The Brilliant Les Misérables Experience

With only tunes from the score in my head, and zilch background of the show, I entered the theatre and came out a fan. That’s how powerful the performance was. Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed new production of Boublil and Schonberg’s legendary musical, Les Misérables just finished its preview performances at Esplanade Theatre with full house and standing ovations. Lucky me got one of the best seats in the house – T15, and I was awed by the details and impeccable transitions from 1815 in Digne to 1832 in Paris.

Set against the backdrop of 19th-century revolutionary France, Les Misérables is a much-loved blockbuster musical which has been seen by over 70 million people worldwide in 44 countries and in 22 languages. Les Mis is undisputedly one of the most popular musicals of all time. Based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel, it is an epic and uplifting story about the survival of the human spirit.

One of the world’s greatest musicals, this new production of the much-loved blockbuster features glorious modernised staging, orchestrations and dazzlingly reimagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo. This new version of Les Misérables is not to be missed indeed.

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Playing the role of iconic role of Jean Valjean is established actor and musical theatre star, Simon Gleeson following his recent and prestigious Australian Helpmann Award win for the role. Valjean’s lifelong antagonist Javert is be played by Earl Carpenter, direct from his performance of the role in the Broadway company of Les Misérables, having also played the role in the UK and Toronto. Returning to the international company is Patrice Tipoki as Fantine, who just completed a West End run in the same role. Joining them are musical theatre stars, Cameron Blakely and Helen Walsh as Monsieur and Madame Thenardier, Kerrie Anne Greenland as Eponine, Paul Wilkins as Marius, Emily Langridge as Cosette and Chris Durling as Enjolras who all come directly from performing the show in Manila.

That’s me grinning after the awesome and brilliant performance at the media preview Les Misérables.

With such prolific casts and the breathtaking production, it is nothing less than stunning. Having caught several productions over these years, this is by far the more extraordinary theatrical experience ever! I want to watch it again!

Les Misérables in Singapore
Tue, 31 May – Sun, 17 Jul 2016
Tue – Fri: 8pm
Sat: 2pm & 8pm
Sun: 1:30pm & 7pm

At Esplanade Theatre, Singapore
Ticket prices range from S$58 to S$228.
Get your tickets at www.sistic.com.sg or call +65 6348 5555.

This is engagement done right! #‎ChewbaccaMaskLady‬

So I saw this shared on my feed and like the 8 million other Facebook users out there, I laughed.

It was just simple joy. But what happened next totally rocked and this is what I wish brands and companies can look at doing more. This is social media engagement done right lah!

From a Facebook Live video published to share about her awesome buy, she received an even bigger joy from a departmental store.

Can we see more of such coolness happening here in Singapore please?

Featured photo from Kohl’s Facebook Page

5 Easy Ways To Save Money For Your Retirement

Despite salary contributions of 20 per cent from employees and 17 per cent from employers, Singapore’s mandatory pension plan was recently deemed inadequate to retire on by Hui Weng Tat, an associate professor of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. He said that the Central Provident Fund (CPF) would only provide a sufficient pension for the bottom 30 per cent of wage earners due to increasing life expectancy, inflation, and property costs.

For this reason, it makes sense to explore other investment opportunities to boost your financial position after you have stopped working. So, here are 5 easy ways to save money for your retirement:

1. Play the financial markets

Even though Singapore stocks have witnessed a turbulent start to 2016, there are a number of ways to take advantage of this slide. For instance, now is the time to buy shares with long-term growth potential, as global markets will inevitably pick up again in the near future. Alternatively, you could explore a leveraged product like ‘Contracts for Difference’ or CFD.

This enables you to put down a small deposit for a much larger market exposure, making your investment capital go a lot further. However, you should be aware that CFD trading also requires a high level of risk management.

2. Invest in index funds

The vast majority of financial investments require a lot of time, effort, and expertise to yield an impressive return. But the opposite is true with index funds, which can achieve superb investment performance but help you cut down on any dealing costs.

Take the S&P 500 for example, which was more profitable than about 82 per cent of large-cap stock funds between 2004 and 2014.

3. Shrink your debt

It is a simple equation that too many savers forget about – assets minus liabilities equals total net worth. Therefore, why wouldn’t you try to boost this number by shrinking your debt?

Consider paying off a small credit card balance in full before tackling those with high interest rates, as the sense of satisfaction will encourage you to clear more debt. Also, change your attitude towards credit cards and only use them for emergencies.

4. Rein in your spending

Once you have managed to shift your debt, start thinking of ways to avoid this from happening in the future and come up with a plan to rein in your spending.

As you get older things like car insurance premiums will rise, so shop around or negotiate for a better deal. You don’t necessarily have to cut back on the finer things in life, but the more you manage to save, the more comfortable your retirement will be.

5. Keep working

The prospect of working longer doesn’t bear thinking about for most people. However, if you enjoy your job and are happy to keep working until age 70 or even beyond, this is a fantastic way to add more money to your retirement fund.

What’s more, some workplaces are friendlier to older employees than others and increasing life expectancy rates mean you won’t miss out on many precious retirement years either.