|**UPDATED – 22nd Feb 2014**
Click on the links for my latest review of this musical which was revamped in January 2014, as well as a backstage tour.
LightSeeker is the latest musical which opened at the Resorts World Theatre on 28th November.
An original production of Resorts World Sentosa, the story is centred around The General, who has been tasked by his ominous master The Emperor, to go on a quest to obtain ‘The Light’, a life essence which will make the Emperor more powerful. The General is assisted by Usha, a vindictive witch with a thirst for power and is always on the lookout for ways to take over the place of The General. His search leads him to Nova (the spiritual leader of all living beings and a teacher revered by the tribes and creatures of the forest), who seems to have the ability to create ‘The Light’.
The show itself is a visual spectacle as it has a combination of computer-generated imagery (CGI), 3D animation, visual FX cinematography, acrobatics, martial arts and even pyrotechnics!
I was impressed with the main backdrop of the sets, which is a 10-tonne LED wall that is capable of producing 281 trillion colour variations. Some of the sets are quite elaborate while others are quite simple with only a few props, but this LED wall provides added depth to the visuals and brings the scenes to a whole new dimension!
There is also a translucent screen located downstage which is occasionally used for video projections. In one of the opening scenes, I was pleasantly surprised when the screen opened in a most unexpected fashion to reveal Nova, who was suspended in mid-air.
Moving on to the characters…
Stuart Boother, who portrays The General, first appears to the audience in an outfit which looks like something out of a video game.
I felt that he took off his mask and revealed his face too early in the show, as his handsome looks do not make him appear like a villain and I could almost predict how the show would end. During the first half of Act 1, his renditions were slightly drowned out by the punk rock strains of the electric guitar and I thought the songs didn’t really do justice to his strong vocals. It wasn’t until Act 2, especially when he did several duets with Nova, that I was wowed by his voice! I strongly believe that his character could have been developed a little further, to showcase more of his dark side so that we can see a greater contrast at the finale.
An interesting tidbit is that Stuart had some experience living and training alongside Shaolin Kung Fu Monks in the Kunyu Mountains of China and this came in handy in the battle-fighting scenes executed by The General.
Vivienne Carlyle, is convincing as Usha but like The General, her character could have been developed further and several loose ends in the storyline revolving around her role could have been tightened. I loved her red feathery costume, which somehow brought the image of the wicked queen from Snow White to my mind.
Arachnophobes beware – you may not want to sit at the seats located at the front right of the theatre as you will not like one of Usha’s several pets!
Sarah Victoria Brown, who plays Nova, is a petite lady with a powerful voice and I was mesmerized by her velvet vocals. Nova’s outfit comprises of a range of sound and lighting equipment concealed beneath the layers of clothing and I’m really amazed at how she can still move gracefully on stage, not to mention sing! I love the effect when the mid-section of her body lights up! You have to see it to appreciate the visual impact.
The imps were an interesting bunch to watch and some of their antics were quite amusing.
I have to make a special mention of Joshua Donovan, who acts as Min (Imp), as he added some comic relief to the show.
One of the scenes in the musical that I liked was the opening “Celebration” scene which has a forest-like setting, featuring the Imps and Tribes. However, I felt there was too much going on in that scene and I didn’t know where to focus my eyes. There was a sense of thrill when some of the performers swung out into the audience (especially if you are seated in the front rows).
I must admit that the subsequent scenes that followed in Act 1 bored me as some of the CGI sequences were too draggy and some acts could have been shortened as they started to get a bit monotonous.
It wasn’t until the Ceremonial Gardens scene that recaptured my interest as it was visually stunning and absolutely magical to watch! I started sitting up in my seat the moment The Priest (Chris Clark) started to sing…
Coupled with Sarah’s brilliant vocals, this was the highlight of the show for me and it was definitely my favourite scene of the night!
Here’s a video (from a preview of the musical) posted by Today Online, which showcases the Ceremonial Gardens scene but you really have to watch it in person to appreciate the entirety of the performance, complete with performers dangling above the audience, with lanterns in hand.
Subsequently, the scenes in Act 2 were more engaging and there wasn’t a dull moment!
The two songs I liked most from the show are “Look Ahead” and “The Light Within” (you can hear them in the above video). Did you know that our home-grown acclaimed songwriter, Dick Lee was so inspired by the storyline that he completed the music composition for “The Light Within” in 10 minutes?
Finally, in the words of my hubby – this musical is like a mash-up of Final Fantasy FMV, live vocalists and Cirque du Soleil-ish acts. I felt that it had a shallow plot, but on the other hand, the sets were elaborate and a visual delight, the costumes were impressive and the international cast comprised of a group of extremely talented individuals!
On a footnote, there is an underlying message in the musical which we can all apply to our lives – in the lyrics sung by Nova:
“Trust in your belief don’t be afraid
Hold your strength don’t let your courage fade
Keep the faith you’ve known, you are not alone
Follow that conviction you once made
Listen to your heart don’t be afraid
It’s deep within your soul
Within your own control
Reach in to find the missing piece you need
To make your spirit whole”
Dates: 28 Nov 2013 – 23 Mar 2014
Mon, Tue, Thur & Fri – 8pm
▸ 26 Dec 2013 and 2 Jan 2014 – No Show
Sat & Sun – 3pm & 8pm
▸ 31 Jan 2014, 1 – 2 Feb 2014 (Chinese New Year) – 8pm only
Wed – No Shows except for the following dates
▸ 25 Dec 2013 (Christmas Day) – 3pm only
▸ 1 Jan 2014 (New Year Day) – 3pm only
Note: Show times are subject to change without notice. Do check www.rwsentosa.com for the latest updates.
Show Duration: 90min, with a 20min interval
Language: English (but Mandarin subtitles are available on the TV screens located on both sides of the stage)
Venue: Resorts World® Theatre
Cat 1: $98
Cat 2: $88
Cat 3: $78
Cat 4: $48 (Restricted View)
Premium: $148 (Price includes a glass of wine & canapés)
*Prices exclude SISTIC booking fees and handling charges. Terms and conditions apply.
There are also some packages which include dinner plus show tickets. Check www.rwsentosa.com for more details on ticketing and promotions.
Pre-Theatre Dinner is available at the following locations:
Dinner Buffet at $38++ per person at Starz Restaurant
3-course set menu at $48++ per person at Palio (click for menu)
4-course set menu at $58++ per person at Osia (more details in my other post -> LightSeeker Menu at OSIA)
Memorabilia from the show can be bought at the theatre’s foyer…
…as well as at the gift shop located just outside.