Motion and the City Ballet.

The innovative production will include songs from Les Miserables, South Pacific, Elton John’s Aida, Sunset Boulevard, Annie, Jesus Christ Superstar, Cats, Evita, Phantom of the Opera, Joseph, A Chorus Line and the 70’s revival Abba based musical ‘Mamma Mia’.

The event is on Saturday, August 6 at 7 p.m. at Kad Theatre, with tickets 700, 500 and 200 baht on sale at the Public Relations counter, G floor, Central Kad Suan Kaew, Voice Studio and Chiangmai Mail (Marion). For further information, contact 0 5341 0123, 0 1602 4441.


“An Evening At Home” charity dinner, to benefit women and children

Dr. Ravi Zacharias and world famous vocalist Usha Uthup attending

The Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi Resort, Chiang Mai, and RZIM Wellspring International, a United States based establishment which partners with Asian organizations aiding women and children in at-risk situations, are hosting a fundraising dinner on Monday, August 8 to benefit Chiang Mai’s Just Food and Im Jai House, two non-profit organizations with a history of helping women and children in need.

Just Food is an outreach to women seeking to leave the sex trafficking industry. Training in all aspects of the restaurant industry as well as necessary life skills is offered, providing women with hope for a successful future. This event will provide necessary funds for an emergency home for the women and a vocational training center. Mark Crawford, director of Just Food says, “I am very excited for the community to be involved in helping to give disadvantaged people new opportunities in life!”

Im Jai House is a home for children orphaned by AIDS where they are able to be part of a family and given a quality life so they will become productive members of society.

The hope of the banquet is to raise sufficient funds for a kitchen and cafeteria for the children and staff. Ladda Tipkunta, director of Im Jai House says, “I really thank God for all of you who love and care for needy children…this event will be a first time to raise money in Thailand to help…”

The formal dinner event will be held at Jum Thong Hall, Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi Resort on Monday, August 8, 2005 at 7.15 p.m. and is open to the general public.

The inspirational address will be delivered by international speaker and author Dr. Ravi Zacharias, founder of Wellspring International. He has addressed writers of the peace accord in South Africa, President Fujimori’s cabinet and parliament in Peru, and military officers at the Lenin Military Academy and the Center for Geopolitical Strategy in Moscow. Additionally, Dr. Zacharias has spoken twice at the Annual Prayer Breakfast at the United Nations in New York, which marks the beginning of the UN session each year, and at the invitation of the President of Nigeria, he addressed the delegates at the First Annual Prayer Breakfast for African Leaders, held in Mozambique.

World famous vocalist Usha Uthup and the children of Im Jai House will provide musical entertainment. Singing in eighteen different languages, Ms. Uthup has graced audiences of world leaders and presidents, including Nelson Mandela and Indira Gandhi. Past performances include a number of concerts to support Mother Teresa’s work and an HIV/AIDS benefit with actor Richard Gere.

Tickets are Baht 2,100 per person and available through the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi Resort, Chiang Mai; please contact the hotel at 0 5388 8888 ext. 8944 for further information.