There is something inherently satisfying about catching thespians doing their thing onstage, live, in front of a captivated audience. While most of us will still probably catch Michael Bay’s latest robot-on-robot gorefest on the big screens (yes, we know Transformers: The Last Knight debuts this week), balance that junk food with some nutritious meals courtesy of several thought provoking, ridiculously comedic and emotionally gripping plays.
Stars of the West End (Jun 22-23)
The British Theatre Playhouse is offering a glimpse into West End’s best in one seating with Stars of the West End, where four leading stars (Mike Sterling, Shona Lindsay, Tom Solomon and Jayne O’Mahony) will be presenting songs from familiar musicals such as The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Mamma Mia!, Wicked and more.
The show is taking place for two nights only. On the first night, the ticket price includes a drink at the bar, while it becomes a full-blown gala dinner on the second night, filled with cocktails, dinner and free-flow wines. Proceeds on the second night goes to charity in support of Food from the Heart, a nonprofit that feeds the hungry while combating food wastage at the same time.
Tickets from $78-$350, available through One Farrer Hotel & Spas’ reception desk at the hotel’s lobby, or email or call 6705-7825 to enquire. One Farrer Hotel & Spa, Grand Ballroom.
Boeing Boeing (Jun 23-Jul 22)
You can count on W!LD RICE to deliver on high production value and thoroughly localized performances, and that is exactly what you’ll get with Boeing Boeing, the theater company’s fourth rendition of the 57-year-old French farce about a swinging bachelor (Rodney Oliveiro) juggling between three air stewardess girlfriends, now updated to 2017’s world of connected smartphones and social media.
The last time W!LD RICE staged the play was in 2010, and before that, in 2005, when Pam Oei, now director of this year’s production, played a Cathay Pacific stewardess. This time, the spotlight shines on local sweetheart Oon Shu An who is taking on the role of a SQ girl, comedienne Judee Tan playing a stewardess from Air China and newcomer Sangeetha Dorai as an attendant from Air India. You can count on this colorful cast for a side-splitting time.
Tickets from $45-$80 via Sistic. Victoria Theatre.
Art as Res Publicae (Jun 28-29)
While technically more a forum than theater—as it requires deep interaction by the attendees—nothing is stopping you from passively observing the discussion taking place at Art as Res Publicae, Singapore International Festival of Arts 2017’s opening piece, simply play out. There are no actors on stage, as there is no script, and discussants (comprised of industry leaders and lay public) only have one central question to guide them with: “What is the intangible value in an artwork?”
Expect discussions about the role art plays in the republic by hard-hitting commentators the likes of Alfian Sa’at, Miak Siew and Anita Kapoor, as a moderator also facilitates the public to contribute questions in a fun, responsible, and hopefully unsanitized manner. The only way to find out what will go down in each of the two sessions is to be there yourself.
Cirque du Soleil: Kooza (Jul 13-Aug 20)
The signature big top circus tent of Cirque du Soleil will be erected once more in Singapore next month, this time, bringing their new production Kooza to our shores for the first time. This will mark the world famous Canadian troupe’s fifth foray here.
You can expect Kooza to be an awe-inspiring experience filled with acrobatic acts fitting of any Cirque du Soleil performance, but with a focus on clowning (not the silly, slapstick kind, but the eccentric, surprising kind) this time around.
Tickets from $88-$318 via Sistic. Big Top, next to Marina Bay Sands.
CHEF: Bibimbap vs Chilli Crab (Through Jul 22)
If you had always enjoyed Cookin NANTA shows, possibly South Korea’s most popular theatrical export in recent history, then CHEF: Bibimbap vs Chilli Crab, produced in collaboration with Resorts World Sentosa, is one kitchen spectacular you shouldn’t miss out on.
This localized version of the production has all the interactivity, upbeat momentum, and comedic drive of NANTA and features a good mix of Korean and Singaporean performers. A special edition chilli crab tart is even made for the show, where certain weekend ticket holders will get as part of their ticket price. Or just buy a box home from the snack stand after the show.
Tickets from $38-$118 via RWS’ website. Jun 10-Jul 22 at Resorts World Theatre.
Becoming Graphic (Aug 17-19)
Witness the melding of two distinct art forms as award-winning cartoonist Sonny Liew and theater veteran Edith Podesta collaborate to produce Becoming Graphic, where a two-dimensional graphic novel about ageing and mortality gets brought to life live on stage.
What makes it more unpredictable is that Liew’s narrative is also something completely new and created for the purposes of this production. All we know now is the central theme of the story (mentioned above), told using the superhero genre, and that it involves spoken words, balloons and a narrator.
Trojan Women (Sep 7-9)
Founding festival director of SIFA, Ong Keng Sen, is personally directing this contemporary Asian musical—created using elements from K-pop and traditional pansori—in collaboration with the National Theater Of Korea, that retells the tale of the fall of the ancient city of Troy, from the perspective of its surviving women.
This is also the first time Trojan Women is being staged outside of South Korea. You should catch this not just because of the rave reviews it got from Seoul’s audiences late last year, but because this is also Ong’s swan song for SIFA after his four-year tenure. Find out what he’ll be up to after his departure in our interview with him.