There are two events this year that will be remembered forever by Singaporeans. First was the passing of our Founding Father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew in March this year and then follow by the celebration of 50 years independence next month. These two key events mark a special milestone in our young nation. The musical, “The LKY Musical” is related to these two events, as we celebrate our nation’s golden jubilee, we also remember this great man in our nation’s birth.
Photo Credit : The LKY Musical (Sharon Au (L) and Adrian Pang (R) in The LKY Musical)
The main casts of this musical are Adrian Pang as Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Sharon Au as as his wife, Mdm Kwa Geok Choo. Adrian has definitely come a long way, as we remembered watching him as the lead male role in the local production musical movie “Forever Fever” in 1998. The young Adrian Pang then starred as a clerk named “Hock” who wanted to participate in a dance competition.
Fast forward to 2015, Adrian has certainly matured in experience and performance. Anyone who is to act in this lead role in “The LKY Musical” will certainly be under tremendous pressure and scrutiny because not many will be able to fill in the big shoe of Mr Lee. We are impressed with Adrian’s strong vocal voice and he is convincing in his role as Mr Lee. From what we saw in his performance in the musical, he certainly had done a great job, together with Sharon Au, to bring the life of Mr and Mrs Lee Kuan Yew to the audience.
The musical described the period from the 1940s when Mr Lee was studying in Raffles College where he met his wife, Mdm Kwa Geok Choo who eventually played an important role in this great man’s life which led to his leadership to our country. It covered the turmoil years of pre-independence Singapore where Mr Lee formed a political party, People’s Action Party to joining the Federation of Malaya to form Malaysia in the year 1963 and to eventual independence in 1965.
The challenges faced by a new nation then, like the threat from the Communists, the street riots and disagreements with the Malaysia government during the merger period were portrayed well through the fine acting of the casts in the musical. The message to our generation is we must not take things for granted in our current multi-racial economically successful country because our forefathers have worked very hard to create the Singapore that we are blessed with today.
Photo Credit: The LKY Musical (Benjamin Chow (L) and Adrian Pang (R))
Besides portraying the relationships between Mr and Mrs Lee, another crucial relationship in the musical is between Mr Lee and his friend, Lim Chin Siong who is the influential leftwing politician and trade union leader played by the talented Benjamin Chow who will become his political rival. The chemistry between the two characters were intense and dynamic, brilliantly portrayed by the 2 actors. They started off being close like brothers to becoming enemies because of their differences in political stand towards the end of the musical.
Photo Credit: The LKY Musical (Sebastian Tan in the middle with supporting cast)
Sebastian Tan also known as the “Broadway Beng” did well balancing both serious and comic moments as the rickshaw puller Koh Teong Koo. He is no ordinary rickshaw puller, he saved Mr Lee’s life during World War II from the Japanese soldiers.
Photo Credit: The LKY Musical
Audience can look forward to hear 19 original new songs created for the musical by its creative team which include our very own Singapore talented composer, Dick Lee. He is no stranger to Singapore National events, having composed many past National Days songs like “Home” and “Count on me, Singapore” and he also happens to be the Creative Director for the 2015 National Day Parade. The creative team also include lyrics by Laurence Olivier Award winner Stephen Clark and the musical is directed by veteran London West End Director Steven Dexter who helmed Singapore Repertory Theatre’s Forbidden City (2002) and Fried Rice Paradise (2010).
Photo Credit: The LKY Musical
It is normally challenging to create a musical based on a movie, but it would be even more challenging to create a musical based on well-known actual historical events. This is because the audience would be familiar with the actual history and the musical producer would need to have an accurate portrayal of the history to make the musical realistic. We felt that the 2 and half hours musical is able to create the history of Singapore and the great man’s life as realistic as possible. We enjoyed the musical thoroughly, we are able to relate to the events that is portrayed in the musical and it has many touching moments which shows the loving relationships between Mr and Mrs Lee and Mr Lee fighting for Singapore’s future and towards independence. We are especially proud and touched when the Singapore National Anthem was played towards the end of the musical. The audience gave roaring applause and cheers, many stood up to commend the cast for their outstanding performances!
If you are thinking of how to celebrate Singapore’s 50 golden jubilee and find out more about our Founding Father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s life, you are encouraged to watch this musical. “The LKY Musical” staged by Metropolitan Productions is definitely one of the best local productions. The musical will end its run on 16 August 2015, don’t miss it!
The LKY Musical
(Chinese subtitles can be viewed from Row J onwards)
(including 20 minutes intervals)
Tuesday, 21 July – Sunday, 16 August 2015
Tuesday – Friday: 7.30pm
Saturday: 3pm & 7.30pm
Sunday: 1.30pm & 6pm
Sunday (9 August): 1.30pm
Sands Theatre, MasterCard Theatres® at Marina Bay Sands
(Excludes Booking Fee)
Friday & Saturday, 7.30pm
VIP : S$150
A Reserve : S$108
B Reserve : S$98
C Reserve : S$88
D Reserve : S$78
E Reserve (Restricted View): S$60
Tuesday – Thursday, Saturday 3pm & Sunday
VIP : S$140
A Reserve : S$98
B Reserve : S$88
C Reserve : S$78
D Reserve : S$68
E Reserve (Restricted View): S$50