I was given a backstage pass and had an up-close and personal interaction with the main cast of Singapura: The Musical at the newly revamped Capitol Theatre last Wednesday afternoon. My colleagues in the media industry and I were also privileged to watch three highlights from the musical show. I thought watching just three scenes did not entitle me to do a proper review so I waited until today to do that after finally watching the spectacular show with my family last night.
In my humble opinion, here are 3 main reasons why you shouldn't miss Singapura: The Musical:
1) The Cast
The whole cast of Singapura: The Musical, particularly the lead cast gave their best of the best to portray their role effectively for the show. You will be awe-inspired with their acting and singing talent. They have all my respect and admiration for perfecting their craft.
I would like to commend:
Juliene Mendoza - for brilliantly portraying the role of Tan Kok Yang, a Hock Lee bus driver who helps his wife Ling run their Kopitiam and a loving father to Lee May. Sir, you captivated me with your amazing voice.
Marian Santiago - for inspiring my daughter to be the best version of herself and fight for what she believed is right. Marian radiantly played the role of Tan Lee May, the only daughter of the Tan Family. Lee May is a young and idealistic woman who vows to do everything she can to make Singapore a better place.
Maybelle Ti - who's portrayal of Tan Bee Ling is equally brilliant. Ling, as fondly called by her husband, is a loving wife and doting mother to Lee May who manages the daily affairs of the Kopitiam. I will never forget your line, "So drama you!", I now love saying it myself with the "ah" insertion between the words drama and you.
Reb Atadero - the ever enthusiastic and jolly fellow who played the role of Adam, an idealistic Malay who is Lee May's childhood friend and law classmate. The metaphors he shared on the show are quite entertaining.
David Bianco - for the spectacular performance during the heart-wrenching scene with Lee May. David played the role of a British officer who fell in love with Lee May after meeting her at the law school.
Athena Tibi - who made my girl teary-eyed while watching her play the role of Farida, a young Malay woman who is studying law together with Lee May and Adam, and had an interracial relationship that caused a minor scandal among the regulars of the Tan's kopitiam.
Noel Rayos - my husband's favourite amongst the lead cast, for effectively playing the role of Professor Patel, law professor and mentor of Lee May, Adam and Farida AND Chandra, a kopitiam regular.
2) The Set
The set will make you feel like you are being teleported back to old Singapore particularly during 1955 to 1965, the time where the Singapura; The Musical storyline was concentrated upon. The creator and composer of the musical, Ed Gatchalian started his research about Singapore's history way back in 2012 when two Singaporean businessmen approached him and asked him if he ever thought of writing a musical about the Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the Founding Prime Minister of Singapore, who passed away and laid to rest almost 3 months ago.
Mr Gatchalian read two thick books about the memoirs of Mr Lee Kuan Yew and flew to Singapore to meet various ordinary people who had interesting personal stories related to the subject of his interest. He also visited Johor Baru, Kuala Lumpur and even Tokyo to conduct more interviews with people who lived during 1962 to 1965, a proof that Singapura: The Musical is well-researched and inspired by Singapore's untold stories.
3) The Tribute
In my opinion, Singapura: The Musical is a very special gift to Singaporeans in celebration of Singapore's Golden Jubilee. Many Singaporeans confessed of only taking interest in Singapore's history after the passing of the great Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the Founding Father of Singapore. The show takes the audience to a journey of love, hope and new beginnings while exploring the strength of the human spirit during the formative years of Singapore's history from 1955 to 1965.
Through the eyes of ordinary men and women, audiences will witness how hope and youthful determination transcend the struggle s of everyday life during this period as Singapore strive towards a better future for themselves and their love ones. Their passion and drive sees them dreaming, hoping and creating - against all odds - a place where they can truly call Home.
I highly encourage you to catch Singapura: The Musical before it ends on the 28th of June 2015. You are rest assured to be entertained and awe-inspired after watching the show!
Singapura: The Musical
22 May - 28 June 2015
Tickets from $65 at EventClique