The LKY Musical: Story of Singapore’s First Prime Minister

Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that he did indeed play a pivotal role in making Singapore what she is today. Come July 21st, the life of our late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first and longest serving premier will be played out in The LKY Musical performed at the MasterCard Theatres, Marina Bay Sands.

Metropolitan Productions’ The LKY Musical was conceived three years ago when a group of theatre-loving friends came together and lamented why Singapore did not have any plays or musicals centered around their statesmen – like many other countries do. This deep admiration for Mr Lee thus became the driving force behind production of the world class musical which also doubles as a tribute to the late statesmen.adrian-pang-the-lky-data

The LKY Musical follows the life of Mr Lee from his early days at Raffles College to the founding of Singapore. The musical is based on a story by Singaporean writer Meira Chand. and its script is written by US playwright Tony Petito, the founding artistic director of the Singapore Repertory Theatre – the folks who brought you the highly popular Shakespeare in the Park!

The LKY Musical will be the second of three musicals centered around Singapore’s history, the first being Singapura: The Musical (19 May-7 Jun) and the third; Nanyang, The Musical (6-8 Aug). Tackling Singapore-themed topics can be extremely difficult because of potential political red tapes (the musical explores the dynamics between Lee and party member-turned-arch rival, Lim Chin Siong), Singaporeans’ high expectations, self-censorship, and Singaporeans’ personal take on how Mr Lee’s life should be played out on the international stage. Not to mention, emotions are still high since the jubilee year also marks Mr Lee’s passing which took place less than six months ago.

Heavyweights in the creative industry has been drafted into the musical cast and creative lineup.

adrian-pang-and-sharon-au-dataAdrian Pang stars as the man of the hour. Having performed in HamletMacbeth, Into The Words, Forbidden City, Twelfth Night… This man needs no introduction. I last saw Pang as the dysfunctional dad in Tribes and he was gold. I have no doubt that Pang is the best man for the job and that he will put up a spectacular performance.

Sharon Au stars as our late Prime Minister’s love interest, the late Kwa Geok Choo. In recent years, the media has revealed the contributions made by Mdm Kwa and her paramount importance to Mr Lee. Hence, whoever’s playing Mdm Kwa has to be crème de la crème. In all my years of couch potatoing, I have always known Au to be a terrific variety host. So it was conflicting for me when the role of Mdm Kwa was given to her. But since she supposedly nailed her audition to be awarded the most important (and only female) role, I will be anticipating her performance on the Mastercard Theatres. Hopefully she doesn’t disappoint!

The musical will also shed light on Koh Teong Koo (played by Sebastian Tan) the rickshaw rider who saved Mr Lee during World War 2 – God bless his soul- and his political arch rival Lim Chin Siong (played by Benjamin Chow).

Music veteran, Dick Lee holds the honour of composing the music for the musical. His lyrical accolades include sellout musicals such as Beauty World (1988), Fried Rice Paradise (1991, 2010), Forbidden City (2003) and so on. I happened to be watching The 5 Show on Channel 5 and that episode featured Lee’s first performance for the new song he wrote for this year’s NDP. It was… too musical-ish. Lee’s forte is clearly in musical song writing. I am looking forward to his score for The LKY Musical.

I must say I am also a teeny weeny bit apprehensive about the musical since the first Singapore musical (Singapura: The Musical) was supposedly a disappointment (according to reviews).

But The LKY Musical shows promise in delivering a solid Singaporean-ish musical experience that will make us relish and cry for the late Mr Lee who’s had so much to do with Singapore’s success today. Mark down your calendars, and book your tickets for The LKY Musical between 21 July to 16 August 2015. RW

The LKY Musical

MasterCard Theatres, MBS

21 July to 2 August 2015

Ticket Pricing: $78 – $108

Web Link: The LKY Musical

Musical: A Night with Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

I was in the midst of interviewing a Singaporean and a Foreigner for a tribute story to our late founding father when my mom called to ask if I want to watch Beauty and the Beast with her at 8pm. And of course… I took up the offer! Who wouldn’t! Beauty and the Beast, the original Broadway musical spectacular seen by more than 35 million people is here in Singapore for the first time! The musical is based on the 1991 Academy-Award winning animated feature film where it premiered on Broadway in 1994 and ran for 13 years. After 20 years, the show’s original Broadway creative team reunites to re-imagine the international tour of musical sensation and bring this Broadway classic to life.

I must confess, I can’t remember for the life of me when did I caught Beauty and the Beast or whether did I watch the animated film at all. But the musical was oh-so-magical nevertheless even for someone like me who probably never caught the animated film!

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is the classic story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped in a spell placed by an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity.

beauty and the beast cast

Everything about the musical was so right. While it is expected of Belle to be pretty and able to sing well, there were many other aspects of the musical that makes it a must-watch with your family and friends. The side characters. The spotlight may be on Beauty and her Beast, the side characters like Lumiere (candle stand), Cogsworth (clock), Mrs Potts (teapot), Madame de la Grande Bouche (wardrobe) more than ace their roles and parts. Lumiere was the most charming one of the bunch (spoiler alert)! Their humorous antics, heartwarming act and pitch perfect singing adds much volume to this larger-than-life musical.

Secondly, the costumes were top-notch. The costumes from Belle and Beast to the minor roles were carefully designed to entreat our eyes. And did you know that the yellow gorgeous, grandeur dress Belle wore weighs 10kg? Imagine her twirling in that 10kg dress for our amusement. But it paid off and was simply so magical for all of us in the audience to watch. One of the things that has left me bewildered and intrigued was how Beast changed to a man (and vice versa) within SECONDS!

Thirdly, the orchestra. Every score played out perfectly. Every BATB fan would agree hands down. Try not to sing along to the hit song ‘Beauty and the Beast’, I dare you. After the musical, remember to go to the stage front and look down to see the orchestra band in action.

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Here’s me in a sweat-drenched-and-dried tee and mom. I was probably the worst dressed ‘VIP’ but hey! I came from the Padang queue okay!

The musical runs till 3 May 2015. Experience the magic live before it disappears!

beauty and the beast

Event Date
Sat, 21 Mar – Sun, 3 May 2015
Tue – Fri: 8pm
Sat: 2pm & 8pm
Sun: 1pm & 6pm
Venue
Grand Theatre,
MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands
Ticket Pricing
(Excludes Booking Fee)
Premium : S$190
A Reserve : S$170
B Reserve : S$145
C Reserve : S$115
D Reserve : S$85
E Reserve : S$65
VIP Box (For 4 Seats) : S$760
Box Seats (For 4 Seats) : S$460

Restricted View:
F Reserve : S$170
G Reserve : S$145

beauty and the beast logo

Hello Musical: A Chorus Line

PHOTO: A Chorus Line – http://www.feveravenue.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/292678_303121133089935_197635606971822_744418_781765927_n.jpg

 

If you’re a musical fanboy(or girl) like me, missed Wicked musical for some reason and am kicking yourself for missing it (but seriously I have no idea how did you miss it since it was showing from 7 December 2011 all the way to 22 April 2012), fret not because A Chorus Line is here to bring you some comfort.

A Chorus Line tells the tales of 17 uniquely different dancers, auditioning for their dream job, a place in an upcoming Broadway production. The catch was that only 4 pairs of boys and girls will be selected from the 17. The 17 dancers who were short-listed from a previous audition told of their stories, many rather melancholic and even tragic, and how they found their love; Dance.

Ultimately, the musical comes to a bitter-sweet end as only 8 hopefuls could be chosen, the efforts of the chosen rewarded, those not selected – dreams crushed.

At the end of the day, this musical [would probably] strike a chord in the hearts of the audience, because for fact that all of us have (or had) a dream, age regardless.

Nominee for 12 Tony Awards and winner of 9 including ‘Best Musical’ and the Pulitzer Price for drama, A Chorus Line Musical is in a league of its own, being the fifth longest-running musical on Broadway (somebody say wow~), A Chorus Line promises you 2 hours and 5 minutes of well-scripted, no-intermission, lyrical  entertainment. If you ask me, its entertainment worth as a musical can be compared to the likes of Lion King, Wicked and what not, less all the glitzy props and costumes, and multiple sets.

For more information, discounts and ticket prices, visit the official Marina Bay Sands website:
http://www.marinabaysands.com/Singapore-Entertainment/Shows/a-chorus-line/

Stay tuned to City News official review by our editor-in-chief, Theresa Tan:
http://citynews.sg

Got to know a fellow writer at the Gala Premiere at the musical. Turns out she is a journalist with YahooSG. She churns out some remarkable writing. Check it out here.

YahooSG A Chorus Line review:
http://sg.entertainment.yahoo.com/blogs/going-out-by-night/chorus-line-enchants-without-frills-074147441.html