Tag Archives: liang wern fook

December Rains (雨季) the Musical

The full cast of December Rain - publicity picture taken from the website
The full cast of December Rain - publicity picture taken from the website

Rachel and I attended the gala for the Chinese musical, December Rains (雨季) on Friday. We were both really looking forward to being mesmerised by Kit Chan (陈洁仪)‘s singing and the combined songwriting talent of Liang Wern Fook (梁文福) and Jimmy Ye (叶良俊).

Some background on December Rains:

The musical was launched, in conjunction with the celebration of Toy Factory Productions Ltd’s 20th Anniversary. December Rains was first staged in 1996. It was the first Mandarin musical written in Singapore and was created by pivotal figures of Singapore Mando-pop – Liang Wern Fook, Jimmy Ye, theatre director Alec Tok and celebrated producer James Toh.

The 2010 remake is helmed by director Goh Boon Teck with Kit Chan, George Chan and Jeffrey Low playing the lead roles.

The invite card stated “Asian Formal” for dress code. Rachel wore the cheongsam my mom had made for her for our wedding solemnisation while I put on a shirt with oriental accents for the night.

Dressed up for December Rain
Dressed up for December Rain

The Esplanade Theatre was packed from the floor seats to the circle seats. It’s heartening to see such a turn-out for Chinese musical. Proof that Chinese culture is not dead in Singapore.

The stage, before the show began
The stage, before the show began

Overall, we enjoyed the music immensely (we bought the OST CD during intermission), but the story fell a bit flat. I had expected to be confronted with more thought-provoking themes, but was disappointed by what turned out to be  predictable run of the mill romance (I have not seen the original 1996 version and am not familiar with the storyline).

December Rain OST CD
December Rain OST CD

Nonetheless, it is a sweet production that is easily entertaining. Kind of like those cheesy but pleasing romance movies which you secretly enjoy, but am too ashamed to admit.

I  was glad to see George play the role of the male protagonist, as he has strong stage presence.

In plain speak, it is a mainstream crowd-pleaser. Most Singaporeans will enjoy this.

Here’s the promotional trailer to get a feel of the musical:

Synopsis:

1950s Singapore: the innocent relationship of a pair of young lovers is sabotaged by strikes organized by Chinese high school students, a marriage of convenience, strong parental disapproval; and a third party waiting desperately in vain for his unrequited love.

1980s Singapore: past grievances and mistakes continue to haunt the younger generation. Only a personal sacrifice and the revelation of an undelivered love letter holds the promise of resolution.

However, no one knows when the rain will cease in December.

Rachel is more opinionated than me and better at words, below is her take on the musical:

“The characters lacked dramatisation and development, although the musical was 2.5 hours long. The most colourful character was Wang Mei (played by Josephine Tan), one of protagonist Li Qing’s (played by Kit Chan) sidekicks.

If December Rains had aspired to just be a simple love story, then perhaps it should have given more time to allow the two protagonists to fall in love with each other, developing more stage chemistry.

Kit Chan’s singing, though, was the saving grace of the musical. And to be fair, Mr Liang’s lyrics are always meaningful and a pleasure to listen to over and over again.” – Rachel Chan (edited August 15, 2010)

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《聊斋》Liao Zhai Rocks!

Liao Zhai Rocks!
Liao Zhai Rocks!

Thanks to the folks at The Theatre Practice (实践剧场), Rachel and I caught their latest theatre production, 《聊斋》Liao Zhai Rocks! at the Drama Centre Theatre last Friday.

This production also marks The Theatre Practice’s 250th production as they celebrate their 45th anniversary this year.

45th anniversary logo
45th anniversary logo
I left a note on behalf of the omy.sg team
I left a note on behalf of the omy.sg team
Good crowd at the show
Good crowd at the show

Here’s a short synopsis of 《聊斋》Liao Zhai Rocks! from the official website:

故事灵感取自于中国神怪小说集《聊斋志异》。这一回将推陈出新、挑战传统理念,带你进入凄美的人鬼妖仙迷离世界。风流书生桑晓爱上了狐妖婴宁,经过一番死缠烂打,终于夺得芳心。不久后,他又恋上女鬼封三娘,被欺骗喝下毒药而成了替死鬼。对爱执著的婴宁,决定不顾一切到阴间救回情郎,才发现。。。

Inspired by the colourful folk stories of Qing dynasty classic ‘The Strange Tales of Liao Zhai’, Liao Zhai Rocks! vamps up all things period and brings you into a fantastical world of captivating characters. The scholar, Sang Xiao, wins the affections of Ying Ning, a vixen spirit, only to fall for the ploy of a duplicitous ghost. But when he is poisoned and cast into the underworld, it is the vixen spirit who, driven by true love, embarks on a perilous journey to save him…

Rachel and I fell in love with last year’s 《天冷就回来》(If There’re Seasons…), produced by The Theatre Practice, with the musical talent of Liang Wern-Fook (梁文福). Hence we were really looking forward to catching this year’s Liao Zhai Rocks! which involves similar directing and producing talents, with the musical talents of composer Eric Ng (黄韵仁) and lyricist Xiaohan (小寒).

Me with the program booklet
Me with the program booklet
Rachel with some promotional standees
Rachel with some promotional standees
Together on the photo wall
Together on the photo wall
Waiting for the show to start
Waiting for the show to start

Overall, we enjoyed the stage extravagant for Liao Zhai with its colourful costumes and innovative fusing of traditional Chinese folklore with rock music. The story was simple to understand and the music was moving.

The only minor complain we have is that both of us found the male lead a little lacking in manliness. Maybe the casting was deliberate as olden days Chinese scholars should be this way, but we just could not feel the chemistry between the male lead and the two female leads, unlike in If There’re Seasons…

Still, it’s a production worth every dollar to watch. You can check out their official website or watch these trailers below if you are not convinced:

Behind the scene:

Raving Reviews of Liao Zhai Rocks!:

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Singapore Entertainment Awards 2010

At the VIP reception with SPH colleagues and partners
At the VIP reception with omy.sg colleagues and partners

The Singapore Entertainment Awards (新加坡e乐大赏) is back again this year. 🙂

Organised by Singapore Press Holdings’ Chinese media Lianhe Wanbao, Radio 100.3, omy.sg and UW (U-Weekly), the event attracted a 10,000-strong crowd in 2009. The objective of the Singapore Entertainment Awards is to support the Chinese entertainment industry that popularises the use of the Chinese language. Apart from honouring the best talents in Singapore and Asia, it also helps to promote the local and regional Chinese entertainment scene.

The award presentation cum concert took place on 13 March (Sat) at The Float @ Marina Bay. Stars who graced the event include Eason Chan (陳奕迅), Shinee, Yoga Lin (林宥嘉), Tanya Chua (蔡健雅), JJ Lin (林俊杰) and more.

If you missed the show, fret not, the full video recording of the entire show is available for viewing online on the official SEA website.

In addition, there will also be lots of other exclusive back-stage and interview videos as well. Do check out official site if you are into the Asian entertainment scene.

This year, I am not in the working party and hence got to enjoy the show from the audience seats.

Here are some pictures taken at the event. I will not be uploading any videos as there are lots of good quality videos available on the official site. 🙂

Show hosts
Show hosts
My colleague, Carol who kept me entertained with her wild antics
My colleague, Carol who kept me entertained with her wild antics
Me with my other colleague, Adrian
Me with my other colleague, Adrian
Yoga Lin (林宥嘉) and Olivia Ong
Yoga Lin (林宥嘉) and Olivia Ong
Ah Du (阿杜) and by2
Ah Du (阿杜) and by2
Budak Pantai and Liu Ling Ling (刘玲玲)
Budak Pantai and Liu Ling Ling (刘玲玲)
Shinee - everytime they go on stage, the girls scream their lungs out
Shinee - everytime they go on stage, the girls scream their lungs out
Rachel Liang (梁文音)
Rachel Liang (梁文音)
Alien (黃鴻升/小鬼)
Alien (黃鴻升/小鬼)
Olivia Ong - the first singer for the night
Olivia Ong - the first singer for the night
Singing twins, by2
Singing twins, by2
Really look like clones
Really look like clones
Singing twins, by2 showing off their dance moves
by2 showing off their dance moves
Budak Pantai singing
Budak Pantai singing
Enthusiastic crowd
Enthusiastic crowd
Liu Ling Ling joins Budak Pandai on stage with her outlandish costume
Liu Ling Ling joins Budak Pandai on stage with her outlandish costume
Liu Ling Ling changed to a weird foetus costume
Liu Ling Ling changed to a weird foetus costume
Rachel Liang singing
Rachel Liang singing
Kevin Chen Weilian
Kevin Tan Wei Lian (陈伟联)
Taiwan actor, Mark Zhao (趙又廷)
Taiwan actor, Mark Zhao (趙又廷)
Hong Kong actor, Moses Chan (陈豪)
Hong Kong actor, Moses Chan (陈豪)
Another shot of Rachel Liang
Another shot of Rachel Liang
Rachel Liang full body shot
Rachel Liang full body shot
Alien singing
Alien singing
Closer shot of Alien
Closer shot of Alien
Full body shot of Yoga Lin
Yoga Lin singing
Full body shot of Yoga Lin
Full body shot of Yoga Lin
Chou Pi Jiang (臭皮匠) rapping
Chou Pi Jiang (臭皮匠) rapping
The two Chou Pi Jiang lead singers
The two Chou Pi Jiang lead singers
Ah Du (阿杜) - still remember him or not?
Ah Du (阿杜) - still remember him or not?
Ah Du singing
Ah Du singing
Full body shot of Ah Du
Full body shot of Ah Du
JJ Lin on the piano - he dedicated his song to Jack Neo and his wife
JJ Lin on the piano - he dedicated his song to Jack Neo and his wife
JJ with his fans
JJ with his fans
JJ singing a song with all the members in his fanclub, JJFC
JJ singing a song with all the members in his fanclub, JJFC
Tanya Chua (蔡健雅) performing
Tanya Chua (蔡健雅) performing
Another picture of Tanya Chua and her guitar
Another picture of Tanya Chua and her guitar
Song tribute to Liang Wern Fook (梁文福)
Song tribute to Liang Wern Fook (梁文福)
George continues the Liang Wern Fook tribute
George continues the Liang Wern Fook tribute
George + Tay Kewei
George + Tay Kewei
Kewei on er-hu
Kewei on er-hu
Time for the pretty boys to hit the stage
Time for the pretty boys to hit the stage
Another picture of Shineee for all the ladies
Another picture of Shinee for all the ladies
Shinee dancing
Shinee dancing
Shinee fans going crazy, trying to push across the security
Shinee fans going crazy, trying to push across the security
Jumping around
Jumping around
All the girls going crazy
All the girls going crazy
Turn and pose
Turn and pose
Shinee getting an award from our big boss, Mr Robin Hu
Shinee getting an award from our big boss, Mr Robin Hu
Full body shot of Eason Chan
Full body shot of Eason Chan
Eason getting his prize from Guest-of-Honour, Mr Teo Ser Luck
Eason getting his prize from Guest-of-Honour, Mr Teo Ser Luck
Eason cracking jokes with the emcees
Eason cracking jokes with the emcees
Gathering all stars for farewell
Gathering all stars for farewell
Confetti and bye bye
Confetti and bye bye

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