SINGAPORE- If 2013 was packed with must-watch concerts, plays and blockbuster movies, 2014 is set to offer even more to entertain. From pop-culture sensation Stefanie Sun's newest Mandopop album to achingly hip interior design on display from Parisian trade show Maison & Objet, the new year has something for every taste.
The first quarter starts with the release of local film-maker Jack Neo's new blockbuster movie, The Lion Men, hot on the heels of his box-office record-breaking moneyspinner Ah Boys To Men. For the arthouse film crowd, however, the project to watch is Yellow Flowers. Director Glenn Goei has roped in playwright Haresh Sharma and cinematographer Christopher Doyle for his new project.
Live big-ticket events include Grammy Award-winning singer Bruno Mars' first concert in Singapore, an epic eight-hour play, A Dream Like A Dream, from iconic Taiwanese writer-director Stan Lai and a new indie music festival, Hostess Club Weekender, which will bring in top-notch acts such as melancholic American rocksters The National and melodic Icelandic singer Asgeir.
The Singapore International Film Festival makes a comeback, as does a revamped Singapore International Arts Festival, with big-name international ensembles brought in to reverse the declining attendance of previous years.
The rebooted national arts festival, which took a break this year, has one more string to its bow in the new year: It will use the refurbished premises of the Victoria Concert Hall and Theatre. The promise of a peek at the buildings, closed since 2010 for a nine-figure sum makeover, might well tip the balance for many local viewers.
1 BRUNO MARS THE MOONSHINE JUNGLE TOUR
American singer Bruno Mars came out of nowhere three years ago to become a Grammy award-winning and chart-topping pop act.
Mixing classic genres such as soul, rock, funk and reggae and giving them a contemporary twist, he is one of those rare artists whose music is appreciated by both young and old listeners.
The 28-year-old, whose mother is Filipino and father half- Puerto Rican and half-Jewish, plays his first gig here on March 26 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Prior to the release of his 2010 debut album Doo-Wops & Hooligans, Mars was making his name as a songwriter, producer and guest singer of Top 10 pop hits for the likes of B.o.B and Travie McCoy.
Doo-Wops & Hooligans, featuring hit singles such as Just The Way You Are, Grenade and The Lazy Song, went on to sell six million copies and was nominated for seven awards at the Grammys in 2011 and last year, and won Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
His second and most recent album, Unorthodox Jukebox, was released late last year and had two No. 1 singles, Locked Out of Heaven and When I Was Your Man.
This is a gig to look out for because Mars is one hit machine whose music has substance and lasting appeal.
Where: Singapore Indoor Stadium
When: March 26, 8pm
Admission: $128, $168, $188, $268 and $328 from www.sportshubtix.sg, the box office at the Singapore Indoor Stadium admin office, SingPost outlets or call 6333-5000.