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December 10, 2010
Train is coming, train is coming…love your ride”

And that’s what to expect of the modified, but still funny Cinderel-LAH! (though I didn’t watched the earlier one)…love your ride through the familiar but localised version of Cinderella. Armed with star light batons handed out before the show, it was not difficult getting into the mood for the magical musical pantomime and a tinge of Christmas.

I must admit that it’s been 2 weeks since I watched it, so with my fading memory, I shall try to recall my thoughts on the show as much as I can.

I guess most people are familiar with this tale of a poor girl ill-treated by her stepmother and stepsisters (I believe this was one of the causes of suspicions cast upon stepmothers). Set in a HDB estate (Sengkang) and revolving around a Crab Prince Char Mee (Sebastian Tan) and Cindy (Emma Yong). Although set differently, the gist of the story remains the same, but with the difference of the 2 lovers meeting before the ball, though how he didn’t recognise her at the ball was as usual, baffling. But somewhere in his heart, he did. However, he needed to realise his true feelings before finding his true love, who had been following him all the while, literally, albeit on the moon. I guess the role of Mercy (Siti Khalijah Zainal) was like the mice which helped Cinderella in the original story. But they did keep the sawing of feet part of the sisters who tried to fit in the shoes.

I was laughing pretty much due to the various references (although I won’t say the show was hilarious), e.g., from my opening line, you can guess the ride Cindy got to the ball was from our beloved MRT carriage (not pumpkin). On a few occasions, the actors came down to the audience as part of the show. Interestingly, they didn’t make as many political jokes as before, which I think it’s better for the children and also keeps it more fairytale like. The overall effect was great, with mid-air dangles, colourful sets and “popping” magic where some real tricks were performed!
In terms of actors/actresses, I believe they all performed well. Quite notable were Najip Ali as Fairy God Makcik and Gurmit Singh who played Ali & Jeya, a man-wife pair, so he was always changing costumes switching between 2 characters. He acted as the “connector”/narrator of the show, directing the audience and providing the bridges between scenes, “ra-ra”ing. And of course, being a fan of Sebastian with his boyish charms and versatility (he’s like the resident “boy-next-door” for productions or 小生), he didn’t disappoint with his singing and acting, although I don’t think I can ever shake off his excellent performance as the Queen in Snow White.

Ah, the music. This time round, the music was a little different from what I have heard of Elaine Chan in the past few pantomimes, which was good, although I’m trying hard to remember which song(s) stood out. I believe the reprise songs did and maybe “When I’m Happy”.

I look forward to next year’s!

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