Lighten up with the greatest musical theatre hits from Singapore
If you are looking for cheer this season, be sure to catch Lights Up!, a free online musical which promises to tickle your funny bone. The pre-recorded 45-minute online musical revue offers a tongue-in-cheek take on how “non-essentials” artistes are coping with the pandemic and grappling with their worth and dreams in the time of an economic downturn. Written and directed by playwright Jo Tan, with musical direction by Joel Nah, this musical will be available online until 31 Dec.
Tan says: “We wanted to put on a really fun show of the greatest hits from Singapore’s musical theatre scene and bring back some of songwriter Elaine Chan and director, actor and producer Selena Tan’s really fun songs from musical theatre classics in Singapore.”
The show’s refreshing take on Singapore’s musical theatre classics features songs that span genres from jazz to hip-hop and getai, and it includes numbers from productions such as Wild Rice’s first pantomime Cinderel-lah! and Dream Academy’s crowd-favourite Dim Sum Dollies. The songs are also interspersed by a series of short sketches and dance skits.
While it is a feat to create a fresh, new musical that borrows songs from other Singapore musical hits, the challenge was not as difficult as rehearsing and putting on the actual show. Tan says that the actors had to follow safe distancing rules on the set, such as standing 2m away from the next person and not touching each other. The cast includes well-known local musical theatre actors such as Sebastian Tan, Hana Rosli, Lim Kay Siu and Neo Swee Lin.
Besides uplifting the public’s spirit during this time, the staging of this online musical has also brought cheer to the actors and artists involved in the show. The production is part of an initiative by National Arts Council, Dream Academy and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay to support arts freelancers in a time when many live public shows have been postponed.
Watch Lights Up! here.