#1: Shakespeare in the Park – Julius Caesar (2 – 27 May)
The popular Shakespeare in the Park is returning this May, after a break last year following 2016’s Romeo And Juliet. Organised by the Singapore Repertory Theatre since 1997 when it staged Hamlet, this year will see a contemporary interpretation of Shakespeare’s classic drama-tragedy, Julius Caesar.
Perhaps the most outstanding part of this year’s play is that a female lead will take on the titular role, while the story will explore current affairs and political relations that reflect modern-day realities. Acclaimed Malaysian actress Jo Kukathas (Romeo And Juliet), who has won two acting awards at The Straits Times’ annual Life Theatre Awards, will play Caesar, while Ghafir Akbar (Disgraced), Daniel Jenkins (Hand to God, Romeo And Juliet), Thomas Pang (Hand to God, Romeo And Juliet) and Julie Wee (The Merchant of Venice) round up the stellar cast. London-based theatre-maker Guy Unsworth (Hand to God), who has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, will direct the play.
Don’t worry about going hungry too, as The Providore will be on hand to dish out various delectable treats for the night. Choose from three different picnic hampers to satiate your appetite, with selections such as grilled chicken & quinoa salad, cheese & charcuterie platter, gourmet popcorn and ice cream sandwiches.
7.30pm, 2 – 27 May, Fort Canning Park. Prices start from $49 per ticket.
#2: Cabaret (9 – 12 May)
Legendary Broadway musical Cabaret will be coming to Singapore, courtesy of theatre company The Stage Club. Inspired by Christopher Isherwood’s novel “Goodbye to Berlin”, Cabaret has become one of Broadway’s most successful musicals ever since its debut in 1966, with over 1,200 performances. A critically acclaimed film of the same name was also released in 1972, starring Liza Minnelli, Michael York and Joel Grey – the film garnered six Oscar wins amongst many others.
Set in Berlin in 1931, the story revolves around the lives of singer Sally Bowles, her lover Cliff Bradshaw and their friends, in the iconic Kit Kat Klub nightclub. With the rise of the Nazi party and the collapse of the Weimar Republic as the backdrop, the decadence of the Kit Kat Klub’s cabaret show is contrasted with the violence and anti-semitism being unleashed on German society by the Nazis.
Get ready to be blown away by impressive dance routines and unforgettable songs ranging from expressive solos to full-scale production numbers. Directing the show will be Asha Peppiatt, who has had experience producing, directing and choreographing over 40 productions in the UK, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.
8pm, 9 – 12 May, KC Arts Centre. $42 per ticket.
#3: Legally Blonde (10 – 20 May)
Based on the 2001 rom-com and box office movie hit of the same name starring Reese Witherspoon, Legally Blonde is a new production from New York. Updated with contemporary choreography, lighting, costumes and sets, the entire cast hails from the Big Apple, with Maris Fernandes taking on the lead role of Elle Woods.
In 2007, the production received seven Tony Award nominations, including Best Original Score and Best Leading Actress in a Musical ( Laura Bell Bundy). Music and lyrics are by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, while Jeffery B. Moss directs.
The plot centers on the efforts of Woods – a southern California sorority queen and fashionista – to win back her ex-boyfriend by enrolling herself at Harvard Law School. It sounds a little ridiculous, but is entirely reflective of Woods’ confident and can-do attitude which has made her such an iconic character. A feel-good musical at its core, Woods rallies help from new friends Paulette, Emmett and trusty chihuahua Bruiser, while defying expectations and learning the lesson of staying true to oneself, all to hilarious result.
Various timings, 10 – 20 May, Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands. Prices start from $65 per ticket.
#4: The Lion King (27 Jun – 26 Aug)
This timeless musical was last performed here in 2011, which saw a stunning total of more than 300,000 people in attendance over a span of eight months (surely one of the most successful musicals Singapore has seen). For those who missed out, not to worry, as The Lion King is set to return this June.
Since its premiere at the Orpheum Theatre in Minnesota in 1997, 395 actors have been part of the iconic musical, performing to more than 90 million people and helping the production earn more than US$7.9 billion (S$10.8 billion). Adapted from the classic Disney animated film, the musical will feature popular songs such as “Circle Of Life”, “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” and ‘Hakuna Matata”.
The Lion King will also be making stops in the Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan as part of an Asian tour in celebration of its 20th anniversary. The production company this time will be different from the one in 2011, so expect a slightly different show – all the more reason to see it again.
Various timings, 27 Jun – 26 Aug, Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands. Prices start from $65 per ticket.
#5: Mamma Mia! (3 – 18 Nov)
The beloved, smash-hit musical is making a triumphant return to our sunny shores, after a successful showing here in 2014, which saw the musical extending its run due to overwhelming demand.
Since its debut at London’s West End 19 years ago, the musical has been seen by more than 54 million people, and was made into a hit movie starring Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan in 2008 (with a sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, coming out this July). Set on a sunny Greek island paradise, the musical is a heart-warming story of love, family and friendship.
The brainchild of British playwright Catherine Johnson, Mamma Mia! is a jukebox musical based on the songs of iconic Swedish pop group ABBA, with the title of the musical taken from the group’s 1975 chart-topper. Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, former members of the band, were involved in the development of the show from the beginning, which explains the countless and easily recognisable hits such as “Dancing Queen”, “Super Trouper” and “Money, Money, Money”. Be prepared to sing your lungs out.
Various timings, 3 – 18 Nov, Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands. Prices start from $58 per ticket.
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