Over the weekend, I went to Dick Lee's Fried Rice Paradise.
I remember it vaguely from my teens (such a long time ago, when all is said and done) but what unfolded, and flapped about for a bit, seemed like an entirely different musical, commissioned by the People’s Association. Some pleasures shouldn't be reprised.
The sets were coldly gorgeous; but they only served to highlight how slim the pickings. The uncertain laughs were of the Phua Chu Kang type, colloquial but also strained and, in the end, anachronistic. The three Tans, Darius, Sebastian and Denise but in credible performances. Darius, gleeful; Denise, enthusiastic; Sebastian was hamming it up in a musical all of his own. Lim Yu Beng was very good. Taufik Batisah, cast as the village dimwit, seemed completely out of his element. He stumbled laboriously one beat behind throughout the play.
The Singapore Idol's much-vaunted singing was actually pretty excruciating.However: I happened to be seated next to Sandcastle director Boo Junfeng, and that made the whole evening memorable, and all too brief a treat.