Saturday, October 07, 2006

Superstar: The Pop Musical by Singapore Polytechnic

Rating: 4.5/5 11110.5
Singapore Polytechnic's first ever grand stage production, Superstar: The Pop Musical is a glittering, vibrant, in-your-face display of raw talent and earnest performances that put Singapore Idol to shame and left me with a strong desire to go back to school.

The plot
The story (written by Jeanine Lim) follows five caricature students (the rocker, the sweetie pie, the nerd... you get the picture!) and their adventures to become the next 'idol'. At the end of the show, you even get to vote (via SMS) for your favorite!

There's light hearted comedy, a little drama, a little action, and even a sweet love triangle thrown into the mix! The usual goody-goody themes are present: gambling is bad, friends who stand-up for each other are good, relationships shouldn't be traded-in for fame, don't give up, etc... But the true genius lies in how this search-for-the-next-superstar format makes it very natural for a variety of song and dance numbers to pop-up.

My favorite group performance
I really liked "I Didn't Make It" which is a lament of all Those Who Did Not Make It (to the contest's finals). The military-esque beat, start-and-stop marching and group choreography was a feat in itself considering that almost the whole cast (almost 40 people!) were on stage!

Best Actress
Hands down, the best actress (heck, the best performer!) is definitely Shelley, played by Natasha Genevieve Lee Han Yi (diploma in accountancy).

She got the pretty, sweetie-sweetie, demure demeanor right down pat! My favorite was "Guess It's Not For Me" because she successfully delivered the melancholy and despair. She didn't just sing that song, she was in it such that song and singer were indistinguishable!
Her 'final performance' for the 'talent show' came as a shocker to me, too! She was transformed from sweetie-sweetie, demure girl into hot, hot, muy caliente vixen dancing with wild abandon in a red mini skirt.

Now that's versatility!

Coolest choreography
"Fight!" performed by Sky The Rocker (Bao Er Cong diploma in Music and Audio Technology) had some pretty cool Wushu-inspired dance moves. Unfortunately, his singing and acting need a little more work and he had me wincing in pain all through-out. He wasn't up to par with the rest of the 'finalists'.

Weirdest choreography
Imagine two dancing wheelchairs, decorated in shiny foil surrounded by dancers (who were clad in black with the initials "SP" stuck to their chests in shiny foil) darting in and out of the stage on in-line skates... Yeah. It was pretty weird. It's a good thing that Kaylinda, The Blind Student Who Could (played by Esther Low Hui Xian, diploma in Music and Audio Technology) had the best voice of the lot. I almost got goose-bumps during the end of her performance of "If You Can See Through My Eyes" when the music suddenly stopped and she sang acapella accompanied by a gospel-inspired chorale. Good stuff.

Four and a half pawikan points. Bonus points for the band in the orchestra pit! From where I sat, I could see that they were really enjoying themselves. Extra, extra bonus points for Jimmy Ye who wrote the lyrics and composed the music. I really like his style of inserting various 'rests' and 'cuts' in the middle of his songs that serve as dramatic periods and exclamation points.

Extra, extra, extra bonus points for President SR Nathan who shook the hand of cookie monster during the curtain call.

There's so much more to this play than what I can write in this space-- a musical chair, dancing mannequins, the performance of the Singapore Poly lecturers, the faux-Singapore Idol logo... Watch it and you'll know what I mean when I say that it will make you want to go back to school.


javi said...

Reminds me of hehe

niwdehot said...

Hi... I'm a chorus member in the musical... Shelley is played by "Natasha Genevieve Lee" and Sky is played by "Bao Er Cong"... thanks for the rave review!

ballerina said...

Thanks! =)glad u love it!

Guy whose pants drop and showed his boxers said...

Chorus member here, really happy that u like our performance. We're amateurs but i'm really glad u liked it cuz we've shed blood and tears for almost a year to present to u
- SuPerStar the Pop Musical -

P said...

to: guy whose pants dropped and showed his boxers... I couldn't stop laughing when I noticed that the drawstrings were becoming untangled but I salute you sir for continuing to dance! the show must go on!

niwdehot: thanks for giving me the names of shelley and sky!

Anonymous said...

Hi! Avid fan of SUPERSTARS!

Here are their names:

SHELLEY: Natasha Genevieve Lee Han Yi from Diploma in Accountancy, 18 going on 19

SKY: Bao Er Cong (known as Bun to his friends) from Diploma in Music and Audio Technology, 19.

KAY: Esther Low Hui Xian from Diploma in Music and Audio Technology.

Thanks for the great review man! I'm sure it means alot to the entire cast!

Greatest love/ Fainting JunLiang Fan/ reporter girl said...

Hey! I too am a chorus member of Superstar: The Pop Musical. Thanks so much for the great review.
Though what you see is only a half an hour show, it took us almost a year, with late nights, muscle aches, flaring tempers, - much effort to bring this show to the public. The crew and band joined us later but they too worked hard to make the magic happen.
It is great to know that our hard work has paid off. Thanks again =n.n=

*sigh* It has all ended... will we perform the musical again??... I wonder...

Greatest love/ Fainting JunLiang Fan/ reporter girl said...

Woops I meant an hr and a half show... typo there. Hope Superstar can come together again to do the show again...or even another show... Love you guys. Will miss you all lots...

niwdehot said...

heys... btw it's "Kaylinda" not "Kaylandia". thanks.

Policeman said...

Hey, I'm part of the chorus too!
Thanks that you really enjoyed the musical! I'm very grateful that you like it and gave 4.5 stars for it :) Thanks...

Kaylinda said...

hey thanks so much for coming to watch us and actually enjoying it.
we were apprehensive and worried that our performance would only be mediocre and things like that because alot of us were sick on the performance days. (including me!)
But i'm really really really so freakingly undescribably happy to have read your review. thanks so much once again...=)

juz_A_ga| said...

Thank goodness I managed to get tickets to watch this. I'm a total outsider of Singapore Poly.

I am so amazed by Natasha Lee's performance. Of course Esther Low too 'cos of her great voice but seriously, the wheelchair dancing was plain weird.

I'd give anything to have a part to play in it. So... when is this going to be in the Esplanade???

P said...

to fainting jun liang fan: your faint almost stole that scene! hehehe.

policeman:i also remember the stoic and deadpan way you delivered your line on why the mother cheated at her gambling. the audience loved it!

kaylinda (or should I say Esther?) you know i wanted to write in the review that i was struggling to figure out if you were really blind or not! I only finally figured out that you could really see during the curtain call.
Even your companion in the wheelchair... the audience behind me uttered a collective gasp when she finally stood up. hahaha!

juz_a_gal:i agree! this should be at the esplanade! what a shame to only show this twice!

Natasha said...

Hey P...

you know, your review has gotten me so high i cant sleep at night! haha! when i saw kay (a.k.a. Esther) in sch today, i was chasing her round the sch foodcourt for a hug!! haha! i swore i freaked her out for a moment! haha..

thank you so much for coming to watch the show and for your reviews. on behalf of the superstar cast and everyone involved, we thank you..

i feel so honored!

At esplanade?!?!?!?!?!

"so cool la...!" -Rain (Sky's sister)

We're hoping to cut a superstar album..all the songs from the musical into one fantastic CD. nt sure wat the people incharge have to say abt it, but i hope it happens!

Thanks again..!

P said...

hey natasha: *i* am the one who's honored that you dropped by to say hello. i've never had so many famous people comment on a review before. hehehe!

maybe a limited dvd set with a video of the play, photos, a copy of the script, songs, bloopers, etc would be a better rememberance dontcha think? and if the People In Charge don't agree, then do it yourselves, put it on youtube and share it on kazaa! You're not in Singapore Polytechnic for nothing. =)

melissa said...

Hellllo! Sorry I just saw ur comment on my blog.

Heh, no words can describe how happy am I to hear all the wonderful comments about the musical! It only proves that our musical is indeed a success!

Thanks so much. Your review means so much to everyone involved in the musical!

Anyways, I'm one of the audition rejects - Let's get Loud! and one of the 8 finalists - Raslimah!


Once again, thanks so much! =)

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