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《雨季》 December Rains

August 12, 2010

Caught the long-awaited 《雨季》 December Rains last night. I think I was feeling rather 感性 / 情绪化 yesterday, hence I cried quite a bit, although the story was a pretty conventional love story of misunderstanding and regret, and well, the plot was a bit “flat” as some would call it. I think I was moved mainly because the songs (lyrics) were so well written and Kit Chan’s singing. True to the poetic style of 梁文福, the lyrics of the songs were so powerful; he expresses so much in just those few lines. 在那一段段的一字一句中,溢出了重重的遗憾、爱意、悲哀。 I also discovered a few familiar songs were from this musical. However, most of the songs are pretty old school lah…well, the setting is so.

The story goes like this…

Act I is set during the time of the bus riots and 丽卿 (Li Qing), the heroine, with the help of good friend 明理 (Ming Li) who is their “postman”, starts a relationship with the student council leader 英雄 (Ying Xiong), which faces her parents’ opposition. Ming Li is actually in love with Li Qing, but he suffers in silence for her happiness. Ying Xiong decides to go to China to 建国…it’s during those times where the 华校生are still looking to China as homeland, mainly because Singapore was still under colonial rule. They decide to “elope” to China but Li Qing is locked up by her parents. She asks Ming Li to pass a letter to Ying Xiong to persuade him to stay. On reaching the ship dock, Ming Li quarrels with Ying Xiong when Ying Xiong says he cannot stay but will wait for Li Qing in China. In his fit of anger over Ying Xiong’s 辜负towards Li Qing, he doesn’t pass him the letter, which incidentally reveals that Li Qing is pregnant (Ming Li opens the letter). But it is too late as the ship has left the dock and Ming Li is regretful and doesn’t know how to tell Li Qing.

Then to Act II many years later. Li Qing has lived a successful but unhappy life as she thinks Ying Xiong left even though he read the letter. She has brought up her daughter as a single parent. Ming Li has helped take care of Li Qing and her daughter, 梦雨 (Meng Yu), never marrying. Meng Yu falls for a guy from China, 阳光 (Yang Guang),who incidentally is the godson of Ying Xiong (who has also stayed single), who arrives in Singapore to meet the parents of his godson’s girlfriend. A confrontation occurs and finally all is revealed when Ming Li suffers a heart attack and finally tries to reconcile the couple before he dies. 终于,他们都 “走出那年的雨季”

My most memorable quote would be “不了解的爱不是爱,是害”. and of course the lyrics of the songs.

Favourite songs? “只要你相信”,“我该怎么做”and of course the theme song “请你告诉他”。

The musical would have turned out better if there were better singers in the cast. Aside from Kit Chan, the delivery of the songs were a bit below par. It was especially obvious the moment Kit Chan sang her first song (she only started singing in the 2nd scene). 真是天壤之别。 Her powerful, melodious and versatile voice was perfect. She had to play a young girl (20s) and an older one (40s?) and she adjusted her voice accordingly, sounding more matured for the older role. I still believe she is the best Singapore singer in the past 2 decades despite the uprising of other pop stars from our island. As for the male leads, Jeffrey Low (of 《李大傻》) didn’t really have such good a control of his voice when singing, but his acting was good, And George Chan (of 《天冷就回来》) sang a bit better, but I still think he can’t sing so well.

Also, there were some actors whom I noticed who usually performed more in English theatre, and it was obvious when they spoke or sang (didn’t really fit in, especially for this setting). You realise it’s really difficult to be good in both English and Mandarin theatre.

I can’t help but think of 《雪·狼·湖》, partly because Kit Chan was in it (and 歌神 Jacky Cheung)。Think 《雪·狼·湖》was one of the better Chinese (actually I watched the Cantonese one) musicals I’ve seen, not that I’ve watched many.

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