Five-Foot Broadway Mini Musicals

Five-Foot Broadway Mini Musicals

The Prelude

If you find your attention span waning each time you watch a full 120-minute musical, finally, here’s something that’ll keep you engrossed and on the edge of your seat.

Titled Five Foot Broadway Mini Musicals, a montage of six short musicals staged by local non-profit drama organisation Musical Theatre Limited is set to impress the audience and tickle their funny bones. Each lasting no longer than 15 minutes, these short musicals follow the rising trend for short musicals due to the fast pace of modern life and are specially written and composed to cater to Singaporeans as part of Flipside
Longing for a piece of the action, UrbanWire headed down to the Esplanade on 16 Jun to catch the performance.The PerformanceIt is undoubtedly a simple yet comfortable setting, set in soft purple-tinted lights, with soothing jazzy music playing in the background. Draped with cloth, the “stage” was merely a slightly raised platform  only half a meter from the audience.To mark the start of the performance, three musicians—two keyboardists and a violinist—took a bow and seated themselves at the back of the stage. You could see genuine camaraderie among them as they gave each other high-fives before taking up their respective positions with a relaxed demeanor and smile on their faces.

The Invisible Man

The first one “Now You See Me,” abowhich is ut a scientist who became invisible after a freak laboratory accident. A social recluse who is down in the dumps, the scientist found out, thanks to his invisibility, that his girlfriend has been cheating on him with his best friend. However, this invisible man is given a new lease of life when he bumps into a blind lady on the streets and falls in love with her at first glance.

Then, he meets a bunch of outcasts in Cardboard City who, like him and paper cardboard, have been thrown out by society. Though they can’t see him, they welcome him and even dance for him. Their optimism and joyfulness give the invisible man a new outlook on life.

A simple and light-hearted piece about one’s search for true love and finding joy in everyday life, UrbanWire likes funky and upbeat songs and dances. Plus, it is a happy ending for the poor scientist who became visible again and eventually got together with the blind lady,  the love of his life.

Opposites Attract

How many lies does it take to find true love on “A Delicious Pretence” aptly pinpoints the downfalls of Internet dating and shows how people often lie about themselves on the Internet out of fear that they won’t be accepted for who they are. In a desperate bid to find love, two vastly different individuals decide to find their other half via the Internet. Upon introduction, they both think that they’ve finally found The One. But alas, they discover over a glass of Chendol (Asian ice dessert) that things aren’t as simple as they’ve made it out to be. The audience was amused throughout, especially when references were made to Singapore. Think chili crab, Dhoby Ghaut MRT station, and Bukit Timah Hill.

Beauty in Love

“The Tale of the Pretty Pretty Princess” touches on the theme of beauty. Princess, a plastic surgeon with a Barbie doll figure and perfect face, lives in a plastic world where beauty is merely skin-deep. Only judged by her appearance, the Princess never knew what true love was until she met her Prince.

This entertaining satire about love and beauty touches more than the surface, tugging at the audience’s heartstrings with its perceptive take on modern-day women, superficiality, and finding perfection in imperfection.

Ghost of the Past

Hoping to resolve the ordeals of the past 40 years, Pierre confronted his younger self, Peter. “Peter & Pierre” is a poignant and sad story addressing the regrets and hurt accumulated over the years. By recounting past hurt and forgotten dreams, Pierre teaches Peter about forgiveness. In return, Peter helps Pierre to remember the man he was like when he was younger.

Love Rekindled

A couple on the verge of breaking up finally rekindles their love after a car accident. Looking back at themselves when they were dating, they found the spark to reignite their love once again.

UrbanWire thinks this was one of the most touching musicals of the six, with aptly written songs and a well-played recount of the couple’s past.

BMT, boys?

Saving the best for last, “Singapore Boys” is a humorous and heartwarming story about the life and struggles of an NS man. The males in the audience chuckled and grinned as the story played out, with the recruits’ incessant complaints about the army life. “Singapore Boys” certainly struck a chord with the audience, especially the older males, as it reminded them of their heydays.


Quoting the famous Shakespeare saying, “If music be the food of love… play on, give me excess of it”, UrbanWire had only praises to sing for this local production. Thoroughly impressed by the songs’ originality and the local humor injected at all the right moments, UrbanWire feels that Five Foot Broadway Mini Musicals have good organization and structure. By masterfully varying the more somber musicals with light-hearted ones in between, they provide a good mix of emotions, thus bringing the audience on a journey of emotional highs and lows.

Full of Singaporean lingo and anecdotes, each musical explored different themes, such as love, self-identity, and beauty, that are highly relatable to everyone’s life.

That said, UrbanWire feels that the downside is that only a true blue Singaporean will be able to appreciate the musical’s  fullyhumor.

On the whole, the six musicals are delightful. As Benjamin Wong, 49, a father of two, aptly puts it, “This local production is definitely a breakthrough in the local arts scene.”

This article is part of UrbanWire’s 9-week Singapore Arts Festival 2008 particular. Get all the latest Arts Fest updates and reviews on UrbanWire.


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