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Monday, October 04, 2004

Musicals

During the past 3 months, after a hiatus of about 1 year plus, I've watched 3 musicals. It was indeed a treat, especially the latest one! =)

Kiss Me Kate

It was showing at the Wimbledon Theatre for a fortnight, and I thought that since I haven't watched it, and it's so near to me, might as well give myself a treat (while studying for finals) to watch it. It's also the first time I've gone to watch a musical alone. Oh yeah, it didn't help that when I got there with my ticket, my seat had been switched by the theatre to somewhere further behind (several rows!), from my original seat. *scowl*

It wasn't impressive. Naive me got suckered into watching this from the raving reviews that was up on the billboards. Nevertheless, it was a good cast, with great voices, but it just wasn't impressionable. You know how certain songs in a musical just remain in your head, and you're humming it on the way home? Well, this wasn't it. Nada. Nothing after the musical. In fact, it was more of a relief that the musical ended, and I could go home. Guess it wasn't just un-captivating. It was quite dull, I felt. 'nuff said.

Jesus Christ Superstar

As for this one, at least I know 1 song (I don't know how to love him), coz I have a cd of songs from memorable musicals (or something like that). I had arranged to buy tickets for K and I to go immediately after our last day of exams, the OSCEs. And because there was an 2-for-1 offer, we had fantastic Royal Circle seats!

We arrived there, and were stunned by the props. Well, at least I was. It was simply amazing. Great corinthian (I think) pillars on stage, the huge cross for the cruxificion, the soldiers in actual riot gear (though I doubt during that time, their gear was not called as such), the costumes of the crew, the footwear, was so very of that time. The lead, playing the role of Jesus, I felt, wasn't as good as one of this disciples (the one playing Paul, I think). He was really straining for the high notes. But apart from that, he was pretty alright. The female playing Mary Magdalene had a good voice, but it kind of reminded me of opera more than for a musical (kind of airy yet strong, with lots of quivering of notes - think Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You).

The musical wasn't all that bad. Guess it was helped by the fact that I knew 1 or 2 of the songs, and the props were just amazing. Oh yeah, I was also in a good, relaxed mood that evening, coz I had finished my written finals! =)

Jailhouse Rock

This musical rocks big-time!!!!!!!

I was actually trying to decide between this and the Lion King, as it was during my one-week break (while waiting for results) that I went down to Central (haven't been down for months coz of hibernation status for exams) to meet friends for dinner, and didn't have anything to do in the afternoon, so thought I'd treat myself to a musical. I clicked for online ticketing, and bought a 20pd ticket (Upper Circle seats which is not so good) one hour before the show, just when I was about to leave, on a whim.

Boy, did I make the right choice! When I got there, I was upgraded to stall seats, so that meant that I was right in front of the stage. The absolutely amazing thing is that this musical didn't have an orchestra pit. The only other show I've seen without an orchestra is STOMP, and that isn't even a musical!

Now, I'm not a big fan of Elvis, although I enjoy some of his songs (mainly due to my dad playing it at home, and I've acquired a taste for it). I was a little skeptical to watch this musical. Besides, I was one of the very very few young people there. Most of the others were elderly couples! The storyline is pretty simple: a guy kills another over a girl. So he goes to jail. There, he realises his potential in singing, and when he comes out, with the help of another girl, he makes it big. Most of the songs sung were ones by Elvis, and the lead character, sounded so much like him! He's a really great impersonator, down to the hairdo and even the voice and mannerisms!

The rest of the cast, especially the one playing his jailbird friend, Gilz Terera, were fabulous! He sang a song by Curtis Lee 'Pretty Little Angel Eyes', acapella, and another time, with the rest of those playing the prison crew, and it was spectacular! No instruments used, not even a guitar. The other times when music accompaniment was needed, objects such as sticks of wood, metal pails, clicking of fingers, beating of palms on their laps, were used. Of course, during the times when 'concerts' were given, it was just a guitar, drums, and a keyboard.

My favourites were Blue Suede Shoes, Tutti Frutti, Burning Love, Pretty Little Angel Eyes, Suspicious Minds, Always on my mind (they did this breathtaking acoustic version!), amongst others. Do you know that when a couple of songs were played, and the musical was still on-going, the elderly couples actually stood up to dance on the aisles?!!? How amazing is that! It's the first I've ever since in all the musicals I've watched here. It was simply infectious, man. Soon, even I was bobbing to the tunes and singing to them in my seat! I left the theatre humming the tunes to myself. It was that good. I'm glad I made a good choice. =)

Hmm... so now, what's next? Perhaps Fame? I've watched the Australian cast in Singapore, and I'm wondering if it's worth watching the London cast here. Or I just might watch We Will Rock You - songs from Queen (although I don't know that many of their songs. *shrugs*). Or Phantom!!!! Yes, I haven't watched that yet! Grrr....