881 – The Musical Gala Premiere

The three leads
The three leads

Thanks to the folks from Toy Factory. Rachel and I attended the gala premiere for 881 – The Musical a week ago on 15 April.

The musical is now showing at the Esplanade Theatres from now till 1 May. Ticket prices range from S$40 to S$100 and can be purchased online via SISTIC. omy.sg is the official online media for this musical.

We have both seen the original movie by local director, Royston Tan. We enjoyed the movie and its soundtrack very much, hence we were really looking forward to catching this musical adaptation.

Revitalised and directed by Goh Boon Teck, the musical features many well-known local theatrical talents like Joanna Dong, Judee Tan, Sebastian Tan, Audrey Luo and Zachary Goh. The addition of TV artiste Nat Ho and radio deejay/ TV host Dennis Chew into the cast adds mainstream appeal.

The narrators, Fu, Lu and Shou
The narrators, Fu, Lu and Shou

The creative team features many big names too like Beatrice Chia and Royston Tan. Both Rachel and I were very impressed with the glitzy sets and outlandish costumes that were full of surprises with each scene.

The main cast
The main cast

The musical was an enjoyment to watch from start till end. The only minor glitch was that the storyline and emotional heart string aspect was overshadowed by the showy sets and costumes.


While the original movie thrives on its “heartland” feel and colourful, real-life Getai entertainers, the musical fell a little flat on this accord. The absence of Getai veterans like Liu Ling Ling was sorely missed in the cast. Much of the singing performances by the strong theatre cast was too slick and smooth, lacking that heartland appeal that made Getai what it is.

Nonetheless, I am sure most would enjoy this musical tremendously. Maybe my expectations were overly heightened, comparing it too much to the very successful original movie. Adaptation from one genre to another is never an easy task. To be fair, the musical was not a direct replicate of the movie in terms of storyline and cast. There were sufficient tweaks to make it enjoyable to someone who has already seen the movie, yet remaining true to the overall narrative.


一人一半 ,感情不散,你一半,我一半,情牵悠长。

木瓜姐妹从小就立志成为七月歌台的明星,她们向歌台仙姑讨教唱歌台的秘诀,仙姑成全了她们的愿望,但也同时需要她们付出绝高的代价。凭借不懈地努力,她们终于成为歌台界里最受欢迎的木瓜姐妹花!但好景不长,她们的歌台劲敌红毛榴莲姐妹出现了,后者十分嫉妒木瓜姐妹的成功,向木瓜姐妹提出了挑战 — 在歌艺上一决胜负,输的姐妹团体将永远退出歌台。一场高潮迭起的歌舞大战就此蓄势待开。


One person, one half. One half of passion and struggle. One half of faith and belief. One half of joy and sorrow. One half of love and sacrifice. Two halves, One sisterhood, Forever.

In the Chinese Seventh Lunar month, we commune with visiting ancestors in song and dance. Big Papaya and Little Papaya are dreaming to rule the Getai (Street Variety Show). As the Papaya sisters appeal to the illustrious Goddess of Getai for this elusive gift, blessings are made, sacrifices accepted, and temptations abound. The Papaya sisters receive “feel”, and learn to feel: gratitude and forbidden love; most preciously, a devotion to a sisterhood of halves. Their coming success on Getai is threatened by the entrance of the Angmoh Durian Sisters, a challenge is committed to find out who is the winning pair of songbirds in this scaffolding cage of ironies.


日期:           2011年4月15日起
Date:           Opens on 15 Apr 2011
地点:           滨海艺术中心剧院
Venue:        The Esplanade Theatre
时间:           晚上八点 (星期二至星期六), 下午三点 (星期六与星期天)
Time:           8pm (Tues to Sat), 3pm (Sat & Sun)
节日特别演出 (公假耶稣受难日): 星期五 ,下午三点 (22 April 2011)
Special Performance (Good Friday Public Holiday): Friday, 22 Apr 2011, 3pm
No performance on Mondays
Performed in Mandarin and Hokkien with English Surtitles
表演时长: 两小时二十五分钟(包括二十分钟中场休息)
Duration: 2hr and 25min inclusive of 20min intermission

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,