Stupid Genius

- Making mistakes is our rights, learning from them is our responsibilty.

- "I have no choice" is another way of saying "I've have chosen the easier option"

- Genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration - Thomas A Edison

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Location: Singapore

Monday, September 25, 2006


The Forbidden City: Portrait of An Empress is back! I missed it the last time because I couldn't find people to go with me. Luckily this time, Amichdala agreed to go. Too bad Jerry couldn't come as he's on the graveyard the previous night and needed some beauty sleep. This musical play starred my favorite Singapore Singer, Kit Chan.

A historical retelling of the story of China's Empress Dowager, the story is seen from the eyes of an American painter, Kate Carl, who is commissioned to paint the Empress's portrait. The Empress recounts her amazing journey from a young imperial concubine to become the Empress of China and the pressures she faced. The musical explores the myths surrounding her reign, from the controversial death of her only son to her ambitious tussle for power. Having played to 60,000 people in 2003, Forbidden City is Singapore's most successful musical to date. Starring Asian sensation Kit Chan.

It runs till 30th September 2006. If you have not watched, there's still time.

May contain spoiler

Supposedly, the history that we all knew was 1st written by this guy called Backwater. He based his report on a diary by some official in the palace. This diary has since been proven to be only a fabrication of Backwater.

[Image: Portrait]
On the other hand, Ci Xi had asked 2 foreign artist to paint her portrait. 1 of them is Kate Carl, 1 of the characters in the play. She has written a book based on what she knew of Ci Xi. This book has been criticized at first, but this book is what this play is based on.

So whichever version is true will probably never been known. We can only chose the a version to believe in.

History is so fragile. We are only as good as the what the writers write about us. How good a person you are depends on which writer is able to reach a bigger audience. How sad.

[Image: Orchestra]
My seat is right at the front. I can even see the "orchestra" if I just leaned forward a bit. During the play, I can really see the expressions on the actors' faces. Real cool. The bad thing is that my seat is by the side, so it is not very ideal sometimes.

[Image: Theatre]
The theatre is quite huge, 3 levels of circle seats and 1 level of stalls seat. Looks like the Star Wars Senate Chamber to me. :P

[Image: Subtitles]
There are 2 of these things around. 1 is on the other side of the stage, the other is right above me. This is where the Chinese subtitles appears. A bit hard to look at the stage and this thing at the same time...

[Image: Ci Xi and the Emperor]
Ci Xi and the Emperor
Overall, I thought this play is quite good. Nice music. I like it that some of the songs are repeated, maybe with a slight change in lyrics, but sung by different characters in different situations, to illustrate the ironies and what the characters are going thru. Good acting and singing by the cast as well.

The only bad thing I feel is that the props are not grand enough. The settings is in the Forbidden City, a lot of things can be done to make the backdrop very grand. Instead, the same structure is used throughout, with slightly different decorations.

The applause at the end is also quite good, especially for Kit Chan. I am quite tempted to stand up to clap for her, and then I saw someone did. Just when I was considering doing it as well, the rest of the cast came in and they gave a bow together.

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Blogger Tweetytwee said...

I catched it too! Nice play that I ever seen so far. :)

9/25/2006 11:34 AM  

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