As curious as I was about the new Capitol Theatre which has a bit of that West End feel, I declined complimentary tickets to watch its first show 'Singapura: The Musical'. I'm not a fan of musicals. Not hot about the songs that way. But there are some I will sit through, like 'Dim Sum Dollies: The History of Singapore Part 1'.
Bought tickets for the sole reason to support the Dollies and the cast. Parts 1 and 2 were first shown years ago in 2007 and 2008, with dear Emma Yong. I didn't watch the re-staging of Part 2 last December. Was a bit sian about those themes, and I wasn't in town anyway. (Everybody is so touchy about Operation Coldstore. But it did happen in 1963. Operation Spectrum is even more controversial. 1987. It's just a matter of which versions piss you off.) Didn't mind catching Part 1 now with Denise Tan since it covers pre-1965 and early history.
To be honest, the friends and I were a bit lost at certain points. Like it was 2007 all over again. Except the script has been updated with current happenings and cheeky potshots bravely taken without being slapped with an advisory for under-16s like Part 2 last December, i.e. Amos-sphere, public drinking, taxi-crunch, MRT breakdown, etc. The liberal use of Hokkien rendered some of the lines incomprehensible, and some of the Singlish phrases flew right over my head. So when the theatre erupted in laughter at various junctures, we scratched heads in puzzlement. Same same like other shows they've done. I didn't get quite a number of the jokes. *shrug* No surtitles at this production. To our credit, we didn't consider running away at intermission.
Some lame jokes and lines, yeah. But it wasn't too bad lah. Quite a hoot at some points. The allusion to statesman Mr Lee's passing was nicely done without any flashing of archival footage or photos and the likes. His name wasn't mentioned at all. Satire intact in every segment. Great chemistry among the cast. Fun costumes and colors in a slick production directed by Glen Goei. Catchy tunes and easy music composed by Elaine Chan and Dolly Selena Tan. A zillion amount of effort put in by the Dollies, cast and production team.
|From the Dollies' facebook- with the #LohMaiGuys and 'Chopstick' Hossan Leong.|