Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Wicked the Musical: Still Wicked after all these years

Expectations are high for a big musical like Wicked, returning to Marina Bay Sands MasterCard Theatre after a few years.  A re-imagined of the prequel to The Wizard of Oz, the musical achieved popular culture status as it was name-checked and the song “Defying Gravity” was performed in the popular TV series “Glee”.

It was a strong cast on the Sunday 9 October 6 pm performance.   Jodie Steele and Elizabeth Futter were convincing in the key roles of Elphaba and Glinda respectively, and they were supported by a strong ensemble of actors. Fans for the musical should not be disappointed by the singing from this cast.
The performance moved on a brisk pace, and leaned toward the light-hearted side.  In this respect, some of the more somber moments/ themes were not brought out enough, such as the persecution of other races and species.   Some scenes were executed rather hurriedly, such as the scenes where “Defying Gravity” was sung, and the ending sequence, making them less impactful.
All said, this is a strong production with a good cast, satisfying staging and good production standards.  A welcome return to the Singapore stage.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Annie the Musical comes to Marina Bay Sands

We have seen the movie version, let's see how the stage version is like.  The U.S. National Tour of ANNIE, will play at The MasterCard Theatres, Marina Bay Sands from 24 August 2016 for a limited season.  The musical is directed by original lyricist and director Martin Charnin for the 19th time.

Get to re-live those numbers such as “Maybe”, “It’s the Hard Knock Life”, “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile”, “Easy Street”, “I Don’t Need Anything But You” and of course “Tomorrow”.

For this run, six lucky stars-in-the-making were chosen out of 170 children aged 7 to 10 years, to perform alongside the Broadway cast.


Performance Details
Season: 24 August – 4 September 2016
Venue:  The MasterCard Theatres, Marina Bay Sands

Tuesday – Friday 7:30pm;
Saturday: 2:00pm and 7:30pm
Sunday: 1:00pm and 6.00pm

From $65
* Excludes the booking fee of SGD$4 per ticket

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Shaolin - A performance showcasing skills and strength (theatre review)

Five minutes into this performance, the Chinese audience knew that they would be experiencing a different treatment of a show we are familiar with.  Presenting from a Western point of view, the production was like a different version of Kung Fu Panda, the movie.

But of course, no one came for the storyline.  Fans of Chinese martial arts were still being treated to the good pugilistic skills of the Shaolin monks from Henan province.  While the choreography may not be the most entertaining, what we got was real skills on shows: pugilists being lifted aloft on sharpened spears, break marble slabs with their heads, perform handstands on two finger tips, splinter wooden staves with their bodies, break bricks on their heads and fly through the air in a series of incredible back flips.

The most distracting thing in this performance was the music, which was loud and a bit house music.  Even the Chinese music was borrowed from folk tunes, and funeral tunes?

Verdict: second half better than the first.  Go for the pugilistic skills entertainment.

Tuesday - Friday 7:30pm
Saturday: 2:00pm and 7:30pm
Sunday: 1:00pm and 6:00pm

From S$45
* Excludes the booking fee of SGD$4 per ticket


PHONE:   +65 6688 8826

Monday, 13 June 2016

Can't get the real thing? Go for the Bootleg Beatles

Review of Shrek the Musical at Mastercard Theatre - good cast, strong staging

The adults would enjoy this musical.

Shrek the Musical, based on the successful animation film, opened at the Marina Bay Sand last week. A fairy tale with a lot of familiar characters, there are enough highlights to keep the adults engaged, and the children entertained.  It features a book and lyrics by Pulitzer Prize winner David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole, Good People), music by Olivier Award-winner Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Caroline, or Change).  While the storyline is simple, the 4 key protagonists, Shrek the ogre, Princess Fiona, the Donkey and Lord Farquaad, are well developed.

I particularly enjoyed the lead cast of this musical.  Looking through the actors’ bio, they are generally young actors but are enthusiastic and committed to the roles.  Kyle Timson’s Shrek adopted a strange accent for the title character, but he was believable in the role.  Lindsay Estelle Dunn managed to capture the audience’s attention as Princess Fiona. Jared Howelton’s Donkey was rather camp, but he did have good chemistry with Shrek.  Christian Marriner provided the laughs as Lord Farquaad.  While several fairy tale characters were featured, it was mainly Tony Johnson’s Pinoccio who was more memorable.

The staging was strong, with choreography by Chris Bailey and directed by Stephen Sposito.  There was good use of multimedia, set design and puppetry, without overshadowing the storyline and acting.

I did not have too high expectation from this musical, but I was impressed with the cast and the staging. It may not be a great musical, but definitely would be a great evening at the theatre.

PERFORMANCE TIMES:  (from 8 June 2016)
Wednesday - Friday 7:30pm
Saturday: 2:00pm and 7:30pm
Sunday: 1:00pm and 6:00pm


From S$65

Saturday, 28 May 2016

The Illusionists - audience still amazed

One of the fun things watching a magic or an illusion performance is trying to figure out how the tricks were executed.   When so many tricks were revealed on TV, it would be up to the performers to deliver a slick routine, and of course entertain the audience. 

Overall, The Illusionists, playing at the Mastercard Theatres of the Marina Bay Sands, managed to  capture our imagination and attention.  The Clairvoyanys’ Thommy Ten and Amelie van Tass kept us guessing how they managed to mind read the audience; Krendl the Escapologist escaped from the watertank, and Charlie Frye with his comic timing and acrobatics.  Not all acts worked though, and the show lacked a storyline.

Nonetheless, it was good fun and audience enjoyed the interactive card trick.  The encore piece by Hyun Joon Kim (the Manipulator) with a Singapore element closed the show well.  All in, a good night out.

Sunday, 22 May 2016


A show for the young and young at heart this June holidays.   Join CBeebies’ Mister Maker, on his first ever live theatre tour in Singapore for seven shows 10 to 12 June 2016 at the D’Marquee Downtown East Paris Ris.  With a fabulous supporting cast and art at its heart, this fantastic live show encourages Mini Makers and grown-ups to sing, dance and make some noise. Tickets are now on sale from or all Sistic outlets. 

During this interactive live show, there’s a big ‘make’ to take part in, lots of audience participation and....The Shapes! Yes, the kids will be able to share the fun with Circle, Square, Rectangle and Triangle

Mister Maker is the ultimate arts and craft show for pre-schoolers and early primary years which teaches and entertains in fun and imaginative ways. He is a real life character who gets his inspiration to make art from everything and anything around him. Set in his own fantasy art room, he collects the required things from the Doodle drawers as he creates and makes pictures, objects and other things come to life. Join in with him as he then wakes up the shapes to perform a song and dance together. Mini Makers can catch also Mister Maker on CBeebies (StarHub Channel 303) daily from 10am to 10.40am.

Take a look as Mister Maker’s shout out to Singapore:


Season:                10 – 12 June 2016
Venue:                 D’Marquee Downtown East Paris Ris
7 Shows Only     
Friday 10 June: 6:00pm
Saturday 11 June: 12:00pm, 3:00pm and 5:30pm
Sunday 12 June: 10:30pm, 2:00pm and 5:00pm

TICKET PRICE:                                   
From S$35
Excludes the booking fee of SGD$4 per ticket

INTERNET: and all Sistic outlets 
:   +65 6348 5555

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Review: Blue Man Group debuted new program in Singapore

It is strange that this cult show was not staged in Singapore before.  For this run, some new elements were included for the first time, thus making it a "world premiere".  Seeing the show before in Boston years back, I found this production a tighter and definitely on a bigger scale.   The multi-media sequence involving the mobile phone was well executed.  The audience participation was fun, if you were not the lucky one chosen.  And of course, the band provided excellent backup.

Some segments could be draggy, but overall a unique experience.

It is better late than never.... and the audience enjoyed it.

Tuesday – Friday: 8:00pm
Saturday: 2:00pm and 8:00pm
Sunday: 1:00pm and 6:30pm


Sunday, 6 March 2016

Star Wars and Beyond, The Iconic Film Scores of John Williams comes to Singapore

The well known film scores of John Williams would be staged at the MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands on 11 and 12 March 2016 for 3 performances only.  

John Williams has composed some of the most popular and recognizable film scores in cinematic history.  From the first sinister bass notes of Jaws to the grandeur of Jurassic Park, from the emotion of E.T. to the mystery of Harry Potter, from the sublime Schindler’s List to the sensational Superman, these magnificent music masterpieces remain as popular today as when first released. Crowning it all is Star Wars, as one of the most epic scores of all time.

Anthony Inglis will conduct the Singapore Metropolitan Festival Orchestra in this performance.  He is currently Music Director of The National Symphony Orchestra in London and is Music Supervisor/Consultant for The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre, a show he has been with for 27 years.

Friday 7:30pm
Saturday: 2:00pm and 7:30pm

Bookings: or

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Cirque Eloize iD at the Marina Bay Sands MasterCard Theatre


It's acrobatics meets urban street dance in this performance by Cirque Eloize iD, established in 1993 by founder and artistic director Jeannot Painchaud.  The production was set against an urban backdrop of gang rivalry and love relationship, where the hip hop and street dance elements fit well in this piece.

For this show, the dance choreography was not as strong or interesting as the circus acts.  Fortunately, the dance items were confined mainly to the first half.  Second half of the programme was tighter and more exciting.

While the acrobatic acts may not be on a grand scale, it was well choreographed.  The last key item featuring the acrobats bouncing off a trampoline (hidden) was memorable due to the beautifully designed multi-media images projected onto the stage.

Audience would inevitably compared such productions to a more established company, which just visited Singapore recently.  Nonetheless, this production has some surprises which managed to stand on its own.

An enjoyable second half performance.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

2016 Lunar New Year Decorations at Chinatown

Saturday night, the night before Lunar New Year's Eve.  Chinatown was packed with visitors looking at the decorations and doing last minute shopping.  The photo below was taken along South Bridge Road.

The key decoration was along Eu Tong Sen Street.  This year, the monkeys were rather small to make a visual impact.

For 2015 Lunar New Year decoration, see 2015 Lightup

Happy Year of the Monkey!

Monday, 4 January 2016

Countdown 2016 at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery

I was back at the Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery for the countdown after 2 years.  This year a new gong was installed and located outside the main hall.


Venerable Sik Kwang Sheng gave words of encouragement and stroke the gong 108 times when 2016 arrives....

Hope 2016 would be a great year for everyone!