Soulless “Songs of the Sea” at Sentosa

My parents and my wife were huge fans of the old Musical Fountain and “Monkey Kiki” at Sentosa. It was grand, magical and powerful. Best of all, it was free for all to watch. Even after watching the old show so many times and many years later, we were still deeply mesmerized by its magic.

Last evening, my sister treated the whole family to the new “Musical Fountain”. We were all very excited. My parents, aunt & uncle were expecting another magical night. Unfortunately, the new show was a letdown and we left in disappointment.

Contrary to what the website said, Songs of the Sea fails to deliver “a mesmerizing show” with a live cast of boring and distracting performers who can’t lip-synced and synchronize with the dance steps and beats , out-dated visual effects, lasers and pyrotechnics! Poor storyline, too much talking in-between acts, awful eerie kelong huts settings, choppy music scene and unbelievable cheesy scripts, the 45-min Songs of the Sea fails to bring back the magic of the old Musical Fountain. It was flat (and disjointed) from the beginning to the end. The performers tried hard to get the audience to clap and participate – it was an appalling effort. The finale song “I did it” is pathetic – an anti-climax. (No wonder it drew such weak applause from the audience!). There is simply no connection between the performers and the screen behind. Unlike in the previous Musical Fountain, there was one star character and his animated sidekick “Kiki”. There was a surprise moment when the human character disappeared into the letter “O” and found himself in the magical world of special effects. Songs were upbeat and catchy.

Sorry Sentosa, this is certainly not worth SGD15 or even SGD10 to watch. In my opinion, it loses its claim as a “World Class Show”. This show is perfect for young kids but it fails to impress the adults. Especially for those who fell in love with the old grand Musical Fountain, there is nothing in this show that brings back the emotional-connection. I expected more with this new entry fee but what I got was worse than before. The creative and music director needs to know that he cannot conceal poor music and drama with water jets, flame bursts, lasers and pyrotechnics. It is bad in my view – it seems to me that the show producer wants a bit of everything. And no…the multiracial songs at the beginning don’t connect at all! I wonder if the tourists understand them. Skin-deep beauty doesn’t last long. It is the simple pure substance that connects the minds and touches the hearts.

Time to change the scripts and the scores. Rejuvenate the old charm and magic of our favorite Sentosa Musical Fountain. Bring back the soul and a good story. Don’t kid the audience with these “blings” and “bangs”! Leave the fireworks for the National Day Parade.

Jolin Tsai “Myself” World Tour Concert 2011 (蔡依林世界巡回演唱會)

Last night, Taiwanese Pop Princess Jolin Tsai heated up Hong Kong Coliseum with her sparkling performance. This is her 6th stop (total 8 cities) of her Asian “Myself” Tour. Teaming with Miguel Zarate (leading choreographer of Lady Gaga, Britney Spears), Jolin fired up the audience with her hot curves and seductive dance routines. She is the “Kylie Minogue” and “Ayumi Hamasaki” of Mandarin Pop.

It wasn’t the gigantic LCD Sphere or the pyrotechnics that stole the show. it was those daring, sexy and illuminated signature outfits Jolin wore. Red LED dress, Super bright Breast-Pads and low-cut tight dress that revealed her deep V. (See photo below) Simply booblicious! The key outfit of the night was undeniably the red laser-illuminated bodice. Hundreds of red laser lines beamed around Jolin – like a Goddess, a Superstar. (Ouch! She just laser-beam my eyes! What a knocker!)

Overall, it was a spectacular show (but not the best pop/dance concert I have attended). The Hong Kong concert was a little different from her Singapore and Taiwan legs. No water-dance finale and we didn’t see any special celebrity guest appearance. Jolin was an eye-candy but her singing was lacking. Loud woofer bass muffled her voice most of the night. Jolin didn’t really connect with her fans wholeheartedly – she sounded a little “cold” (not much confident) in her speech. Nevertheless, she managed to get half the audience standing and dancing towards the finale of the concert with her hot sexy moves. Surely, Jolin speaks louder with her body language than words. That’s being herself.

Day 5 – Gold Coast (Stomp!)

(Photo Taken: STOMP Performance at the Jupiter Casino, Gold Coast – An outstanding performance by the world’s famous non-traditional dance troupe, originating in Brighton, UK, that uses the body and ordinary objects to create a physical theatre performance. Superb! Now my boy can go home and terrorizes his granny with his own stomp performance!)

The House of Dancing Water (City of Dreams, Macao)

A costly HKD 2 billion production! The House of Dancing Water is indeed the world’s newest and most spectacular and original extravaganza. A cast of 77 performers from 18 different countries, this show took 5 years to prepare and 2 years of rehearsals. Situated in the heart of the City of Dreams, the 2000-seat theater houses the world’s largest commercial pool (3.7m gallons of water, 160ft diameter and 16ft deep – about 5 Olympic-swimming-pool-size) with 258 automated water fountains. Sounds impressive? Wait till you watch the performance live in action!

The show is now in its 8th month (it was launched last August) and it is still incredibly running full-house. We have been hearing so much good reviews about this show that we decided to watch this during our Easter break. As expected, it was full-house and we have to book the tickets 3 weeks in advance. All the mid-range tickets were taken, leaving us no choice but to get the most-expensive tickets available.

At first, I was doubtful about the reviews and thought the HKD880 (ticket) +500 (return ferry) was a little too much to bear. But it was worth every dollar! (And I will certainly bring my son and wife to the show the next time they are in town!)

If you are done with circus and musicals, the House of Dancing Water promises you a show like no other. Breathtaking acts, stunning stage effects and beautiful settings, the director of the show choreographed every scene perfectly. Audience sit around a deep pool. The stage effects are beyond anything I have seen before. Fog engulf the theater, a 30ft tall ship rises up in the middle of the pool. The ship sinks and an oriental pavilion rises in its place. There is rain and snow.  In a blink, the deep pool disappears, dry land rises. The land cracks and steam hissing out of the holes on the floor. Motorcyclists doing daredevil stunts. Dancers flying in mid-air, performing breathtaking dives from as high as 15m tall. Take a magical 90min journey across space and time! A 100% must watch if you are in Macao! Enjoy the official Sammi’s MTV below.

Updated: Jacky Cheung ½ Century Tour Concert 2011 (張學友1/2世紀演唱會 – Hong Kong)

Jacky Cheung is more than just an cantopop idol. He remains one of the best Heavenly Kings of the 90s. Even today, Jacky is still very much everyone’s “God of Songs”! Many of us grew up listening to his songs. For me, his songs accompanied me for 2 long decades since I was 15!

Shame to admit, this is my first ever Jacky Cheung’s concert and he blew me off with his spectacular performance! Jacky fired up the stage (and yes, he literally did that) with his powerful vocal, his well-choreographed act and his magical “musical performance”! Stunning! Instead of inviting guest stars to his concert, Jacky paid special tribute to the late Lydia Sum. 

This is more like a hybrid of Broadway and pop concert! Hits after hits, Jacky sang continuously for 3 solid hours! (Tonight is the 2nd night of his 20-night concert in Hong Kong!) I can’t believe Jacky is 50 years old this year (that is why he named his concert “½ Century Tour Concert 2011“). With an unbelievable level of stamina and energy, he outclassed all the current princes + princesses of pop! Based on tonight’s performance, there is no doubt Jacky is still the best male singer in Asia.

At the end of his concert and when it was time for “encore”, Jacky gave us not 2, not 5 but over 10 classic hits! It was a great night to remember. It is no wonder why he is named the “God of Songs”. Jacky is indeed legendary. Here is a list of some of the songs he sang tonight: 花花公子, 小姐貴姓, 初吻, 你的名字,我的姓氏, 你是我今生唯一傳奇, 一滴淚, 分手總要在雨天 , 月半灣, 吻別 , 人在雨中, 如果愛, 三分拍 , 李香蘭, 我真的受傷了, 餓狼傳說, 這個冬天不太冷, 每天愛你多一些, 祝福.

(Earlier this Jan, Jacky broke ticket sales record in Singapore and the organiser extended his 2-night concert to 5 nights from 26th – 30th Aug. He will be performing in Singapore Indoor Stadium! Don’t miss it!)

Going Deep with Vivian Chow (Deep V25 Concert 周慧敏演唱會2011)

Last night, I have a date with my childhood sweetheart, Vivian Chow. Back in the 1990s, she was every boy’s fantasy. She was the definition of my dream girl – slim, fair, long hair, pure, clean, curvy body, sweet charming smile, big sparkling eyes, baby fat and fragile-innocent looking. Back in those days, I spent all my pocket money on her movies, cassettes tapes and photographs. She was certainly one of the hot Asian idols in the 90s. The girls ogled at Aaron Kwok and Leon Lai. The boys had their eyes and minds on Vivian Chow (okay..and also Amy Yip).

Tracy managed to get last minute tickets via Vivian Chow’s Fan Club. We sat with her Fan Club. We were sitting center, just 5 rows from the stage! (I intentionally made Meijie jealous when I text-ed him about the concert! Unknown to many, Meijie and Jimmy held long, deep infatuation on Vivian! Bet Meijie keeps her poster till todate!) Many times, we saw ourselves on the big screen, in the midst of the many bright LED signage. Her fans were super crazy. Despite sitting so close to the stage, our view were blocked by their big signs. These fans came from all parts of Asia (China, Japan, Taiwan). Guess we were the only Singaporean pair sitting with them.

Thanks to my new 300mm paparazzi lens, I managed to capture some real close-up shots of Vivian. Good thing we were sitting on these special seats, I was facing right in the center of the stage. I told Tracy Vivian was waving and flirting with my lens the whole night – of course, she didn’t believe me. I bet Vivian did.

Suddenly, I feel so young again. Vivian didn’t aged much. She looks sensual (and still hot) in her 40s. She invited many guest stars to grace her concert last night. This concert marks her 25 years in the entertainment industry. I am so happy to see her sing live here in Hong Kong. It was a pity that she didn’t sing many of her more popular Chinese songs. And my heart melted when she cried last night. Aw….feels like 15 again…so so in love (especially when she let down her long hair in that purple finale dress!). It was good that my wife wasn’t with me last night.

Grease is the Word

The gloomy super typhoon may be heading our way but the atmosphere inside the auditorium is hot, sunny and GREASY! Hits after hits, “Grease” – the longest-running musical in the history of Broadway, rocked the hall with all its mighty pop hits and groovy dance routines! Men in tights and ladies in curls! Hot bods and sexy girls! Don’t you love the candy times in the 50s?

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