Gala Performance of
written and directed by DICK LEE
15 August 2014
Drama Centre Theatre, Singapore
Starring: Denise Tan, Dwayne Tan, Kimberly Chan, Ebi Shankara, Nikki Muller, Tabitha Nauser, Eleanor Tan, Cheryl Tan, Windson Liong, Joakim Gomez
A Review by Hawk Liu
Bring yourself back in time to the 1970s, complete with Dick Lee’s 70s songs and their appropriate cheesy (in a good way) song choreography, gawdy colours of the era for fashion and furniture, bell bottoms (if you don’t know what that is, ask your parents!), strange hairstyles, and not forgetting the disco crystal ball! Bravo to the costume master for bringing back the weird clothes some of us used to wear….dear me. Yes, the program booklet made it clear that it was a celebration of the 70s.
It was a delightful musical comedy with lots of laughs, emotional scenes and of course songs a plenty. The musical gems for me were ONE MORE KISS, DOORS and the finale version of CHANGES, a rousing finish to the show. The singing was accomplished, not a weak link. The band played well, accompanying the singers suitably in the ballads but totally overpowering the voices for the upbeat numbers where the lyrics are mostly lost, unfortunately.
I loved the use of sets, especially how the same dinner table set was used in the round robin change of scenes with the 3 different families. There was a curious use of ‘December Rains’ spot lighting from the top in the ending pose of one group number :) I was amused as the same device had been used as a parody before.
The cast was an amazing one – top notch acting. The amazing thing is that even with so many charactors (10 in all), everyone’s story was told – well done to the script writer. There were a few twists ( I won’t spoil the fun) to keep me interested but I wished there were even more.
And back to the cast - everyone was strong, everyone had a strong voice and they complemented each other so well. The delivery and timing was well drilled with only a couple of misses. I think most of the audience missed the ‘mum’ joke. I got it albeit a bit delayed as well. I liked how each daughter resembled their respective mothers. In one scene, however, I did have a problem making out Daphne from her mother because they were wearing such similar clothes – it didn’t help that both women had similar physiques! Oh…I must not forget to mention – although I am not the one who would usually look at women’s legs, I found myself staring at Eleanor Tan’s very muscular and shapely legs the whole time!