A DOLL’S LIFE

Expat Living (Singapore) - - Arts & Leisure -

From 16 to 19 March, Sin­ga­pore Dance Theatre (SDT) presents Cop­pélia, a three-act bal­let that tells the story of the mys­te­ri­ous Dr Cop­pélius who owns a beau­ti­ful life-sized me­chan­i­cal doll, Cop­pélia. When Franz, al­ready betrothed to the beau­ti­ful Swanilda, be­comes in­fat­u­ated with Cop­pélia, not re­al­is­ing she’s just a doll, Swanilda dis­guises her­self as Cop­pélia and “comes to life”. See it at Es­planade Theatre. Tick­ets from Sis­tic.

Next month, Wild Rice brings the Tony Award- win­ning mu­si­cal­com­edy clas­sic La Cage Aux Folles to the Vic­to­ria Theatre stage. At the cen­tre of the story is Al­bin – a fam­ily man by day, and Zaza, a glit­ter­ing cabaret star by night – and his part­ner Ge­orge, who run into a dilemma when their son brings home a girl with ul­tra-con­ser­va­tive par­ents. Rais­ing themes of fam­ily, love and self­ac­cep­tance, the al­most 35-yearold show (on which the 1996 hit film The Bird­cage was based) is as rel­e­vant as ever. Here, Artis­tic Di­rec­tor IVAN HENG, who plays Al­bin, tells us what we can ex­pect from Wild Rice’s re­vival of the beloved Broad­way mas­ter­piece.

How is this pro­duc­tion of 2012 show? What’s your favourite dif­fer­ent from the

We had a very suc­cess­ful run at the Es­planade in 2012 and are ex­cited about reimag­in­ing it for the more in­ti­mate set­ting of the beau­ti­ful Vic­to­ria Theatre. Most of the com­pany is new, in­clud­ing Sean Ghazi, one of Malaysia’s bright­est stars, who plays my hus­band, Ge­orge. With new or­ches­tra­tion, sets, cos­tumes and light­ing, it’s an all-new pro­duc­tion.

How has the mu­si­cal been adapted to a Sin­ga­pore set­ting?

We re­lo­cated it from France to Tan­jong Pa­gar! We’ve kept true to the spirit and in­ten­tion of the orig­i­nal but, with some clever tweaks, we have brought it closer to home. Au­di­ences will get a glimpse of the colour­ful un­der­belly of Sin­ga­pore. As the song goes, there’s “a lot of guts and glit­ter”.

What do you love most about this story, and what drew you to the role of Al­bin?

La Cage is a love story that ev­ery­one can re­late to. It’s about fam­ily, tol­er­ance and ac­cept­ing dif­fer­ences. These are themes close to my heart. Al­bin is one of the most out­ra­geously campy and com­plex char­ac­ters ever writ­ten. He takes a huge per­sonal risk, and makes a big sac­ri­fice to keep his fam­ily to­gether.

num­ber to per­form?

“I Am What I Am” – it’s an em­pow­er­ing an­them about liv­ing life on one’s own terms. It’s a song ev­ery­one can re­late to.

Heart for Art

It was a feast for the eyes at Sym­phony in Colours, held last month at the Vis­ual Arts Cen­tre. Show­cas­ing oil paint­ings, mixed me­dia and more by estab­lished and up­com­ing Sin­ga­pore-based artists in­clud­ing Megha Mathur, Nidhi Sa­mani, Sonal Mathur and Aparna Patil, the event also fea­tured a va­ri­ety of work­shops, in­clud­ing one on the mu­ral art of Ker­ala. An art auc­tion was held in sup­port of I-in­dia, a street chil­dren char­ity, and a por­tion of the pro­ceeds went to Sin­ga­porean char­ity HOME.

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