Mar 13, 2012

The magic of musical theatre

When I was about 12, I visited my cousin during the school holidays. I accompanied her to her music class where they watched a video of the making of Miss Saigon, the musical. I was spellbound by the angelic voice and carried away by the gripping tale. And I've been hooked on musical theatre ever since.

Ah, the magic of the theatre.

We have all the astounding CGI today, but nothing beats the sheer magic of a live show...

where slow motion happens without the benefit of a recording; where scenes transform in the blink of an eye; where people can climb up walls, float in the sky; where costumes, props and lighting can transport you into another world.

In Malaysia, there are limited opportunities to watch musical theatre - few touring groups come to KL. So when I went to London on work, I watched a musical. When I went to New York, I watched a musical. And when Miss Saigon arrived in Singapore, many years after I was first bewitched, hubby and I packed our night bags and headed to the Lion City. The costs are sky high for someone earning in ringgit (even the cheapest tickets in London were hundreds of ringgit because I travelled when the exchange rate was 6 to 1!) but well worth it.

So here I am, living in a place where arts are thriving. I always thought I'd be spending a night every month in a theatre somewhere. The realities of life, kids, and budget constraints however, have brought me down to earth.

Still, we have managed to catch two musicals with the kids. The first was Mary Poppins near the end of last year, and last weekend, we saw Annie. Both Annie and Mary Poppins are simple stories, with some catchy songs that stick in your head long after. I'll admit I like the more dramatic, tragic stories better but it was still an enjoyable 2 hours.

Number Two fell asleep 10 minutes into Mary Poppins and halfway into Annie. (Both times we watched the evening show which ends at around 11, as budget tix are not available for weekend afternoon shows). Number One seems to enjoy the musicals, especially the fast-moving colourful parts and parts with animals.

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