Friday, 20 April 2018

Circus 1903: The Golden Age of Circus - A review

There were several visits by circus and acrobatic troupes to Singapore yearly, and the latest being Circus 1903: The Golden Age of Circus, currently playing at the Marina Bay Sand Theatre.  Having caught a glimpse of the production from the TV show American Got Talent, I was keen to see how the production would go.


Set in the year 1903, the production featured the usual acrobatic arts such as juggling, tight rope walking etc.

The acts may not be death defying, but were performed by the acrobats admirably. 

While watching the show, I wished it could be staged in a Big Top setting as the height of the MBS theatre was a bit restrictive.

















For a brief moment, the audience were given the impression that live elephants were on stage!  But it was the creative work of the puppeters behind the play War Horse, who came up with the adult and baby elephants.  A highlight of this production, but sadly it did not appear long.  A storyline could be developed around the elephants.

Another highlight would be the Master of Ceremony.  I like his sense of humour, sarcastic and funny. He really lifted the production when at time, the production became predictable.  And of course, the kids who went on stage did steal the show!

This show is more suited for family audience, and to those young at heart.  As a production, it has the chance to expand and grow.

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Saturday, 3 March 2018

Evita the Musical at MasterCard Theatres: Review


The musical Evita arrived in Singapore for the first time.  The musical charts the rags-to-riches life of  Evita, who moved from an ambitious actress to become the wife of the President Peron.  She died of cancer at a young age of 33.

For better enjoyment of this production, it pays to read up on the history of Argentina, and on Eva Peron, as the pace of story telling was quick.

Overall production standards was good and the cast were generally competent.  Emma Kingston has a good singing voice, albeit lacking the stature of a powerful lady.  Jonathan Roxmouth had a good turn as Che, the storyteller in this musical. 

While recent musicals have relied on elaborate sets and technology, Evita, being a 70s musical, was more song and plot.  A production that stood the test of time.


Sunday, 16 July 2017

Cirque du Soleil still surprises with Kooza





Singaporeans are fortunate that Cirque du Soleil returns to the city once every few years to present a production.   The latest show, Kooza, opened in Singapore in July.


The signature Big Top Tent is there, albeit with tighter security this year.

Performance wise, Kooza has less elaborate stage design and props.  It is not a bad thing, as we get to focus on the mastery of the skilled performers.    Not forgetting the excellent backup band, which is always a delight for any Cirque du Soleil show.

Another enjoyable show from Cirque.





Sunday, 16 April 2017

Teatro Di San Carlo's Giselle opens 26 Apr at Singapore Marina Bay Sands








One of the oldest Opera houses in Europe would be staging the ballet Giselle at the Marina Bay Sands.  From the promotion website, the production designs look good, and we should expect a good performance from the cast.

Tickets available at SISTIC.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Exciting acts of Singapore International Jazz Festival


The annual Festival will be back at the Marina Bay Sands this coming Friday, and play to Sunday.

There will be different lineup for the 3 days.  Amongst the acts that are performing:

Day 1 will feature artists Corrine Bailey Rae and Basement Jaxx.
Day 2 will see Ray Parker Jr (Ghostbuster), Esperanza Spalding (Grammy for best new artist) and Youssou Ndour taking the stage.
Day 3's highlights would be David Foster and his entourage of Chaka Khan and Brian McKnight.

The acts will appeal to the more mainstream-music audience, and the dance crowd for the latter part of the evening.

For tickets:
http://www.apactix.com/events/detail/the-singapore-international-jazz-festival-2017

For more information on the Festival:
http://www.sing-jazz.com/2017/








Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Wicked the Musical: Still Wicked after all these years



Expectations are high for a big musical like Wicked, returning to Marina Bay Sands MasterCard Theatre after a few years.  A re-imagined of the prequel to The Wizard of Oz, the musical achieved popular culture status as it was name-checked and the song “Defying Gravity” was performed in the popular TV series “Glee”.

It was a strong cast on the Sunday 9 October 6 pm performance.   Jodie Steele and Elizabeth Futter were convincing in the key roles of Elphaba and Glinda respectively, and they were supported by a strong ensemble of actors. Fans for the musical should not be disappointed by the singing from this cast.
 
The performance moved on a brisk pace, and leaned toward the light-hearted side.  In this respect, some of the more somber moments/ themes were not brought out enough, such as the persecution of other races and species.   Some scenes were executed rather hurriedly, such as the scenes where “Defying Gravity” was sung, and the ending sequence, making them less impactful.
All said, this is a strong production with a good cast, satisfying staging and good production standards.  A welcome return to the Singapore stage.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Annie the Musical comes to Marina Bay Sands

We have seen the movie version, let's see how the stage version is like.  The U.S. National Tour of ANNIE, will play at The MasterCard Theatres, Marina Bay Sands from 24 August 2016 for a limited season.  The musical is directed by original lyricist and director Martin Charnin for the 19th time.

Get to re-live those numbers such as “Maybe”, “It’s the Hard Knock Life”, “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile”, “Easy Street”, “I Don’t Need Anything But You” and of course “Tomorrow”.

For this run, six lucky stars-in-the-making were chosen out of 170 children aged 7 to 10 years, to perform alongside the Broadway cast.


TICKETING AND SHOW INFORMATION

Performance Details
Season: 24 August – 4 September 2016
Venue:  The MasterCard Theatres, Marina Bay Sands

PERFORMANCE TIMES:
Tuesday – Friday 7:30pm;
Saturday: 2:00pm and 7:30pm
Sunday: 1:00pm and 6.00pm

TICKET PRICE:
From $65
* Excludes the booking fee of SGD$4 per ticket


Sunday, 10 July 2016

Shaolin - A performance showcasing skills and strength (theatre review)




Five minutes into this performance, the Chinese audience knew that they would be experiencing a different treatment of a show we are familiar with.  Presenting from a Western point of view, the production was like a different version of Kung Fu Panda, the movie.

But of course, no one came for the storyline.  Fans of Chinese martial arts were still being treated to the good pugilistic skills of the Shaolin monks from Henan province.  While the choreography may not be the most entertaining, what we got was real skills on shows: pugilists being lifted aloft on sharpened spears, break marble slabs with their heads, perform handstands on two finger tips, splinter wooden staves with their bodies, break bricks on their heads and fly through the air in a series of incredible back flips.

The most distracting thing in this performance was the music, which was loud and a bit house music.  Even the Chinese music was borrowed from folk tunes, and funeral tunes?

Verdict: second half better than the first.  Go for the pugilistic skills entertainment.


PERFORMANCE TIMES:
Tuesday - Friday 7:30pm
Saturday: 2:00pm and 7:30pm
Sunday: 1:00pm and 6:00pm

TICKET PRICE:
From S$45
* Excludes the booking fee of SGD$4 per ticket

BOOKINGS:
INTERNET:
www.MarinaBaySands.com or www.sistic.com.sg

PHONE:   +65 6688 8826