Mon, 22 Dec 2003

Local cafes offer sensational night to party goers

Many entertainment venues in the city are gearing up for New Year's Eve celebrations, with several promising to surprise their patrons with a special twist or a little bit of "magic" in the air.

"The program has already been conceptualized and we are now making preparations to ensure its success," said Hard Rock Cafe Jakarta's public relations executive Adhisty J. Rhidwan.

"The Magic Rock New Year" is the theme of the New Year's Eve party at Hard Rock Cafe, in Sarinah Building, level 8, Jl. MH. Thamrin Jakarta. "The party will start at 9 p.m. It is expected to be a truly special and magical night," she said, adding that the theme was selected because many cafe-goers here have a passion both for live music and 'magic'.

A fortuneteller, for instance, will be available to read interested guest's palms and inform them of their destiny, or perhaps just the presence of a "tall, dark, stranger" on the horizon.

The cafe's 4 x 6-meter stage, with a backdrop of sky and stars, will be the setting for a spoof of one of this year's best movies: Lord of the Rings. Hard Rock's take on the Rings will be a vastly different experience from the film, with jokes, puns and good music. "We will involve top bands, Wong Pitoe and the Seurius Band, in creating the desired atmosphere," she said.

The bands are not only known for their sense of humor but for their creativity in playing various kinds of music, from pop and rock to jazz. "This will be a non-stop Broadway-style musical show," she said.

Tickets cost Rp 200,000 each, including a glass of champagne, a standard drink and the chance to meet a fortuneteller -- who will not only read your palm but provide you with a special shot of "magic" potion "Rock Sensation".

Planet Hollywood and Mario's Place are other venues that will provide sensational programs to liven up New Year's Eve.

Under the theme 'One Night In Sahara', Planet Hollywood, located on Jl. Gatot Subroto Kav. 16, Jakarta, will provide party goers with an unusual opportunity, to enjoy a New Year's Eve dinner in Jakarta while enjoying the atmosphere of the Middle East.

"We have a different theme every New Year's Eve," said Planet Hollywood's marketing manager Maria S. Tenggono.

The cafe's bar and restaurant will be made to look like a desert, with a huge tent occupying the restaurant area and a cave with artificial stone walls. "At the back, there will be a tent where a fortune teller will be ready to tell your fortune," she said.

The party will start at 9 p.m. Guests will be treated to live music and dance, featuring: Second Born Band, Orient Park band and exotic belly dancers, Planet Hollywood's in-house DJ will play mostly ambient tracks and house music.

"The Second Born Band was selected to perform because it can provide many kinds of music that fit our theme," said Maria, adding that the band would play everything from pop, dangdut (popular music with strong beat reminiscent of Hindi and Arabic music), to rock and top 40's music.

The hours before midnight will be livened up by fire-eating jugglers, Second Born band, a balloon drop and DJ's and dancers.

Maria said that Planet Hollywood hopes families and young executives will make up the crowd.

Tickets for the gala dinner at the restaurant are Rp575,500 per person, including an appetizer, main course, dessert and soft drink. Tickets for the bar party are Rp100,000 per person, including a soft drink.

Maria said that those who buy tickets before December 25, 2003 will get a 10 percent discount.

Meanwhile, Mario's Place in Menteng Plaza is preparing a Beatles Extravaganza to welcome in the New Year.

"Beatles Extravaganza is the theme of our New Year's celebration because, based on our market study, many Jakartans -- including young people -- love Beatles songs. Our monthly 'Beatles Night' is always packed," said Mario's Place's public relations officer Innoveira Karim, adding that US Ambassador to Indonesia Ralph L. Boyce had twice been seen among the audience there.

The band's backdrop will be decorated with huge posters of the four Beatles - the late John Lennon, Paul Mc Cartney, the late George Harrison and Ringo Star - to recreate the heyday of the group in the 1960'.

Beatles Extravaganza will feature Bharata "Beatles" Band known for its consistency in playing Beatles music. The sense of nostalgia will be heightened by the Ireng Maulana Nostalgia Band. The band will present the songs of dozens of music legends, including Elvis Presley, The Everly Brothers, Connie Francis, Bill Haley and Nat King Cole.

To liven up the party, Mario's Place will also present a special show featuring entertainer Dorce Gamalama.

Equipped with a big screen and sophisticated sound system, Mario's Place promises to provide a high-quality musical performance with its Beatles Extravaganza.

Tickets are Rp750,000 person, including dinner and wine/ champagne.

Salsa Club on Jl. Kemang Raya No. 12-16A, Jakarta will offer a fun-filled program with a Latin atmosphere.

"Regular patrons of our cafe in Jakarta are Latin music enthusiasts. Therefore, we will present special Latin music and dance," said Salsa Club's marketing manager Mouna Rabindrana.

To create a Latin ambience, the interior of the cafe will be decked out in black and white, from the backdrop to staff's costumes. "Hopefully, the guests will also wear black and white clothes," she said.

The party will feature Carnival Band, one of the best bands specializing in Latin music. The band will present Latin rhythms, such as Salsa, Merengue and Cha Cha Cha.

Tickets are Rp200,000 person, including a buffet dinner.