Theatre

Mulan The Musical (木兰少女)

Mulan The Musical (木兰少女) runs from 16 December 2016 to 5 February 2017 at the Resorts World Theatre. This musical comedy from Taiwan, which is making its overseas debut, brings a different twist to the legendary story of Hua Mulan (花木兰).

The cast includes Zhou Ding Wei in the leading male role (the General), Taiwanese singer-actress Li Qian Na and Lai Ying Ying taking turns in the role of Hua Mulan and Singapore artistes Pierre Png and Ann Kok in supporting roles.

At the beginning, we are introduced to the Hua family, where the head of the household has some health issues, the older sister Hua Mulian (played by Ann Kok) was pregnant out of wedlock and the younger brother Hua Xiong, who exhibited some effeminate traits.

If you are familiar with the story of Hua Mulan, you will know that she took her father’s place in the army out of filial piety. However, in this version, she reluctantly agreed to take the place of her father as her siblings couldn’t make the mark and she was deemed to be the most qualified candidate in their family. Thus, Mulan disguised herself as a man and joined the army as Hua Munan (花木男), which is a more masculine name.

Pierre Png plays the army captain, also known as “Encik” and several of his scenes are hilarious! Be prepared for some vulgarities in the dialogue as some of the scenes have local influences and may remind the local audience of Singapore’s National Service.

Look out for this bathroom scene where someone accidentally opens the door to one of the stalls (whoops!) but I won’t spoil the fun for you, so you’ll just have to go watch!

My favourite part was this subsequent bathroom scene with the strawberry-scented soap! It was quite funny, but also romantic in a kind of way.

Whilst at the army camp, both the General and Mulan’s childhood friend Guanfu fall for her and it was amusing to see them wrestling with the idea of having feelings for someone of the same gender. At one point, Mulan was accused by her best friend for being indecisive and liking two guys at the same time (劈腿).

Well, there is a bittersweet ending to the story and in my personal opinion, it resolved the dilemma for Mulan to have to choose between the two!

Apparently, the script has been modified for the Singapore audience, to incorporate local humour and colloquialisms. Current societal issues have also been weaved into the story and these include single parenthood, compulsory military service and LGBT issues.

The music during the second half of the show sounded much better than that in the first half. I was most impressed by Zhou Ding Wei’s vocals and I felt that his voice outshined the rest of the cast.

Curtain call:

It turns out that I absolutely loved that bathroom scene with the strawberry-scented soap, so I just had to get this picture taken as a keepsake! LOL!

Do note that Mulan the Musical is about two hours long with a 15-minute intermission and the show is in Mandarin, but English subtitles are displayed on screens located at both sides of the stage. I wonder which translation software did they use as I found some of the English subtitles to be strange and it was quite funny – one example was 马子 (girlfriend) being translated as “pony”!

Overall, I liked the show for its comedic elements more than the musical numbers.


Dates: 16 December 2016 – 5 February 2017, select nights (please refer to show calendar)

Time: 8pm
Venue: Resorts World Theatre
Prices*: Cat 1: S$128, Cat 2: S$98, Cat 3: S$68, Cat 4: S$38
*Prices exclude SISTIC booking fee and handling charges. Terms and Conditions apply.
Tickets are available from SISTIC or at the Resorts World Theatre.

The photos in this post are credited to Resorts World Sentosa, unless otherwise stated.
Thanks to Resorts World Sentosa for the invite to watch Mulan The Musical.

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Categories: Media Invite, Resorts World Sentosa, Theatre | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

[Review] THE PAINTERS: HERO takes Performance Art to A Whole New Level!

One word sums up my feelings about this show – WOW!!!

The Painters: HERO is an non-verbal performance that features live drawing accompanied by visual effects, incorporating mime, dance and comedy into the acts.

This 80-minute show centered around a “Heroes” theme, will take the audience through a fascinating process where 10 art pieces are created live on stage, using creative techniques which I’ve never imagined could be turned into art! There are also unexpected twists in some of the acts.

I watched the performance during its brief run at the Resorts World Theatre on 10-11 june 2016 and initially I was a little skeptical about what to expect from the show after reading the synopsis – to further clarify, I failed art during my secondary school days, so you can imagine me wondering how exciting can an art performance be?

This is the opening set which greets the audience when you enter the theatre:

The show started out a little slow-moving to me and the first art piece was created using a technique called Light Scratching, which is similar to carving a sculpture on a black canvas except that this had an added complexity involving a spinning screen. The outcome revealed a picture of Beethoven, but I was scratching my head as to whether this was an image being projected or something else.

There were several segments between the acts where the performers interacted with the audience. As this was a non-verbal performance, it initially took the audience some time to be warmed up to what the performers were doing and what they expected from the audience, but once everyone finally understood, it started to turn into some hilarious moments! Do note that those seated immediately in front of the stage would have better chances of being picked to go on stage to “perform” with the cast and you will be rewarded for your efforts with some memorabilia from the show.

The pace of the show then picked up with an Action Painting segment, which combined Jackson Pollock’s style of drip painting with dancing to the beat of The B-52’s Love Shack. Four canvases were being worked on at the same time and they each looked like pieces of abstract art! When we were all trying to figure out each of the completed pieces, they started to piece the four boards together (like fixing a jigsaw) and it turned into a painting of Michael Jackson! WOW!! Equally impressive was the dance sequence which followed and that incorporated the moonwalk!

I was also impressed with the Dust Drawing act which combined painting with sand art. A portrait was being drawn on black canvas using black paint and we were kept in the dark as to what was being drawn. Finally, sand was poured onto the canvas and we were amazed by the finished work!

There was a segment where the performers were given 3 minutes to stack cubes together in a frame to form a picture. I was seated too far away to be able to get a good look at the individual cubes, but I later learnt that they were Rubik cubes.

Over 200 Rubik cubes were used to create an amazing analog-style pixel art which revealed two different pictures at the front and back! This technique used is called Cube Art.

Superman:

My absolute favourite part of the show was the Marbling Art that was performed to Disney’s catchy Under the Sea tune. This technique involves manipulating paint on water before eventually transforming this pattern to paper. Somehow this marbling process reminded me of latte art!!

There were at least 2 surprises for me in this act when the final artwork was revealed!

Hong Boram impressed us with his Speed Drawing of a tiger in 3 minutes! 3D video projection mapping was then added to the completed artwork and this made it look like the tiger had come alive!

There are slight variations to the show when it tours different countries and for the ones performed in Singapore, the Light Drawing segment featured various Singapore icons found in the Marina Bay area. Typically one would hardly think of light as an art medium, but this was quite a pretty sight drawn to the strains of Paloma Faith’s Stargazer, which added a tinge of melancholy to the atmosphere.

The finale featured Kang Shinkoo, Kwon Wooram and So Kwangmin in a drawing contest of speed and power! Romance of the Three Kingdoms was the theme for this Battle Drawing and the portraits of Liu Bei, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei were drawn.

As with most stage performances, photography and videography is not allowed during the shows, so when the cast came out with this “PHOTO TIME” sign, everyone was taken aback and started wondering if it was another act, a joke or whether we could really take pictures!

Oh…it was the curtain call and we were actually allowed to photograph it!! ^_^”

When the show ended, I went to get a closer look at the art pieces (you can see the 2 different views of the Superman piece in the photos below).



VERDICT:

The 80 minutes just whizzed by and it’s been such a long time since I had a good laugh at the theatre!

The comic antics weaved into the performances, mime & dance routines and the entire process of creating the art pieces were not only entertaining, but also mesmerising in some acts! With my previous mime background, I could recognise the fixed point isolation techniques and I have to say – these guys were very good!

I was never a good art student and it was an eye-opener to me, being introduced to the different art mediums and techniques – this show kind of inspired me somewhat, to want to create something…

If you thought Nanta was good, The Painters: Hero takes performance art to another level!


Those of you who are planning a visit to Seoul or Jeju in South Korea, do consider watching this show as it is really fun and entertaining! Otherwise, if the show happens to be staged in your country, don’t miss the opportunity to go watch it!

The Painters: Hero performs two shows daily at two theatres in Seoul and Jeju, in South Korea.

Seoul Theater
5th Floor, 13 Donhwannum-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea.
3min walk from Jongno 3-ga station line no. 1, 3, 5, exit no 13, 14.

Halla Art Hall
(located in Jeju Halla University)
2nd Floor, 38 Halladaehak-ro, Jeju-si, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, 690-708, South Korea.

Within five years, both the Seoul & Jeju theatres have staged 7,000 shows and reached over two million international audiences. In addition, the show has been performed in a total of 15 countries and 38 cities, including Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei, Bangkok, Hollywood and Washington D.C. On average, they use at least 1,900 gallons of paint and 21,600 charcoal stumps each year for the shows!

Awards:

  • Minister’s certificate of approval, ‘Best Non-verbal Performance’ by the Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism in 2010.
  • “Performance of the Year” at 2015 Korean Wave Awards.


There are 4 different teams of performers (Beethoven team, Chaplin team, Jackson team, Superman team) involved in The Painters: Hero as the show is not only performed locally in Korea, but it also travels to various countries. The recent shows in Singapore featured the Chaplin team and they did a great job!

Me…with the Chaplin Team – from Left: Hong Boram (홍보람), Kang Shinkoo (강신구), So Kwangmin (소광민), Kwon Wooram (권우람)


Thanks to Pentatonic Co., Ltd. and Korea Tourism Organization for the invitation to watch this brilliant performance in Singapore! It’s definitely A MASTERPIECE!!

Categories: Media Invite, Theatre | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

[Review] Cinderella, A Fairly True Story

Have you ever wanted to go a ball in a carriage? I did just that the other day… (sorry, I was letting my imagination get carried away there)

Re-live the fairytale as Cinderella, A Fairly True Story is being staged at the Resorts World Theatre from now until 4 Jan 2016.

If you are expecting something Disney-like, please don’t and instead bring yourself back to the roots of the traditional fairytale.

There was a pre-show with entertaining press photographers who mingled with the audience and took pictures everywhere they went.


This story is told through the eyes of a reporter who writes for the “Cinderella Times” tabloid and various headlines are flashed intermittently during the show.

The first act opens with an 8-year-old Louise (young Cinderella) crying over the grave of her mother and she refuses to leave with her father, Baron Leopold.


Photo Credit: Resorts World Sentosa

Life then goes further downhill after Leopold married a materialistic rich widow (well, he assumed she was rich!) named Furiosa, who has two equally materialistic daughters Grimella and Distressa, played by Dorien Schrijnemakers and Saartje Van Houtte respectively. Besides being mean-spirited, I think the two stepdaughters are best described as “sot sot dei” (Cantonese language), as they are really ditzy. Their mother on the other hand resembled Cruella de Vil.


Photo Credit: Resorts World Sentosa

Nordin De Moor, whom I last saw as Smee/Mr Darling in “Peter Pan, The Never Ending Story”, plays the reporter in this latest Music Hall production to hit our shores and he’s the only character who gets to talk to the audience, as well as interact with the other characters in the show! I must say that I learnt a lot from his commentaries which contained various bits of trivia like the question of whether Cinderella’s slippers were made of Verre (glass) or Vair (squirrel fur) – the two words are homophonous in French and it has been long debated whether the story was wrongly translated from French to English.


Photo Credit: Resorts World Sentosa

Here’s a closer look at desk from which the reporter works at in the show…

The Prince (whom we all know as Charming), played by Caleb Vines, is named Prince Harry George William Archibald Nicholas Philip Alexander Charles James Andrew Daniel the First (that’s quite a mouthful!) and he seems to be mollycoddled by his nanny, who reminded me of Mrs. Doubtfire. There are still various toys in his room from rocking horses to a giant rubber ducky and do keep a look out for that over-sized parrot! ^_^

At the ball, Cinderella introduced herself as Baroness Ella of the Cinders and at the end of the night, she took off her shoes and ran off but dropped one in the process.

The wedding had a beautiful setting in a cathedral and they lived happily ever after…


Photo Credit: Resorts World Sentosa

…and the best part was that I got to meet Cinderella (Charlotte Campion) after the wedding! 😀

What did I think of the show?
It’s still pretty much the same fairytale with some slight plot twists. The first half of the show was a bit slow-moving but it picked up much later.

I especially loved the scene where Cinderella’s dress turned from rags to a beautiful blue gown and also when the pumpkin turned into a shiny golden carriage! It was simply magical to watch!! (Note: try not to blink during this transformation scene in order not to miss any part of it! ^_^)


Photo Credit: Resorts World Sentosa

Do expect some pyrotechnics and also listen out for popular songs like “I Gotta Feeling”, “Up Where We Belong” and “Everything I Do, I Do It For You” which have been incorporated into the show. In addition, Cinderella’s fairy godmother is not who you think she is…

Although the show started off on a sad note, there was a mix of romance and funny moments which I thought were entertaining but it would have been better if they had more scenes with “magic” in them.


Thanks to Resorts World Sentosa for the invite to watch the show on its Opening Night! ^_^

Dates: 10 Dec 2015 – 4 Jan 2016

Show Times:
Thurs: 7pm
Fri – Mon: 2pm and 7pm (no shows on Tue and Wed)

Venue: Resorts World Theatre, Resorts World Sentosa

Prices*:

Premium Cat 1 Cat 2 Cat 3
Adult S$168 S$138 S$108 S$78
Child** (4 to 12 years old) S$118 S$97 S$76 S$55
Senior*** (60 years old and above) S$143 S$117 S$92 S$66

* Prices exclude SISTIC booking fee and handling charges. Terms and Conditions apply.
** Child must be accompanied by at least one (1) adult.
*** Senior must present valid ID upon purchase and at the theatre entrance for verification.

Tickets can be purchased at SISTIC counters or at the Resorts World Theatre Box Office.

Categories: Media Invite, Resorts World Sentosa, Theatre | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

[REVIEW] Peter Pan, The Never Ending Story

Peter Pan, The Never Ending Story opened at the Resorts World Theatre on 27th November 2014 and this marked the start of its Asian Premiere in Singapore! It’s difficult for me to classify this musical under a particular genre as it has an eclectic range of musical numbers from opera to pop and there’s also a mix of modern dance and ballet moves, with some high flying aerial action!

I was asked if I wanted to take a picture at this photo spot located at the entrance of the theatre (autograph sessions are held at this same spot after the show) – sure, why not?


INSIDE THE THEATRE

The opening set had multiple fans encircling two large pieces of delicate fabric placed centrestage and I loved the effect it created in the opening scene – beautifully done!!

Most the entire show comprised of musical numbers and did not have any spoken dialogue by the actors on stage (apart from the ending) and the story was narrated by Tinkerbell, who was unseen most of the time and was symbolised by the innovative use of flashlights.

I loved the colourful costumes, especially in the scene where the toys came to life and there was a wind-up doll trying to juggle with scarves. That particular segment was a really busy one as there was just so much going on!


Photo: Luk Montsaert

It was a shame that they didn’t have the scene of Peter wrestling with his shadow – that would have been fun to watch!

The set design was absolutely brilliant! All the sets and props seem to revolve around a book theme and I thought the digital images projected against the plain white backdrop (shaped like books) were cleverly done! I liked the part where a picture of a house was shown and the cast entered through a door which closed before one of Wendy’s brothers could enter but he had problems opening it as there didn’t seem to be any opening in the wall!

One of the scenes which tickled my funny bone was when Captain Hook (Wim Van Den Driesche) sang Nessun Dorma and his gang of pirates, including Smee (Nordin De Moor), were in awe of his rendition of Puccini’s aria! His vocals were amazing but my hubby and I both had silly grins on our faces during the entire scene as we felt this was totally unexpected coming from a badass character like Captain Hook!! Haha…guess it shows us a different perspective of Hook (he sings Rossini too)!

This show does indeed reveal the some of the characters in a different light – I never knew that Peter Pan was such a romeo until I watched this theatrical production!

Another scene which made me giggle was this one with a HUGE Tinkerbell (Christina Ceconello) standing on tiptoe on the palm of Peter’s (Sandor Sturbl) hand! It was performed gracefully but if you’ve grown up watching the cartoon version, Tinkerbell is just a teeny tiny fairy, so I personally felt this scene looked rather strange!


Photo: Luk Montsaert

The initial flying scenes were magical and I was so mesmerised that I almost forgot to breathe! Unfortunately there was no wire-free aerial action unlike at their arena shows in the UK. However, this is the first time that I’ve seen actors “flying” around the stage and over the audience and I was quite impressed by this new contraption that was being used, as previous performances that I’ve watched at this theatre only had performers swinging out into the audience using a trapeze swing or bungee cord.

Whenever Wendy (Lilly-Jane Young) flew over the audience, I could hear both adults and children behind me remarking “Oh, she’s so pretty!”


Photo: Luk Monsaert

I must applaud all the actors doing the aerial scenes as it isn’t easy to stay upright in a particular pose whilst being suspended and they made it seem effortless, looking graceful and on top of that having to sing at the same time!


Photo: Luk Montsaert

There was a lot going on in several scenes with characters performing both on and off stage (i.e. in the audience) concurrently. My only grouse is that when Mrs Darling (Saartje Van Houtte) came out into the audience, she was in semi-darkness more than half of the time as the spotlight wasn’t shone on her.

My favourite scene was the one with Captain Hook and Smee hunting down the Lost Boys’ abode amidst some mushrooms – the smoke effect made the stage look like a mysterious lake and it was quite magical!

Animal lovers (and children!) may like some of the creatures which appear in the show.

The giant buaya (i.e. crocodile) walked around the stage on two occasions…


Photo: Facebook

…and there was this big macaw who gave out some squawks when it flew over the audience – it lost a feather in mid-air and several kids (including this over-aged one) were excitedly pointing at the falling feather! LOL…


Photo: Facebook

I didn’t really like the look of the nanny dog that appeared on stage adopting chinese lion dance moves but on the other hand, I was impressed that the people under that costume weren’t Asian! Imagine westerners performing a lion dance but using a dog costume!


A LITTLE BIT OF TRIVIA

Sandor Sturbl (Peter Pan) and Lilly-Jane Young (Wendy) are married in real life! This pair of lovebirds tied the knot in Scotland about 2 weeks before the show opened in Singapore and the newlyweds are spending their honeymoon period performing on this sunny island.


SOUVENIRS

Various souvenir merchandise are available and there are T-shirts in both kids’ sizes (photo on left) and adult sizes (photo on right). I think I prefer the designs on the kids’ versions.

 

Souvenir programmes, CDs and light sticks are also available for purchase.

 


MEET THE CAST

After the show, there was an autograph session for those who had bought merchandise from the show.

I managed to get some pictures with the cast too!

Peter and Wendy – too bad she wasn’t looking at the camera! 😦

Autographs:

Smee (also Mr Darling) and Captain Hook:

Mrs Darling (also the Mermaid) and Tinkerbell:

Look at what these last 4 characters, whom I met, signed in my book!! :-O


VERDICT:

Truly an entertaining show with some slapstick moments, acrobatic stunts and action-packed fight scenes! If any of you are wondering whether Peter Pan did kiss Wendy – you’ll have to go watch to find out! ^_^


TICKETING DETAILS

Date: 27 November 2014 – 20 January 2015

Time:
Mon, Tues, Thurs & Fri: 8pm
Sat & Sun: 3pm & 8pm

Venue:
Resorts World™ Theatre, Resorts World Sentosa

Ticket Pricing*:
Premium: $168 (comes with one glass of wine)
Standard: S$138, S$108, S$78
Restricted View: S$58
*Prices exclude SISTIC booking fee. Terms and Conditions apply.

Tickets can be purchased at SISTIC counters (⇐click on the link for online bookings) or at the Resorts World Theatre Box Office.

Rating / Age Limit:
– Admission is subject to tickets produced at the entrance.
– Infants in arms or children below the age of 4 shall not be admitted.
– Children 4 years old and above must purchase a ticket for admission.

Photography / Video Recording Rules:
No Photography, Video recording and Audio recording is allowed for this event.

Categories: Media Invite, Resorts World Sentosa, Theatre | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Rock of Ages Musical [Review + Ticket Giveaway]

I went to check out the Gala Premiere of the five-time Tony Award nominated smash hit musical ROCK OF AGES in Singapore and it definitely rocked!! Just to clarify, I haven’t watched it on Broadway or at the West End and neither have I watched the movie, thus I went with an open mind. This rock/party musical is set against the neon-lit backdrop of Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip, in the rock club “The Bourbon Room” and it features a mix of 31 songs from the 1980s, which include rock hits from well-known rock bands like Journey, Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Poison, Whitesnake and Europe.

As I made my way down to the stalls of the theatre, I found a thin layer of mist had crept out into the hallway and this was due to an overflow of the fog effect which they had setup for the opening scene.


BRIEF SYNOPSIS OF THE SHOW

The scene opens with The Bourbon Room and the audience is introduced to Dennis Dupree, the owner of the bar/club, Lonny (also the narrator) and of course the band. An aspiring rocker, Drew, who works as a busboy at the club, meets and falls for Sherrie, who just arrived in LA, hoping to make it big as an actress. After being hired by the bar, Sherrie accepts Drew’s invitation to a date, during which he said the wrong thing, suggesting that the two of them are only friends, thus ruining what could have been a romantic date.

Since Sherrie, who had initially liked Drew, was under the impression that he only thought of her as a friend, she was later charmed by Stacee Jaxx, the lead singer for the band Arsenal (and a ladies’ man), and had sex with him in the club’s bathroom. Drew was obviously upset and brushed Sherrie off when she tried to talk to him. Subsequently, Stacee got Sherrie fired from the club and Drew proved his musical ability and was offered a recording contract by a record producer who was visiting the club.


Photo Credit: Resorts World Sentosa

In the meantime, German city developers, Hertz and his son Franz “persuaded” the city’s Mayor to rid the Sunset Strip of its “sex, drugs and rock-n-roll” lifestyle and rebuild it into a modern metropolis. This also meant that The Bourbon Room would be one of those affected buildings to be demolished and these plans greatly upset the Mayor’s city planner, Regina, who went on a protest against the destruction of the Strip. This lady sounds like an extremist as she self-confessed that she “once jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge to legalize pot!” For this particular protest, she even intended to light herself on fire!!

One of the flyers which Regina threw out into the audience:

Unfortunately, Regina’s protests didn’t produce any results and she convinced Franz to follow his dreams to open a confectioner’s store back home in Germany, instead of being his father’s yes-man. He eventually rebelled against his father and also professed his love for Regina.

Sherrie ended up being a stripper (the politically correct job title used is “exotic dancer”) at the Venus Club, while Drew’s record producer placed him in a boy band, instead of the rocker that he dreamt of becoming.

Finally, Sherrie and Drew met up again by chance and rekindled their love for each other. The Bourbon Room is spared from demolition and Stacee Jaxx got into some trouble and moved to Uruguay.


WHAT DID I THINK OF THE SHOW?

Overall, I found the musical very entertaining, despite the fact that the main storyline was rather simple and its ending was predictable (well, most of it). The music rocked and I loved the vocals of the talented cast!

Dominique Scott and Shannon Mullen did a great job playing Drew and Sherrie respectively. Their vocals blended well and I thought they looked cute as a couple.

Joshua Hobbs, who plays Stacee Jaxx, behaved like the ultimate rock star and he was very believable in the bad boy role and I enjoyed the rock numbers which he performed.


Photo Credit: Resorts World Sentosa

I was also captivated by Kadejah Oné‘s soulful voice, which was a distinct contrast to the vocal quality of most of the other cast members. This vocal powerhouse acts in the role of “Mama”, the lady who heads the Venus Club (i.e. strip club).

The set changes were minimal in the show and the set itself is quite versatile, with movable walls that opened to reveal different scenes. Do pay attention to the screens located upstage as certain images/videos are projected during some of the scenes and can be quite hilarious!

There was a comedic element in the musical and the various cast members did have their share of comic moments, but one of the scenes that really stood out for me was when Franz (Tanner Hussar) and Regina (Jessica Pucek) appeared, dressed in shockingly bright leotards and it reminded me of the fashion stylings of Richard Simmons.

Another bone-tickling scene was when the audience found out that there was more to Lonny’s (Justin Colombo) and Dennis’ (Jacob L. Smith) relationship than meets the eye. Justin Colombo did a great job as Lonny/narrator and made me laugh in several scenes! Well done!!

Some of the characters like Lonny, Drew and Dennis, came downstage midway during the show to address the audience and it was like they temporarily stepped out of the musical, plus some parts of the show really felt as if you were attending a rock concert!

I was seated at the front row of the theatre and there was a fair bit going on there! Flyers protesting the Sunset Strip’s demolition were thrown out by Regina into the area that I was at, Dennis flung silvery confetti into the section on my right, Stacee Jaxx shot his underwear out into the audience using its elastic band (thank God it didn’t land near me!) and Drew threw a guitar pick which bounced off the floor and came flying in my direction (I thought it was going to hit me!) but it landed right in front of the person on my right. LOL…never a dull moment!

Sitting at the front row also meant that I could see the cast up close when they came downstage. Dominique Scott did that several times during the performance and you can tell that he enjoyed talking to the audience. (If this was on Broadway and Constantine Maroulis was playing Drew, I would have swooned being in the front row! No offense to Dominique, I just heart Constantine. LOL…)


Photo Credit: Resorts World Sentosa


Finally, I have to give a shout-out to the bandyou guys rocked!! There was some nifty fingerwork on the electric guitars in The Final Countdown and Don’t Stop Believin’ and I was really impressed!!!

Marshall Keating (Conductor/Keyboards), Aurelien Budynek (Guitar 1), Maddox (Guitar 2), Ivan “Funkboy” Bodley (Bass) and Jason Gianni (Drums) anchored the entire show with their music and words just cannot describe those insanely challenging guitar riffs! I think the audience will agree with me that we felt like we were at a rock concert!


Songs featured in the show include:

  • Anyway You Want It (Journey)
  • Can’t Fight This Feeling (REO Speedwagon)
  • Cum On Feel The Noize (Slade)
  • Don’t Stop Believin’ (Journey)
  • Every Rose Has Its Thorn (Poison)
  • The Final Countdown (Europe)
  • Harden My Heart (Quarterflash)
  • Heat of the Moment (Asia)
  • Heaven (Warrant)
  • Here I Go Again (Whitesnake)
  • High Enough (Damn Yankees)
  • Hit Me With Your Best Shot (Pat Benatar)
  • I Hate Myself For Loving You (Joan Jett and The Blackhearts)
  • I Wanna Rock (Twisted Sister)
  • I Want To Know What Love Is (Foreigner)
  • Just Like Paradise (David Lee Roth)
  • Keep on Lovin’ You (REO Speedwagon)
  • Kiss Me Deadly (Reel Big Fish)
  • More Than Words (Extreme)
  • Nothin’ But A Good Time (Poison)
  • Oh Sherrie (Steve Perry)
  • Renegade (Styx)
  • The Search Is Over (Survivor)
  • Shadows Of The Night (Pat Benatar)
  • Sister Christian (Night Ranger)
  • To Be With You (Mr. Big)
  • Too Much Time On My Hands (Styx)
  • Waiting For A Girl Like You (Foreigner)
  • Wanted Dead Or Alive (Bon Jovi)
  • We Built This City (Jefferson Starship)
  • We’re Not Gonna Take It (Twisted Sister)

If you
(1) love rock music,
(2) are bored and in need of some entertainment, or
(3) need something to perk you up after a long day at work,
this has got to be one musical that you absolutely have to watch this year!

To the cast and crew of the musical – ROCK ON!!


Photo Credit: Resorts World Sentosa


MEETING THE CAST

The cast of the musical were giving TV interviews after the show and there was also a queue for pictures with them, so I grabbed the opportunity to get one! ^_^

The MediaCorp artistes also wanted pictures with the cast and here’s Chua En Lai trying to take a selfie and he was later joined by his fellow artistes (see if you can recognise them).

  

Finally, here’s one with the cast from the musical and the MediaCorp artistes, advertising for Channel 5:


SOUVENIRS

Program Booklets are available at $15 each and T-Shirts at $35 each.

[TICKET GIVEAWAY]

I have a pair of Cat 2 tickets for the musical show on Friday, 15th August 2014 at 8pm, to be given away! (thanks to RWS!)

(1) The Contest is held on my Facebook page.

(2) Click LIKE on Jaznotabi Facebook page.

(3) Comment “I wanna rock!” on the contest post in Facebook if you wish to enter the draw.

(4) Share the contest post on your Facebook Timeline (remember to set it to “Public” so that we can see it).

(5) Closing Date: Sunday, 10th August 2014 at 23:59 Singapore time.

(6) Winner to collect the tickets on-site at the Resorts World Sentosa Theatre box office on 15th August, at least 45min before the show.


TICKETING DETAILS

Date: 6 – 24 Aug 2014

Time:
Tues – Fri: 8pm
Sat – Sun: 1pm, 8pm
No shows on Mondays

Venue: Resorts World™ Theatre, Resorts World Sentosa

Price*:
VIP: $175
Cat 1: $165
Cat 2: $145
Cat 3: $125
Cat 4: $85
Restricted View: S$85, S$75
(Price listed before $3 SISTIC charge)
*Prices exclude SISTIC booking fee and handling charges. Terms and Conditions apply.

Tickets can be bought at SISTIC counters (click the link for online bookings) or at the Resorts World Theatre Box Office.

Venue & Admission Rules:
▸ No admission for infants in arms and children below 12 years old.
▸ Children 12 years and above must purchase a ticket for entry.
▸ Admission is subject to tickets produced at the entrance.
▸ No Photography, Video recording and Audio recording is permitted for this event.
*Advisory: 16; some sexual content.


Thanks to Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) for the media invite!

Categories: Contests, Resorts World Sentosa, Theatre | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

LightSeeker – Backstage Tour

I had the privilege of visiting the backstage of LightSeeker and we were taken on a tour which took us to the deepest, darkest part of Resorts World Sentosa!

It started off with us being ushered to the Green Room of the theatre and along the way we passed one of the dressing rooms, where I noticed a lady combing out any tangles in the wigs being used by Usha, in preparation for the next show.

Meeting the imps was next on the agenda and they were a friendly duo.

I just had to get a picture with Joshua Donovan (Min) and Andy Portelli (Jye)! LOL…

In addition, I found something interesting just outside the entrance to the Green Room…

There was a notice board with various bits of information:

I took a closer look at the list of cast members, plus the creative and stage management team:

Did you know that the show has 39 performers, 34 technicians (riggers) and 5 stage managers?

Located just across from the notice board was this Sign-In Sheet! Since there are 39 performers in the show, I guess this helps to keep track of their whereabouts but it looks like not everyone had signed in today!

We then headed to the stage area to have a look around. Most of their sets were made in South Africa and shipped to Singapore.

This is the set with the trampolines in one of the more memorable scenes with the two acrobats suspended over the audience:

Part of the backdrop used when the characters were on their way to the Chamber of Souls:

The centrepiece of the Conjuring Room scene (Left: how it looks backstage; Right: how it looks on stage with all the lighting in place):

 

We couldn’t fully explore the stage area as the crew was preparing for the next performance at 8pm (this backstage tour was after the matinee show) and we were trying not to get in their way so we didn’t stay long here.

When they were done, this is how the set for the opening Forest scene looks (partial view cos the screen curtain was half open):

We then headed over to the Training Room, where the performers rehearse…

When we got there, the cast was having a debrief so we had to be really quiet. This short meeting usually takes place after every show.

Here’s our tour guide, Wendi Teoh, who is the producer of the show. Vivienne Carlyle, who plays Usha, can be seen on the right of the photo but she was in the middle of a discussion so we didn’t get a chance to speak with her.

Trampolines of a smaller scale are used for training – these are similar to the ones used on stage.

 

As we were looking around the training room, something at the far wall caught my eye!

These are customized harnesses used by the cast, as well as a dummy nicknamed “Ruth”, which has the weight of an average person and is used when testing out new acrobatic stunts (i.e. to ensure the safety of the performers, a test run is first done with Ruth).

Next, we were told that we were going down to the deepest, darkest part of the resort! Gosh, it sounded exciting!!…

We got into a lift, which took us down to B4, where we had a look at the area which was beneath the stage. It was a little dark in there and several props can be seen around the premises. Apparently many of the resort’s staff do not know that this place exists!

We spotted the large crystal used in the Conjuring Room scene and learned that it is made of fibreglass.

 

This is the lift which brings performers up to the stage. If you’re in the theatre, this lift is located downstage and in the musical, this contraption was used by Usha, as well as the serpents in their human form, when they made their entrance on stage.

It was also interesting to see a spiral staircase leading all the way up to the stage level. This flight of stairs also takes you down to B5 (yes, B4 is not the lowest level!) which is not accessible by lift and this floor stores the hydraulic equipment used to operate the stage’s lift.

Found a Basement cue sheet for the show! ^_^

I stumbled upon the Emperor’s costume, as well as several other costumes on the other side of the floor.

  

So…what else is at B4? This sign at the lift lobby shows the floor directory.

Next stop was the Costume Maintenance room (i.e. sewing room) – it definitely looks like a tailor’s shop in here!

Several costumes, including those worn by Nova and Usha, could be found here.

  

There’s even a Laundry Room at the back and the washing machines were in operation when we were there. I can just imagine the amount of laundry which needs to be done with 39 performers!

We then made our way up one level to B3 where the Physiotherapy room is located. To respect the privacy of the cast member who was having treatment in there, we didn’t take any photos.

Next, we went back up to B2 (Stage Left) and toured the Hair and Make-Up room.

Gosh…it looks like a hair salon in here!

More costumes can be found here…

…as well as pictures of the characters from the show.

 

We then headed over to Wardrobe where all the costumes from the show are stored.

The costumes and other articles of clothing were arranged on racks and there were several rows of them.

We were excited to find The General’s headgear and costume, as well as Nova’s dress!

Here are some of the other costumes, including those used by The Dark Army.

  

An example of the headdress used for the imps.

There were just so many articles of clothing in this place and I must applaud whoever is doing the inventory here!

Back at the stage area, this next picture was taken from Stage Left, which is where the performers picked up their microphones from.

Most of the music in the show is pre-recorded, except for Nou’s singing parts which is accompanied live by a solo musician. Did you know that the performers have customized in-ear monitors so that they can hear the music?

That concludes our tour of the backstage. Many thanks to RWS for arranging this and also to Producer Wendi who showed us around!


Links to my reviews of the musical:

 

Categories: Media Invite, Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore, Theatre | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Re-Visiting LightSeeker The Musical (improved version)

I had first watched LightSeeker The Musical on 29th November 2013 (see my previous review) and after many critiques from the media, Resorts World Sentosa had gathered feedback from the audience and the musical was revamped in January 2014.

There are noticeable differences with this “new improved version” of the musical, with new songs, new musical arrangements, cast changes and revised acts. Definitely MUCH better than the initial version but there are still areas which I feel can be improved further.


WHAT’S CHANGED?


Act 1 is now faster-paced and the scenes mainly focus on building The General’s (a.k.a. The LightSeeker) character so that we can better appreciate the contrast towards the end when he is caught in a dilemma on whether to continue serving and obeying the Emperor or to follow his beliefs. The punk rock strains of the electric guitar have been toned down whenever the General appears and Stuart Boother’s excellent vocals can be heard much clearly now!

Usha’s selfish ambitions are only revealed in Act 2 so that the first Act is centred around The General.

The scenes had been re-written such that the focus was no longer on Nova but rather on The LightSeeker (whom the musical is titled after). I felt the two main characters in the revised version are now The General and Usha.

With regards to Usha’s pets, they’ve gotten rid of the giant spider and the two serpent puppets make more frequent appearances on stage now.

Previous lengthy CGI sequences have been shortened so there is no longer that lull time between the scenes.

Lim Kay Siu, who only appears on the screen projections, used to have two roles as The Cloud Spirit (narrator) and The Emperor, but with the revision in the script, the role of The Cloud Spirit has been retired, so there is no longer any narration throughout the show and the rest of the characters on stage now have a lot more dialogue in order for the audience to understand the plot.

A marked improvement is that the screen curtain now closes whenever the Emperor appears and we get a clearer look at his face which is projected on the full screen, as compared to before when he mostly appeared partially hidden amidst the cloud-like screen which frames the stage.

For those who haven’t watched the musical yet, so that you can get an idea of how the stage looks, here’s a picture with the screen curtain partially opened:

This time there were projections shown on the screen curtain whilst we were waiting for the show to start. These mainly featured the imps but it didn’t have any relation to the main plot.

The show no longer opens with Nova suspended in mid-air. On the other hand, Usha has several scenes now where she appears off the ground, probably to emphasize the fact that she’s a witch and has powers.

I was shocked to learn that Sarah Brown (the original actress who played Nova) had been replaced by Nicole Sokolovic, who used to be the understudy for the role! Nicole did a good job as Nova but I still miss Sarah’s angelic vocals and her princess-like stage presence.

Nou (Brodie Cragg) has also been given more singing parts and a few new songs.

The number of song reprises have been reduced, which is a good thing, as the original version of the show started getting a little monotonous after you’ve heard a certain song for the nth time and began to wonder if their music department had a limited budget.

They’ve also cut down on the number of times where the acrobats are suspended over the audience. In addition, the performers no longer run off the stage and around the audience. I personally feel that they should have kept those segments as it helped to keep the audience captivated.


Overall, the storyline makes more sense now and this new improved version of the musical is probably something that you can consider watching especially if you are looking for some entertainment on a rainy day or somewhere to hide from the haze.


Check out what I saw when I went backstage -> LightSeeker – Backstage Tour.


Show Details

Dates: 28 Nov 2013 – 23 Mar 2014

Time:
Mon, Tue, Thur & Fri – 8pm
Sat & Sun – 3pm & 8pm
Wed – No Shows except for the following dates

There is an ongoing promotion for students (50% off).

Terms and conditions:

  • Present student ID upon purchase
  • Applicable for Local & overseas students with a valid student pass
  • Please note that random checks on concession tickets will be conducted at the point of entry
    [Patrons unable to present proof of eligibility are required to upgrade their concession tickets to full price tickets].
  • Applicable to categories 1 to 3 only.

More promotions and ticketing details can be found on RWS’ website.

**Disclaimer**

Thanks to Resorts World Sentosa for the media invite to review the LightSeeker for the second time, but do note that this does not influence my review of the musical.

Categories: Media Invite, Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore, Theatre | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review of LightSeeker – An RWS Musical

**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”

 

Show Details

Dates: 28 Nov 2013 – 23 Mar 2014

Time:
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

Prices*
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)

Merchandise:
Memorabilia from the show can be bought at the theatre’s foyer…

…as well as at the gift shop located just outside.

**Disclaimer**

Thanks to Resorts World Sentosa for the media invite to watch the LightSeeker musical, plus pre-theatre dinner at Osia.

Categories: Media Invite, Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore, Theatre | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

The Addams Family Musical in Singapore – Part 2 (Backstage Tour)

As mentioned in my previous post, we had the opportunity to meet the entire cast onstage about 15mins before the start of the show, with strict instructions not to touch anything as everything on the stage had already been preset for the show. We were then hurriedly ushered offstage and back to the main auditorium as the show was about to begin.

After the curtain call, we made another trip backstage for a tour of the set. This backstage tour was as part of “The Addams Family Facebook Fans/Bloggers Special” event organized by the Communications team of Resorts World Sentosa (RWS).

We were divided into about 4 or 5 groups and were told that each group would have a “guide” to show us around.

A door opened and out came Shaun Rice, who portrays Uncle Fester in the musical. He still had some makeup on but had already changed out of his stage attire. I took a picture with him before he led the first group off on their tour.

I was assigned to be in the fourth group and had to wait patiently for our “guide” to arrive. The previous group had already left with Dan Olson (Lurch) and we didn’t know who to expect to lead our group as it depended on who was the next person who appeared through the doorway…

In the meantime, I was looking around and saw this TV screen in the “Quick Change” room (also the Production Office), which shows what’s happening both on and off stage.


The guide for our group finally showed up and I was pleasantly surprised that it was Jesse Sharp!! Wow…backstage tour with Gomez!! The cat got my tongue for a while… ^_^


Photo Credit: Resorts World Sentosa


We had a wander onto the stage…

Here’s a closer look at the set…

Depending on the angle and the correct lighting, the set and props can look more 3D. If you look at this picture below, it’s hard to tell but the gravestone is actually a piece of flat board.

The head of the Addams family divulged that he really liked the Festive Grand theatre as it has a lot of depth and a huge space backstage as compared to the theatres in the US. Hmm…really? I was surprised to hear that.

If you have watched the musical, you may have noticed two TV screens placed at the front on each side of the stage – these aren’t prompters but they are actually used for the cast to watch the conductor as there isn’t any orchestral pit in this theatre and the musicians are located backstage. Wow…so they have no assistance whatsoever in the event that they forget their lines/lyrics!!

The cast and company do not rehearse much as they are already performing 8 shows a week so there isn’t any need for further rehearsals unless there is a change to one of the cast members or if the dance choreographer thinks that something isn’t quite right. For the show in Singapore, there was a change in the cast for the role of Pugsley, as the boy who acted in the US tour couldn’t travel to Singapore. Thus, they had several rehearsals two weeks before the show for the newest member of the cast to be familiarised with everything.

I went over to meet Dan Olson, who plays Lurch, and found him to be really really TALL!!


Grandma Addams (Amanda Bruton) then showed up minus makeup and costume. Gosh…what a difference! Here’s a picture of Shaun Rice (Uncle Fester) and Amanda Bruton (Grandma):


Took a picture with two of the Ancestors – the lady on my left is Elizabeth Hake but I’m not sure who the guy is especially under all that makeup! I spotted them patronising that fast food chain with the golden arches after our backstage tour. Guess it’s comfort food? 😉


Now let’s have a look at the props… oh lookie here – what’s that hiding behind the staircase?

It’s Cousin Itt!!


Some of the costumes used in the show…

The same costumes taken from a different angle and a clearer view of Uncle Fester’s costume and “legs” used during that black light scene in which he sang a love song to the moon (“The Moon and Me”).


Pugsley’s costume used in the scene when he was carrying his pet.

 


These trees were used by the Ancestors in the Central Park scene where the Beinekes were trying to find their way to the Addams’ house.


Grandma’s apothecary cart – see if you can spot the bottle of Acrimonium!


Bed used in the scene where Pugsley thinks there is a monster under the bed… Do you see one?


There were just too many props backstage and I wasn’t able to photograph everything! In the following picture, we can see the moon and stars used in “The Moon and Me”, the duck which Wednesday shot, the rocket used by Fester to fly to the Moon, the chalice used in the “Full Disclosure” game, etc…


Part of Gomez’s collection of exotic torture devices, which was demonstrated to Mal Beineke in one of the scenes.


This was the gate in the graveyard which the Ancestors exited from when they were summoned back to the land of the living.


Tables from the dining scene when the traditional Addams family game “Full Disclosure” was played, as well as the lever (on the right of the photo) which Wednesday used as part of the contraption for torturing Pugsley in “Pulled”.

 
Photo Source: Resorts World Sentosa

A close-up of one of the dining tables:

It was a brief but interesting tour of the backstage of The Addams Family Musical. Many thanks to RWS for organising this!

For more details about the musical, check out The Addams Family Musical in Singapore – Part 1 (The Show)

Categories: Media Invite, Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore, Theatre | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The Addams Family Musical in Singapore – Part 1 (The Show)

“They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky, they’re altogether ooky: The Addams Family.” – A familiar tune when I was growing up as my parents loved watching re-runs of TV series and I thus learned to appreciate the morbid, macabre world of the Addams Family (though not that I would approve of it in REAL life).

For those who have no idea who the Addams are and what this musical is about, the show is based upon The Addams Family characters created by Charles Addams in his single-panel gag cartoons, which depict a ghoulish American family with an affinity for all things macabre.

I’ve always loved musical theatre and when I heard that this musical was coming to town, my interest was sparked but I couldn’t really envision how the world of the Addams’ could be translated into a musical! Anyway, off I went to satisfy my curiosity…

Outside the entrance to the Festive Grand Theatre at Resorts World Sentosa:


Brief Synopsis (quoted from advertising material for the musical):

The weird and wonderful family comes to devilishly delightful life in THE ADDAMS FAMILY. This magnificently macabre new musical comedy is “a visually satisfying, rib-tickling, lunatic musical that will entertain you to death!” says Toronto Post City. Created by Jersey Boys authors Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice, Drama Desk-winning composer/lyricist Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party), choreographer Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys) and Olivier Award-winning costume and set designers Phelim McDermott & Julian Crouch (Shockheaded Peter) with direction by four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks, THE ADDAMS FAMILY “is full of charm, wit and surprises that explain why it’s a hit on its national tour” (CBS New Orleans).

THE ADDAMS FAMILY features an original story and it’s every father’s nightmare. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family. A man her parents have never met. And if that weren’t upsetting enough, she confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before – keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents.

Come meet the family. We’ll leave the lights off for you.


I had the privilege of meeting the entire cast (from the United States) in full costume 15min before the show started and also went on a backstage tour after the show (but you can read more about that in my next post).


Photo Credit: Resorts World Sentosa


Pre-show announcements under normal circumstances would request the audience to turn off their mobile phones or put them in silent mode, however at this show we were also told “…thumb screws, flame throwers and guillotines are not allowed during the performance but are strongly encouraged during intermission”. It was a nice touch which helped to set the right mood before the show… 🙂

The scene opened in the Addams family graveyard where the entire family had gathered to celebrate life and death in a yearly ritual connecting past, present and future.

From Left: Grandma (Amanda Bruton), Wednesday (Jennifer Fogarty), Lurch (Dan Olson), Gomez (Jesse Sharp), Morticia (Keleen Snowgreen), Uncle Fester (Shaun Rice), Pugsley (Jeremy Todd Shinder)

Photo Source: Resorts World Sentosa

Their dead ancestors were then summoned from the grave to join in this celebration and this led to a song and dance routine which had some interesting dance moves including one called “rigor mortis” – that cracked me up!


Photo Source: Resorts World Sentosa

We were then introduced to Wednesday’s new (normal) boyfriend, Lucas Beineke and his parents, Mal and Alice (who spoke in rhyme).

I fell in love with Jennifer Fogarty’s vocals especially in “One Normal Night” where the different characters had their own interpretation of what “normal” meant to them.

The turning point in the show for the Beinekes was the dinner scene when they were invited to participate in the traditional Addams family game “Full Disclosure”.

As explained by Gomez,
“FULL DISCLOSURE!
IT’S A GAME THAT WE PLAY
LET YOUR DARKEST SECRETS GIVE
YOU AWAY
FACE YOUR DEMONS AND THEN
HAPPILY SAY
I’M PLAYING FULL DISCLOSURE
WITH ALL THESE CRAZY HAPPY PEOPLE
FULL DISCLOSURE!”


Photo Source: Resorts World Sentosa

Some local touches had been added to the script as there was even a mention of Singapore’s national icon – the Merlion!

The ever endearing Uncle Fester has been one of my favourite Addams characters and never fails to tickle my funny bone.


Photo Source: Resorts World Sentosa

One of my favourite visual scenes was when Fester sang a love song to the moon (“The Moon and Me”). The use of the black light technique coupled with the depth of the stage created a lovely illusion of Fester “swimming” towards the moon. Ahhh…it was simply magical to watch.

During the first half of the show, I had almost drawn a conclusion that Lurch had the easiest lines compared to the rest of the cast, as most of the time he just gave inarticulate moans in various intonations. However, I was both amused and impressed with his bass vocals when he broke out into song during one of the later scenes.

Fans of the TV series will appreciate some elements from the TV series being incorporated into various parts of the musical, like the signature theme song with the four-note bass line and finger-snap punctuation, as well as the sound of the doorbell. There are also brief appearances by Thing and Cousin Itt.

Jesse Sharp did a brilliant job of portraying Gomez Addams, with his slick moves and charm. Kudos also to the entire cast for their excellent sense of comic timing!

I must also applaud the set designers and well as the lighting designer for making the sets look believable! There were realistic looking props and yet also simple props and backdrops which came to life when the lights came on, as the stage lighting gave them a whole new dimension! Great job guys!!

This was a fantastic musical comedy which kept me thoroughly entertained! With witty lines and catchy music, there’s never a dull moment in the show! A MUST WATCH!!

 

Date: 9-28 July 2013
Time: Tue-Sun 8pm, Sat & Sun 2pm
Venue: Festive Grand Theatre, Resorts World Sentosa
Ticket Prices (Excludes Booking Fee of $3 per ticket):
Peak Period (Fri & Sat 8pm) – S$175, S$135, S$95, S$65
Non-Peak Period (Sun-Thur 8pm, Sat & Sun 2pm) – S$165, S$125, S$85, S$55

Venue & Admission Rules:
▸ No admission for infant in arms and child below 7 years old. Children aged 7 years old and above must purchase a ticket for admission.
▸ No outside food is allowed into the venue.
▸ No Photography, Video recording and Audio recording is allowed for this event.

Duration: Approx 2 hours 30 min
Interval: Approx 20 min

Official website – http://www.tafontour.com
FB page – http://www.facebook.com/theaddamsfamilymusical

Official Trailer:


Finally, those who feel famished after the show and want a piece of the Addams, can buy these baked goodies:


Check out what happened when I went backstage in The Addams Family Musical in Singapore – Part 2 (Backstage Tour)

**Disclaimer**
I was invited to watch the musical as part of “The Addams Family Facebook Fans/Bloggers Special” event organized by the kind folks at Resorts World Sentosa but do note that this does not influence my review of the show.
Categories: Media Invite, Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore, Theatre | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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