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Showing posts from May, 2012

Lady Gaga The Born This Way Ball 2012 (Singapore)

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The wait for the concert was not too long. They had a DJ out initially to get the crowd, well more like the penned sheep, going. Unfortunately his set was rather short and the audience was left listening to a set of classicial pieces from Vivaldi's "Winter" to Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee", Wagner's "Ride of The Valkyries", an opera, and finally the starting strains of Beethoven's Fifth , before the entrance of the alien ("A-lian" ? hahaha) being Gaga, who is apparently here to liberate us and set us free. Free from oppression. Free from discriminaition. Free to love. (Hear that Singapore?). Gorgeous sets and lightings, shitty indoor stadium sound system. Pity. The Lady and her dancers were energetic throughout the show and it was amazing! The crowd only got warmed up after she started on "Bad Romance" which thankfully was not that long into the show. Thereafter, she interspersed her sets with her radio h…

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle - Singapore Arts Festival 2012

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Amazing! It was like watching a Murakami masterpiece come to life. More performance art than stage play. The gorgeous set designs and innovative use of modern technology and ancient puppetry served effectively to translate Murakami's surrealistic/magical realism world to life. A definite treat for Murakami fans. For non-fans, it's a brilliant display of virtuoso storytelling and stage performance. Also, not to mention, was the absolutely pitch-perfect aural experience. The music and soundscape were very reflective of the mood and theme of the show (and book). Of course, a 2 hour play is not going to be able to fit the scope of Murakami's masterpiece, but the creators did a valiant job to summarise and even add in additional scenes which fits smoothly. Translation of certain scenes, especially the hallways scenes, to stage were very well executed. It was a good call not to have an intermission to break the flow of storytelling, as was to keep certain scenes in the origina…

Le Bistrot

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Dinner at Le Bistrot. A french bistro over at Indoor Stadium that seemed to have garnered for itself quite an encouraging reputation. Nice decor, cozy and comfortable; quiet, sufficiently lit and well-spaced tables. Menu was decently priced.  A good idea with the prix-fixed 2 or 3-course menus (which needs additional top-up for the "premier items". I had the black angus steak (400g), aka "the big one", which was served with frites and green. The beef was well seasoned, but ended up a bit too dry and more medium than medium-rare. Portion was really generous though. Dessert was a trio of creme brulee; I had the vanilla, chestnut, and something whitish which I forgot and was unmemorable (hah!). The sugar glaze was burnt for the creme brulee, and the texture though rich and smooth was unexciting. I had a taste of the french onion soup which was not too bad; the scallops was interesting (but not the dressing/side it came with); the salmon starter was not bad; the lemon…

男男自语 (A Language of Their Own) - Singapore Arts Festival 2012

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An experiment that barely passed. Or should I say a borderline fail? Looking at the show itself, the story may have been groundbreaking and titillating back then, but in the current time it lacks bite. As such, the script, not the (dated) plot, needs to engage the audience. This brings us to the Chinese translation. The translation works due to the beauty of the language. The rhythm and cadence of the tonal form is well suited to convey the emotions. However, it fails in its literal translation. Furthermore, there is a striking discordance between the setting of Asians in America lamenting their culture and identity yet speaking in Mandarin. Which leads us to the standard of Mandarin by the actors. Other than Oscar, the others were passable. If the production was by Taiwan or China, perhaps the aural pleasure may improve the experience. The only effective scene in Mandarin was when Robert compared relationships to language. Lastly, there was also a visual dissonance lbetween the Act…

A Chorus Line

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I can see why this musical is considered seminal and won so many Tony Awards, and the Pulitzer back then. This really was a pioneer in the now ubiquitous reality show/entertainment. The songs are still timeless (no wonder "Glee" covered so many of them), as is the theme of the show, which strangely bares resemblance to "Avenue Q". Unfortunately, the script is beginning to show its age; it is a tad dated and some references may be obscure to the younger audiences. The lighting and sounds are again the pitfalls of most Singapore staging of international shows. The stigma of homosexuality and the tribulations of growing up gay, though lessened now (even POTUS backs same-sex marriage now) is still ever present. The chorus line perspective is certainly more interesting, perhaps that would make "Smash" more entertaining. And, so this was the show that won Kelly Bishop, best remembered as Emily Gilmore, her Tony (as Shelia).