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11th Life! Theatre Awards 2011

March 20, 2011
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The nominees for the 11th Life! Theatre Awards (to be held on 4th April at the St. Regis) were announced in the Straits Times last Thursday.

The full article can be read (here).

In the same way we usually try and predict the Oscar winners, let’s do a bit of predicting for some of the categories in the Life! Theatre Awards as well.

2010 was indeed a bumper year for musicals.

In fact, the “musicals” angle was the main headline in Adeline Chia’s piece.

Off-hand I can think the following musicals that were staged last year – Fried Rice Paradise, The Full Monty, December Rains, Liao Zhai Rocks!, Cinderel-LAH!, and Maha Moggallana.

And probably as a result of the abundance of musicals last year, there is a new category called “Best Original Score” with the following nominees:

Liao Zhai Rocks!
December Rains
Cinderel-LAH! (pick)
Fried Rice Paradise
– Maha Moggallana

If I’m not mistaken, only Maha Moggallana and Liao Zhai Rocks! are brand new musicals, whereas the rest are restagings albeit with revamped songs and new arrangements.

I had not had the luxury of watching all 5 nominees, but I have always been partial to the songs from Cinderel-LAH! (music by Elaine Chan and lyrics by Selena Tan) after watching both stagings of it, so I’m hoping it wins.

“Production of the Year”
– December Rains

– Model Citizens (pick)
– A Cage Goes In Search Of A Bird
– The Full Monty
– Liao Zhai Rocks!

I know that it is never easy to narrow one year’s worth of productions down to a list of just 5 of the best candidates, and a list of “best productions” is always going to be open for debate.

However, I do wish that a few other productions (which I really enjoyed) were included in the list.

These include Blackbird (by the Singapore Repertory Theatre), Those Who Can’t, Teach (by The Necessary Stage), and Poop (by The Finger Players).

Anyway, from the list above I’d go with Model Citizens because I thought it scored well on almost all fronts.

“Best Director”
Alvin Tan (Model Citizens) (pick)
Christina Sergeant (Metamorphoses)
Tracie Pang (The Full Monty)
Kuo Jian Hong and Wu Xi (Liao Zhai Rocks!)
Goh Boon Teck (December Rains)

I am glad that Christina Sergeant was awarded a nomination for the relatively obscure production Metamorphoses (by COLLAB Theatre Ensemble), because I thought she did a pretty good job on it, although I am uncertain if it will be enough to win “Best Director” honours.

I also wished that Chong Tze Chien would have been included in the nominees for directing Poop, which I thought was a fascinating piece of work.

Having watched all the above productions except for “December Rains”, I would go with Alvin Tan for Model Citizens, simply because I felt that Model Citizens was the overall best production (see above) and that the director was instrumental in making it as such.

“Best Actress”
– Margaret Chan (Emily Of Emerald Hill) (pick)
– Daisy Irani (Rafta, Rafta)
– Neo Swee Lin (wo(men))
– Karen Tan (Model Citizens)
– Siti Khalijah (Model Citizens) (pick)

To me, this is between Margaret Chan and Siti Khalijah, and it is difficult to pick between the two.

Let’s just call this a push.

That being said, I felt that Judee Tan (“Chestnuts 3D”) and Emma Yong (“Blackbird”) should have been given honourable mentions in this category as well.

Looking forward to attending the 11th Life! Theatre Awards!

It would be an exhilarating experience I’m sure, as it is the first time I’ve had the privilege of attending this event.

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