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《老九》音乐剧 Lao Jiu: The Musical

July 18, 2012
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Lao Jiu 2012

节目: 《老九》音乐剧 Lao Jiu: The Musical
地点: 戏剧中心剧院 Drama Centre Theatre
表演期间: 2012 年 7 月 12 至 29 日 (12-29 July 2012)

我相信每个人曾经辗转在梦想与现实生活之间。有些的抉择较简单、有些却背负着别人对自己的寄望。有多少人真正能为梦想做出牺牲;有多少人能真正放手去做自己想做的事?也许别人会觉得这样很自私,但约束只能让自己变成生命的傀儡。最终,你能说自己活过吗?

《老九》讲的就是这样的抉择。排第九的独生子,庄有为(老九)是个极为聪明的少年。因他的才智,他将有机会考取一项能帮他开拓无限光辉前途的奖学金。背负着家人对他的期望和付出,他却在紧要的关头决定放弃,为的是能继续学习自己最热爱而将失传的传统木偶戏。难免,他面对了家人的严厉斥责,但最终,他们还是明白了、接受了。我想这就是家人的美;大家毕竟是一家人。

老实说,看着看着,我不时在想,老九为何不先把奖学金考到再说,然后才在将来或同时追逐木偶戏的艺术呢?这想法一直陪着我到最后,才发现也许是因为师父得了绝症(一点儿牵强吗?)。或许,师父的病也让他的家人较容易接受他的决定。可惜,虽然从一开始我们都能感受到大家对老九的期望,却无法揣摩他为什么执著于木偶戏。木偶戏对他的意义到底有多深?他是想把它发扬光大、继承师父?或者它代表了自己的自由?

不过一个蛮有意识的场景是大马与老九“木偶大战”的那一幕。若仔细地注意,大马所提出的人物都是真实的人物,但我也知道他们全都最后遭到败战。老九使用的人物则是神话中的人物,而随着自己的想象所向无敌。这一幕是否代表了现实与幻想、写实与梦想的争斗?

剧情之外,我想最吸引我的因该是它的曲目。这是一出音乐剧, 所以歌曲很重要。这都多亏黄韵仁、小寒和冯文甫. 特别勾起心弦的是老九与小马之间的对唱 - ”两人世界“ 的三部曲 :“初悟”、“结义”、“告别” - 让人感动。我也喜欢 ”备考· 受控“ 还有(应该是)“悟空” 和 “信念”。庄家的自我介绍 “家人” 也非常有趣。小小的美中不足或许是部分演员们的唱功稍微不够熟练和一小撮的咬字口音, 但他们对演出的真诚把故事译出来,感动了观众。

最终,我想故事的含义或许是不管如何,我们都有掌握自己未来的权利与自由,就如掌中戏一般。路也许辛苦,但这毕竟是自己的选择与活着的意义。有时候,知道自己不要什么也是一个开始。

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lao Jiu tells the story of a young man who, being the only son (9th child) in his family and the brightest, has his whole family’s hopes pinned on him as the shining star and future for the family. His intellectual capabilities would earn him a prestigious scholarship paving the way for a bright future, but he realises that that is not what he wants. What he wants is the freedom of choice, to do what he wants, and not be bound by other’s expectations. So he skips the exams, much to the wrath of his father and family who had given him everything he needed to reach this stage. However, they eventually accept his decision. That’s one thing I like about Chinese shows (or at least some of those I’ve watched), is that the family theme is usually quite strong. Family is all that matters.

I believe many have struggled with the choice between pragmatism and the pursuit of one’s dreams, and for Lao Jiu, the choice was between the scholarship that will ‘plan’ the future for him and the pursuit of learning the art of puppetry. The pressure he faces from his family was well-emphasized in the show, but his conviction and purpose of learning the art of puppetry was somewhat weaker in comparison. Was it to let the art live on? It didn’t feel like it was really because he wanted to learn the art, than to fight for a freedom of choice. Maybe it was meant to be so. I was having this thought through the show, of why didn’t he just get the scholarship first and pursue puppetry later or even at the same time? Even though it was explained that his teacher was dying, it came a bit late and felt kind of weak. However, maybe that aspect helped Lao Jiu’s family accept it better as his teacher was his father’s sworn brother.

One interesting scene near the end was the “Battle of the Greats” between Da Ma (the scholarship mentor?) and Lao Jiu. Interesting in that the former made reference to real people who were conquerors (though I noted they all fell eventually like Napoleon and Caesar) while Lao Jiu referenced the characters from the myths he plays with his puppets. It was like a tussle between reality and imagination. Dreams have no bounds?

But what I liked the most about the show would be the music. It’s a musical after all. Even though the singing wasn’t as well-trained as in most musicals I’ve watched, I felt the songs were quite nice, and flowed nicely with the scenes. I especially loved the duets of Lao Jiu with Xiao Ma, i.e. “Two of Us” in its 3 parts – “First Feelings”, “Kindred” and “Farewell”.  I also liked Lao Jiu’s solo moments, like the one about Einstein’s relativity theory (“Preparation-Mastered”), which was quite smart I feel, and also, if I remember correctly, “Revelation” and “I am Lao Jiu – Conviction”. I also liked the part when the family introduced themselves to Da Ma (“The Chngs”), which was nicely paced and humorous, with some nifty writing.

At the end of it all, I guess our path is a matter of choice that is in our own hands and heart. It may not be easy, but it’s what make us alive.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 18, 2012 10:41 am

    写得好,Ilkosa! (^-^)V

    你的评语也很发人深省,让我受益良多。

    很高兴能在Buttons读到华文文章,希望你能多写。=)

    • Ilkosa permalink
      July 18, 2012 4:13 pm

      谢谢! 通常我会设法以华文发表我对中文戏的评语,也附上英文翻译/版。
      不过我对华文已有点儿生疏,希望你不会见怪。感谢你的鼓励!

      • July 18, 2012 4:30 pm

        沒有见怪,写得很棒!

        再接再厉!=)

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