I was so looking forward to this musical, being among the first few who had purchased tickets on the first day of sale. I’ve read it’s a remake from twenty years ago, but had been updated and revamped. Mag remembered paying $45 then because of Xiang Yun. Other than that, she couldn’t remember anything else, not even who the male lead was.
By intermission, I was feeling let down but had hoped the second part would be better. No such luck. I saw Liang Wen Foo duing the intermission and at the end being congratulated by people. What would he say when he sees my feedback form? (We see each other alot and attend the same shows!)
I found many things I did not like with the musical. It’s okay if there are some other things to compensate, but unfortunately, there was none. The whole production is as dreary as a rainy day – re-inforced to us by the constant recording of booming thunder and sounds of rain.
The script – This is a 1960s melodrama, which I don’t mind. It was predictable. I didn’t mind that too. But I would have expected an update or sort to connect to the audience in the new millennium. If there was, I couldn’t tell. There was also few laugh out loud moments. Perhaps one I can remember is the quote 男人不能信，中国不能进 or something like that.
The stage – ST’s Life!’s reviewer praised the stage but I had a problem with that. It was bare and slanted, and it was very uncomfortable for me seeing a lob-sided stage. There were hardly any props. Unlike a play, I feel a musical requires a grand stage to bring out the grandeur and pomp – a set that people remembers even if the script is poor. One don’t have to go to the extreme of Les Miserables or The Phantom of the Opera. I remember the Sound of Music with the grand staircase, something simple but relevant.
The costumes – The first act started well, featuring many brides in a group wedding setting. In subsequent scenes, everyone in the cast wears the same monotonic colour. Yellow in a school scene, purple in the birthday party (yes, men in purple tux and suits and women in purple gowns) etc. Only the main leads wear their designated colours. Scrub-green for the daughter梦雨(played by Joanna Dong) and scrub-blue for 丽清(Kit Chan) throughout. One would be forgiven to think them in a operating theatre whenever the two appear together. It’s a play set in the 60s and features rich families’ children, yet the designer deems it fitting to dress the cast in drabs? Was there a message? The only message I got is the costume is to be as dreary as the grey December weather. I say, take a lesson from Fried Rice Paradise Musical!
The songs – The songs were melodic and melancholic throughout. There was no fast pace number to jazz up the already slow production, unlike 天冷就回来 If There’re Seasons. There was also nothing catchy, other than the one they played over the radio during the promotion period.
The orchestra/Singing – There were many moments when the enthusiastic drummer drowned out the singing. Instead of an accompaniment, it was like a competition of who can be louder – singer or orchestra. There was one scene where George Chan was boarding a ship right at the back of the stage and we can hear him struggling to project his voice to the front.
The audience – The afternoon matinee which I attended seemed to comprise mainly of fans of Kit Chan. They clapped whenever after she sang. Poor Jeffrey Low as MingLi had a solo and no one clapped.
The highlight for me – other than one scene where Kit Chan had a malfunction wardrobe – was reading the bouquets of congratulations from other celebrities. There was one to Liang from Papa and mummy, and many to Kit, from JJ Lin, Steph (Sun?) and surprise, one from fave DJ 志勇 (although without the 丁 I wasn’t so sure at first.)
I won’t mind seeing 天冷就回来 for the thrid time, but don’t ever stage 雨季 again. I could have spent my Saturday afternoon listening to Dr Alex Su as he was singing in Bukit Merah CC during that time.