Thursday, January 19, 2012

iChestnuts 15 ... take two... take three ...ACTION !!!

I heard from a friend that ticket sales for iChestnuts15 were pretty good with sold out shows for the last two Fridays & Saturdays. Even weekday sales were pretty good with more than half the hall filled up. So I quickly scrambled for tickets as I wanted to watch it again. This time I was seated not at the front of the hall but right at the back ... from the second floor .. looking down. I wanted to get an idea of the audience reactions to the show.

As I had already seen it once..  the second time would not be so funny right? WRONG !!! To be honest, I found the first viewing a bit of a minor let-down. There were several issues such as draggy scenes, unable to hear the lyrics clearly, the main cast were obviously very tired after weeks of rehearsals, no sub-titles and other typical “opening night” issues. The second time I saw it .. it was like watching a new show. The flow between skits was a lot more harmonious .. there were subtitles for the difficult-to-catch bits and the 5 cast members really shone this time.

I am not an expert, but, it seemed like the Jon, Judee, Rodney, Judy & Dwayne just injected a shot of pure caffeine into their veins. They were so full of energy and confidence. The singing was a lot better and full of gusto. The Kit Chan skit was again superbly done (the first night, it seemed rather flat) .. this by far shows Jon’s skills. The “into the booth” skit really highlighted Judee’s singing with the “popular” song and the witch one too. Judy was hilarious playing Singapore’s most hardworking theatre actor. Dwayne’s expressions and delivery were so spot on in “into the booth” and “69:72.” Rodney in the Matrix skit & bobbing the chicken in “umbrella” ... priceless.  (AND THIS WAS ALL ONLY DURING THE FIRST HALF OF THE SHOW !!!)

Off-stage, the lighting & sound crew did a good job again. You could hardly detect any timing issues with the lights and music. The music cues were spot-on as well as the “follow-spot-lights.” The subtitles to the songs (especially 3MM) made it all SO SO SO much better !!!! I liked it the first time .. I loved it the second time.

Overall, the show came together brilliantly. As said earlier, I loved it the first time ... I loved MORE of it the second time. A lot of it was punchier and tighter. Jokes were funnier ... singing was more ‘brio’. The cast were much more confident as the lines became second nature to them and they were free to express themselves in their acting. Of course there were some misses. However this may be due to my inability to understand the hidden meanings but it was still fun to laugh along anyways.

A friend & I were chatting at the foyer before the show and we were trying to figure out the demographics of the audience and the Chestnut fans. It was hard (not hard like Jon..) but difficult. We saw people of different races and age groups. There were the aunties, the 30s professionals and their arm-candy .. there were the arts crowd, the university students ... et cetera .. et cetera.. We came to a conclusion it wasn’t the difficult after all ... it is anyone and everyone who wants to have an evening of pure foolishness , to laugh away the stress of life in Singapore while laughing AT life in Singapore.  Judging from what I saw and read on FB, Chestnuts, you have made a lot of new fans with iChestnuts 15 and I believe you guys deserve it !!!

For those who have yet to catch it .. you have 3 more days to go .. the run ends this Saturday. Go catch it and I guarantee that you will be laughing all the way past Chinese New Year... in the meantime .. I just want to wear my tudung .....

Friday, January 6, 2012

..I just want to wear my tudung ...

Event : iChestnuts 15
Venue : Jubilee Hall, Raffles Hotel

Date : 5th January 2012, 8pm (opening nite)

The first time I saw Chestnuts in action was Xmas 2010 .. and from then I was hooked. I make it a point to catch every Chestnuts show if possible eversince. (Most of the time I catch each show more 2-3 times in fact).  Why? So many times? Too much money is it? It is all down to the wit and razor sharp writing prowess of Mr Jonathan Lim that keeps me coming back. Like an excellent movie/book, subsequent visits open up new laughs .. moments of “Oooh .. didn’t catch that the last time … rotfl..”  This is not because I am “siri” or “slow”… just that Jon cramps so much into each line and each skit that it is extremely difficult to catch it all in one viewing.
iChestnuts 15 proved to be a winner yet again. I rounded up a whole load of my friends (15 in fact, one came in all the way from Malaysia specially to catch it) and prepared them for 2 hours of crazy laughs. Boy was I wrong .. it turned out to be 3 hours of laughs … YUP 3 hours straight .. Jon, Rodney, Dwayne, Judee & Judy !!! By the end of the show they looked really exhausted. iChestnuts 15 was special in that it included some of the “greatest hits” of all the earlier Chestnuts. The new segments were really good as well. Keep your eyes peeled for the super-short "in-betweeners" they really packed a whole load of punch within like 1-2 minutes. In my opinion, the skits I loved (new ones) were the 3MM one, Death Notes, the "maid" ones and of cos Pondan News Central. I think the 5/1/2011 show was extra special because Jon's pants actually dropped during that segment (Was it on purpose??? Hmmmm..notti notti Jon... I also feel like throwing away my iPhone 4S now ..)

Kudos to the stage and the sound/music/lights crew who did an excellent job with providing all the support which is often taken for granted. Timings for the lights/sound/music was excellent. Not much required in regards to stage sets as the sets were fairly simple (ed : Chestnuts is all about the acting and with minimum fuss about huge sets etc). Costumes were hilarious .. check out the Milo and Gardenia bread packs and toilet rolls ...
As there may be some of you who may be going to watch it over the next 2 weeks .. I shall not spoil your fun by detailing all the skits and killing the jokes. I will be writing a full review after iChestnuts 15 run comes to a close (and after I watch it a few more times). All I can say now is .. boys and girls .. PLS GO BUY YOUR TICKETS if you are a Chestnuts virgin. If you aren’t .. you already know what to expect !! At the end of the show .. me and my friends were super tired from all that laughing. As one of my friend said to me after the show ..”Some of the skits remind me of Monty Python..” I really cannot think of a higher compliment than that !!

Keep the laughs flowing guys …
iChestnuts 15 ...
5 persons .. 3 hours .. dozens of skits .. 'Nuff said ...

Stay tuned for the full review ....

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Chestnuts advert..

Hey Guys .. 1 more day to iChestnuts15 !! Can't believe it ..

for those who can't wait .. hopefully this will help. Believe it or not .. chestnuts ADVERTISING !!!