Monday, October 29, 2012

Next Change : Hansel & Gretel by W!ld Rice

I remember a couple of months ago .. when I did my preview for the Hossan Leong Show (version 2012), I was reminiscing about how the 4th quarter of 2012 is coming and we are heading towards the tail-end of 2012. Whoosh … time has passed and we are entering the penultimate month of 2012. Schools will break for the year-end holidays in two to three weeks time … the rush of parents spending quality holiday time with their kids … the mad rush to buy Christmas presents for loved ones … the crawling traffic along Orchard Road as people slow down to enjoy the decorations and the lights … Christmas Carols being played everywhere … but most importantly … it is time for another W!ld Rice Christmas Pantomime… Hansel & Gretel. This is the 9th edition of the W!ld Rice Pantomime and I think it is the first time that it is going to be based on this popular German fairy-tale(by the Brothers Grimm).
I think I must be very privileged to catch the last three pantomimes (starting from Beauty & the Beast in 2009, Cinderel-lah in 2010 and Aladdin in 2011) and have always walked out of the auditorium full of Christmas-ey spirit and joy. These pantomimes are made for audiences of all ages. The children will be loving all the bright costumes, special effects, big colourful sets, catchy music as well as the young kids all dancing on stage. The adults will love the great acting and singing ..(Sebastian Tan this year .. WOO HOO!!!!) .. the overall feel-good ending as good triumphs over evil, the jokes (the adult ones if you can catch them) .. and just a bloody good way to spend your evening with the kids.

I am very excited in anticipation of Hansel and Gretel because I think two of Singapore’s funniest actors will be in it, namely Sebastian Tan and Siti Khalijah. If you guys have seen them on stage, you will know they will have you in stitches .. RoLF-ing. I have yet to see them together but I can just imagine the riot they are going to cause on-stage. They are very, very good singers and actors too. Sebastian is going drag (you should see his legs in the promo photos .. talk about a teaser!!!) and playing the role of “the Witch / the Chef” and Siti is his / her maid. (.. just the premise of that is giving me the chuckles). Hansel and Gretel will be played by Dwayne Tan and Denise Tan respectively. Dawne Lau and Vernetta Lopez will play their parents. A very accomplished all-star line-up indeed. The lines were written by the renown Alfian Sa’at and will be directed by one of the stalwarts of the Singapore Arts, Pam Oei.

A W!ld Rice pantomime is never complete without  the young kids dancing on-stage in their identical costumes, singing along and just having a whole lot of fun. This year, the First Stage! Kids will be performing at Hansel and Gretel. These children are actually trained performers under the W!ld Rice umbrella and are from the ages of 5-16 years.

For those who have never been to a W!ld Rice Pantomime before, this will be an excellent opportunity to catch one for the first time. But be warned … something so sweet tends to be extremely addictive … I am already an addict … stay tuned for my review !!!
Hansel and Gretel will be showing at the Drama Centre Theatre (National Library) from the 22nd November 2012 to 15th December 2012. Tickets are very reasonably priced and more details can be found at Sistic website. GET THEM NOW !!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Coming Soon : Company by Dream World Productions

Akan Datang : “Company” by Dream World Productions

Cover Photo

‘There is no more lovely, friendly, and charming relationship, communion, or company than a good marriage.’

This production that I am previewing today is Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Company’. The tag line of ‘Company’ is a “Musical Comedy about Being S!ngle.”  ‘Company’ is a multiple Tony awards winner and has won a Grammy for Best Score in 1970.
From what I understand, ‘Company’ revolves around Robert at his surprise 35th birthday party. At that party are 5 married couples … all trying to convince him to get married to one of his 3 girlfriends. <Maybe members from the Social Development Network (SDN … formerly known as SDU) can watch this to learn new ideas as to how to boost marriages in Singapore.> Just from the above premise you can imagine how this play is going to turn out and the potential it brings. As it is a musical I assume that all the “convincing” will be done in song and dance routines. This is one play which I can already imagine in my mind and cannot wait to see it in real life.

The cast for the local adaptation of “Company” feature a mix of the local stalwarts of the Singapore Arts such as Tan Kheng Hua, Karen Tan, Brendon Fernandez, Petrina Kow and Candice de Rozario with the really talented young up-coming stars of Rebecca Spykerman, Hui Xuan, Mina Kaye and Glory Ngim. However, the lead role will be played by someone who is relatively unknown (at least in Singapore) .. Peter Ong. He is from across the causeway and has already taken the Malaysian Arts scene by storm with his almost 10 year experience singing and acting in many, many musicals and operas. This is not his first time showcasing his fine skills in Singapore but it will be the first time I am seeing him perform live after hearing of his many accolades. The last I saw a star from Malaysia perform here was recently at La Cage Aux Folles featuring Tony Eusoff who was superb and whose singing brought tears to my eyes.

‘Company’ is going to be directed by Singapore Arts Scene’s own Energizer bunny .. Hossan Leong. Fresh from his Hossan Leong Show .. and straight into directing ‘Company’ … can someone make him take a break !!! Before that he was also in La Cage. If the directing going to be anything like himself, get ready for a whole load of laughter… tongue-in-cheek jokes … and generally a hi-octane ride.

Anywayz … preview night of ‘Company’ is on the 1/11/2012 and it will run until the 11/11/2012. In total there are going to be only 14 shows. As usual, there will be two shows on each Saturday and Sunday and an evening show from Tuesday to Friday. Monday is rest day. There has been quite a bit of a buzz with some really unique publicity events … 3 pretty ladies .. only in towel-esque clothes .. walking around .. taking the bus .. interviewing random people … singing in the MRT .. (damn it .. wish I was there…) .. so visit their FaceBook page to see the photos .. and tickets and other details are available here …..