Looking for the best stage productions for the second half of 2018? From indie theatrical plays to blockbuster comedy acts, contemporary dance performances, and epic musicals, here are the shows you need to see in Singapore.
Happy Ever Laughter
11 to 29 July 2018 | Capitol Theatre
When it comes to comedy in Singapore, it doesn’t get much better than Dream Academy’s Happy Ever Laughter, a stalwart on the local standup comedy calendar. Now in its fourth instalment, Happy Ever Laughter sees 12 of Singapore’s best comedians – including Kumar, Irene Ang, Selena Tan, and Suhaimi Yusof – take things to a whole new level as they battle it out on the Capitol Theatre stage. Nothing will be off-limits and no comment too savage as these household names throw decency out the window to win your laughs, your applause, and your votes.
Good news! City Nomads readers are entitled to a 15% off on Cat 1 and Cat 2 tickets for the first weekend shows (Fri 13 July, 8pm; Sat 14 July, 3pm; Sat 14 July, 8pm; and Sun 15 July, 3pm).
Book here. Promo valid till 21 June 2018.
Chinatown Crossings by Drama Box
22 June to 18 August 2018 | Chinatown
How does a roving theatrical experience through the streets of Chinatown sound? Chinatown Crossings is the latest work by Drama Box, a groundbreaking theatre group best known for exploring the relationships between people and the place they live. Over 14 months of research and development culminates in the story of Kunalan – an Indian man who grew up in the neighbourhood during the 60s and 70s – as he recounts his friendship with his Cantonese landlady’s feisty daughter and relationship with a ma jie (domestic helpers from Guangdong) who acted as a surrogate mother during his formative years.
With just 30 exclusive performances spread over the period of 22 June to 18 August, expect to navigate the nooks and crannies of the quaint Kreta Ayer and Keong Saik districts, reliving old Singapore through riveting soundscapes and forgotten practices in a way you’ve never had the chance to see. Plus, there’s only 25 tickets per show, making each one rather intimate, don’t you think?
M1 CONTACT Contemporary Dance Festival
9 June to 5 August 2018 | Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay & Goodman Arts Centre
Fresh from its record of 93% filled seats last year, the M1 CONTACT Contemporary Dance Festival makes a comeback in its ninth season with 16 shows and 28 dance works across 14 different nationalities, with a focus on rising artists and fresh creations from the Southeast Asian scene. We’re particularly excited for EARTH (15 and 16 June), an ingenious double bill featuring Filled with sadness, the old body attacks by Kim Jae Duk and EARTH by Humanhood, two unique works that take audiences on a sensorial journey from secretive inner worlds to the forceful sway of nature.
Another must-see production is Binary (3 and 4 August), a double bill that evokes the gravity of the body. It begins with Shamel Pitts’s Black Velvet, a multi-disciplinary work with stunning lighting and projection. The result? A heart piercing discovery of gender, identity, and race. Similarly, rising choreographer Astrid Boons’s Vestige sees an intense duet that tries to empty the body of its humanness – once shortlisted as Amsterdam’s top five performances of 2017.
Tickets for M1 CONTACT are priced from $5 to $36, available here. Special deals include a Show Pass ($100 for 4 shows), M1 Open Stage Twin Deal ($38), and Class Package (6 technique classes for the price of 5). In addition, enjoy 20% off for T.H.E Friends and M1 customers, 15% off for PAssion Cardmembers and OCBC Arts Platinum Credit Cardmembers, and 10% off for Esplanade&Me Cardholders and OCBC Credit Cardmembers.
Sasha Velour Live in Singapore
25 July 2018 | Shine Auditorium
“You’re born naked and the rest is drag” or so goes one of RuPaul’s Drag Race’s most iconic lines. As for its Season 9’s critically acclaimed winner and reigning queen Sasha Velour, she’ll be bringing her latest tour here with a slice of the incredible Brooklyn night life. The one woman show will celebrate the spectacle and heart of drag, and of course some of your favourite high-fashion goddess’ favourite numbers, from ‘Cellophane’ to ‘This Woman’s Work’ and ‘Don’t Cry Out Loud’. You can bet this is going to be one hell of an emotional night.
Tickets for Sasha Velour Live in Singapore are priced from $98 to $138, available here.
Tuesday with Morrie by Godot Theatre Company 果陀剧场
20 to 22 July 2018 | Esplanade Theatre
Hands up if you’ve read Mitch Albom’s top-selling Tuesday with Morrie and loved it, because now, it’s time to see it adapted onto the theatrical stage. While this is a show that’s produced and performed in Mandarin, there will be English subtitles displayed to bridge the language barrier as we follow the author’s story and interviews with his college professor Morrie Schwartz – a sufferer of the terminal ALS disease (Lou Gehrig’s disease) – play out. This heartwarming production, which has been performed over 200 times since 2011, will feature Golden Horse Award-winner Jin Shi Jie as Morrie and popular host Pu Xueliang as Mitch.
Bob Dylan And His Band Live In Singapore 2018
6 August 2018 | The Star Theatre
Bob Dylan isn’t just one of the greatest songwriters of all time – he’s also a Nobel laureate, having received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016. Seven years after his last performance here in Singapore, the platinum-selling American musician will make his way back for a one-night showcase of electronic folk music work that’s at once mesmerising and thought-provoking, including old material from Time Out of Mind (1997), Modern Times (2006), and also newer music from last year’s Triplicate and 2016’s Fallen Angels.
Mughal E Azam
24 to 26 August 2018 | Esplanade Theatre
Based on the 1960 historical drama by Indian film director K. Asif, Shapoorji Pallonji’s Mughal-E-Azam arrives in Singapore for the first time as a musical extravaganza about Emperor Akbar, one of the most renowned rulers of the Mughal empire. And as most dramas go, there is a story of love, particularly the one shared by his son Prince Salim and a pretty courtesan Anarkali. As the fate of the Mughal Empire is threatened, betrayal, war, and defiance come together in this visual and music epic that’s easily at the top of its class.
Postmodern Jukebox – Live in Singapore
18 September 2018 | Kallang Theatre
If you’re a fan of ‘vintage music’, you’ll love Postmodern Jukebox. The viral group led by American pianist Scott Bradlee is all about putting vintage spins and retro stylings on modern pop hits, and they’ve since amassed a massive YouTube fanbase and played hundreds of sold-out shows, from theatrical extravaganzas to intimate standing gigs. Imagine the melodic angst of Radiohead’s Creep or the 21st century party vibe of Miley Cyrus’s We Can’t Stop married with sexy jazz counters or the doo-wop rhythms of a 1950s bluesman. Then, extend that list to every iconic anthem out there worth listening to.
5 October 2018 | Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands
If the story of Kinky Boots – winner of six Tony Awards – is anything to go by, sometimes the best way to fit in is to stand out. With songs by pop icon Cyndi Lauper and choreography by Jerry Mitchell, this high-heeled Broadway hit is about friendship and the belief that you can change the world when you change your mind. Taking you from a gentleman’s shoe factory in Northampton the the glamorous catwalks of Milan, follow Charlie Price as he struggles to continue the family business and his unlikely saviour Lola, who actually just wants some sturdy new stilettos.
TheatreWork’s The Reunification Of The Two Koreas
1 to 10 November 2018 | 72-13
The Reunification Of The Two Koreas is part of TheatreWork’s 2018 season, and sees a patchwork of twenty short scenes revolving around an unuttered question: what makes human relationships? Directed by Jacques Vincey and performed by the likes of Ebi Shankara, Karen Tan, Janice Koh, Noorlinah Mohamed, watch a bride discover that her fiancé had an affair with each of her four sisters on her wedding day, two best friends getting into a savage fight because one of them recalls their first encounter, and a prostitute bargaining down her services to hook a client – situations where appeased relations are as primal and desirable as the reunification of Korea.
Tickets for The Reunification Of The Two Koreas are priced at $38, available here.
3 to 18 November 2018 | Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands
Here we go again? Based on the timeless music of legendary Swedish pop group ABBA, come join the ultimate feel-good party that is MAMMA MIA!, the musical that’s now enchanted over 60 million people with its cheery happiness, sprightly characters, and story revolving around love, friendship, and identity. Set on a Greek island paradise where the sun always shines, this is a tale of a mother, a daughter, and three possible dads. Needless to say, it’s a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget.
Top Image: Dance at Dusk, M1 Contact Contemporary Dance Festival 2017. Photo courtesy of Shaun Ho.