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EDGES the Musical

April 6, 2013

Edges1Event: “Edges the Musical” presented by Derrick Chew of Sight Lines Entertainment
Venue: Drama Centre Black Box
Run: 3rd – 19th April 2013

Growing Pains

Sight Lines Entertainment is back with an intimate little offering known as “Edges the Musical” that currently plays at the Drama Centre Black Box.

Technically termed a “song cycle” in the sense that it is essentially a series of song-scenes (there is no book in this musical) all connected by the overarching theme of coming of age and growing into adulthood, “Edges” was written in 2005 by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul – two 19-year-old undergraduates studying musical theatre at the University of Michigan – and was first staged professionally in New York in 2007.

This Singapore premiere stars the young and loveable quartet of Linden Furnell, Mina Ellen Kaye, Benjamin Kheng and Kristy Griffin, who share an unmistakable chemistry together on stage.

Derrick Chew once again takes on the role of director, while maestro Joel Nah single-handedly manages all the musical duties on his own.

Eucien Chia is responsible for the set design, while Kristy Griffin doubles up as choreographer as well.

There is no plot to the 75-minute musical, and each song is a vignette exploring a particular theme or issue.

“Boy with Dreams”, performed by Benjamin, talks about a young man’s dream to make it big some day, with a reference to the South by Southwest music festival, no doubt a subtle nod towards the recent visit to the festival made by local band The Sam Willows, of which Benjamin is a part of.

“Dispensable”, performed by Linden and Kristy, is an achingly beautiful number about a pair of ex-lovers trying to move on from their relationship.

I particularly enjoyed the bossa nova-infused number “I Hmm You”, which not only showcased clever lyrics, but more importantly made subtle musical references to some classic Rodgers & Hammerstein tunes.

Mina Ellen held court particularly in the hilarious solo number “In Short”, about a neurotic and vindictive ex-lover, in a rendition which was nothing short of amazing.

It was apparent that effort has been made to localise the musical somewhat by adding in local references in some of the lyrics, such as “durians” and “Hong Lim Park”.

Performance-wise, I thought that as a whole Linden really stood out for me for his incredible versatility and range, both in terms of acting and singing, and his poignant rendition of “Part of a Painting” was a particular case in point.

It seemed he was equally adept at doing the up-tempo comedic songs as he was in the slower, more pensive ones.

Of course, the musical leaves its best and most memorable song “Ready to be Loved” for the finale, which is not only an unbelievably catchy song, but also speaks of the characters finally receiving emotional breakthrough in that in order to live life to the fullest, you’ve got to learn to let things go, courageously embrace life, and allow yourself to be ready to be loved.

And in many ways, these four young actors have done just that – and we in turn love them for it.

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    April 9, 2013 10:57 am

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