Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Marina Bay Sands’

I’ve been wanting to bring the kids to the DreamsWorks Animation and The Deep exhibitions at the Art Science Museum for a long time. We tried during the National Day weekend when the entrance fee was waived, but the queue was so ridiculous there was really no point. I had to humbly concede my husband was right (he was against the idea of going down during the busy weekend, but let me try anyway).

Hubby had said he wanted to go for the exibitions, so we waited for him for more than a month. But since the DreamWorks exhibition is ending on Sunday, and since he’s gone on holiday with the friends without us, we decided to go without him! Wahaha!

If you haven’t gone for the exhibition, go!

I have two good reasons for you. First, both exhibitions are so interesting and one ends this Sunday! Second, it’s a great place to hide from the haze!

Penguins from the show Madagascar

Penguins from the show Madagascar

The day we went, the PSI soared above 300. We were happily oblivious to it all since we were wandering about below the concrete lotus.

It makes sense to go for both exhibitions because the price for the DreamWorks exhibition alone is $15 (for local adults) and $10 (for local kids), while the price for both DreamWorks and The Deep is $19.50 and $13.50 respectively. If you, like us, were already planning to catch both exhibitions, this is a good deal provided you have the time to spare. It even comes with a free beverage coupon per ticket, and free tickets to the Singapore Stories exhibition.

Staring in awe at a life-sized model of Toothless

Staring in awe at a life-sized model of Toothless

When I told the boys where we were going that day, they were so excited. Catching a glimpse of Toothless from the foyer above made them literally jump for joy, and they couldn’t wait to go see the model.

By the time we got the tickets it was about 10.30am. The kids usually get hungry between 11 to 11.30am. Knowing we usually take a very long time to get through exhibitions, and having two exhibitions on the same day, I decided that even though the crowd was building up, we should go get some food to fuel the kids. That way, when people headed off for lunch, we could continue to enjoy the place. That’s probably the best tip I can give any parent handling the kids on their own while on an outing there. Bring enough food along. Sometimes it’s worth the detour and delay.

We got sandwiches, bread and bananas from Cold Storage at the basement of MBS, then went back into the museum. True enough, just as we were going to go into the exhibition, Ellery said he was hungry. Score! I felt so pleased with myself.

The Art Science Museum has these lovely big benches outside the exhibition spaces, and it’s perfect as a rest stop. Ellery ate his sandwich, Asher ate a banana, and as I was getting hungry too, I ate my sandwich as well, sharing some with Alyssa. Hungry kids are not happy kids. And happy kids make a happy mummy. So it was time well spent!

Finally all fuelled up and ready to go, we jumped into the DreamWorks Animation exhibition. We have only watched a few DreamWorks cartoons, but the ones we have watched, we love. In particular, the boys are gaga over How to Train Your Dragon. Recently I found a book called How to Train Your Dragon: Incomplete Book of Dragons by Cressida Cowell, the creator of the How to Train Your Dragon Series that served as the inspiration for the movie. The boys have been talking about all kinds different types dragons mentioned in the book and which ones they want as pets. It’s times like those that make me very glad they both enjoy reading, so they can keep up with each other and have someone to talk to about the craze of the moment. They’ve long gone past the stage where I can keep up with their books, so I’m glad they have each other.

The exhibition brings you through the broad stages of creating an animated film. From imagining the character and his traits, developing the world the character lives in and where the story takes place, to story boarding and the animation itself. It was fascinating to see what some famous characters, like Shrek, looked like in the initial stages of development.

The Shrek & Donkey we are familiar with

The Shrek & Donkey we are familiar with. Come to think of it, it would probably have been more interesting to have taken a picture of an early-stage Shrek. Didn’t think of it while I was there – you’ll just have to go see it yourself!

It was also interesting to learn that the main characters from Madagascar were created based on a different shapes.

Shapes and characters

Shapes and characters

I liked how there were videos of the creators talking about the films and their development. For How to Train Your Dragon, they adapted the story to make it more suited to a cinematic experience. They created greater tension between the villagers of Berk and the dragons by starting the movie on the context of a war between the humans and the evil dragons. In the original story, everyone has a pet dragon. I liked that the boys understood how the movies may not follow the book exactly, and later on in the car, they were telling me what they liked more from the show and what they liked from the book.

Comparing the number of story boards needed for each film

Comparing the number of story boards needed for each film

I was so excited to see the actual set/prop used for Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit. I love Wallace and Gromit!

Cheeese! *waves hands in air*

Gromit

Gromit among the veggies

There were props and scale models of the sets used in the various films, and I loved looking at how detailed everything was.

Isle of Berk

Isle of Berk

Right down to the little sheep you see appear in the show

Right down to the little sheep you see appear in the show

Far Far Away

Far Far Away

The best thing about the DreamWorks Animation exhibition is that it’s very interactive. The boys enjoyed manipulating the facial features of the Hiccup, and controlling the background lighting for The Croods. Its fascinating to see all the parameters you can choose to control the characters face. Even different parts of the eyebrow were controlled with a different set of parameters. It then dawns upon you just how much time and effort is needed to make the films that we watch. All the expressions, every single one of those quick moments was created painstakingly by someone in the studio. Much less painstaking than it must have been way back when animation first began, but with technology they take everything further and even control things like how much light from fireworks you want reflecting off the character’s skin!

Manipulating facial features

Manipulating facial features

The kids loved the ‘ride’ on Toothless’ back, and it was Ellery’s favourite activity. Sitting in front of a very wide, curved screen, you can imagine sitting on Toothless and flying over Berk. Make sure you sit nearer the screen so that the two ends of the screen are beyond your field of vision. That really helps to immerse you in the experience. Each film was only 3 minutes, and we watched it several times until the kids were satisfied :)

Riding on Toothless!

Riding on Toothless!

Asher’s favourite bit was having a go at animation. There was a room with 5 to 6 animation stations set up. You could create your very own animation from any drawing you wanted. Asher created an animation of toothless bending and flying over another giant dragon, nearly getting eaten in the process. Ellery’s animation showed dragon #1 (there was a name but it was so long I don’t remember ;) ) happily frothing up the sea water when suddenly another dragon (with a name that I also don’t remember) leapt up to eat it.

This was where our eat-before-the-exhibition tactic worked to our advantage. We got to the animation room around noon when most of the crowd had left. The boys still had to wait while others finished up their animation, but there weren’t that many people. When they got their turn they could draw more and create more images to make a longer animation sequence. Later as more and more people came, and with the stares and frowns from hovering parents, everyone had to have a shorter turn.

SONY DSC

Using the animation station

Ellery

Ellery’s dragon

We popped in to ‘ride’ on Toothless one more time before heading out to the common corridor for a quick lunch break before going to The Deep.

Toothless browsing some books

Toothless browsing some books

Lunch!

A quick lunch

Read more on our experience at The Deep soon!

 

———————————————————————-

This post contains affiliate links.

Read Full Post »

I’m really a dog person, but CATS the musical brings back fond memories of the time I first watched CATS with my mum in 1993 when Singapore’s own Jacinta Abisheganaden took the role of Grizabella. So it was really special to be able to bring Asher to watch CATS this time around. I wonder if he’ll remember it when he grows up.

CATS is quite accessible for young audiences as the story is simple. Based on the book of poems “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” (1939) by T.S. Eliot, CATS tells the imaginative tale of a tribe of Jellicle Cats as they gather together for the annual Jellicle Ball, and one by one tell their stories for the amusement of Old Deuteronomy, who must choose one of the Cats to journey to the Heaviside Layer to be reborn into a new life.

Old Deuteronomy and the Jelicle Cats

Old Deuteronomy and the Jelicle Cats

If you want to introduce your kid to Andrew Lloyd Webber and his musicals, CATS is a good way to start. Afterall, it holds the record for one of the longest-running musicals in West End history, playing for 21 years.

Asher especially liked the story of Gus the Theatre Cat (played by Richard Woodford) and his reenactment of the time he acted as Growltiger. Asher loved the battle scene and how Gus was made to walk the plank. I liked Gus’ story too and thought it was one of the more poignant ones. Jellylorum (played by Angela Kilian) also did a great job presenting his story, and it was one of the clearest presentations in the show.

Gus and Jellylorum

Gus and Jellylorum

For his favourite cat, Asher chose Mr. Mistoffelees. With a catchy song, impressive dance moves, and *magic*, it’s easy to see why Mr. Mistoffelees appealed to him.

Magical Mr Mistoffelees

Magical Mr Mistoffelees

The other bunch of cats I really liked were Mungojerrie and Rumpleteaser. What a funny story they had! Such cheery, playful, happy-go-lucky cats. I can just imagine their family getting so exasperated with them, but finding them lovable all the same. Here’s an interesting little nugget of information about Dominique Hamilton who played Rumpleteaser. Her mother played the same character 29 years ago!

Mungojerrie and Rumpleteaser

Mungojerrie and Rumpleteaser

To me CATS is more about the singing. Individually they have strong and unique voices, and I really loved how beautifully their voices blended when the cast sang as a company. The ‘formal choral’ bit in Jelicle Songs for Jelicle Cats was very impressive. The musical shows it’s 80s influence very strongly, from the music to the leg warmers. But knowing the context of the musical – how it’s based on a book and first produced in the 80s – helps you appreciate the musical more. There are some slow bits, particularly in the first act, but there is much more dynamism in the second half. It was also great how the cast interacted with the audience at many points throughout the show, making the show more intimate.

Beautiful singing

Beautiful singing

Bustopher Jones

Bustopher Jones

Jennyanydots the Old Gumbie Cat

Jennyanydots the Old Gumbie Cat

Grizabella the Glamour Cat

Grizabella the Glamour Cat

Rum Tum Tugger!

The very flamboyant Rum Tum Tugger!

Skimbleshanks The Railway Cat

Skimbleshanks The Railway Cat

Overall, it was a lovely way to spend the evening, and Asher still says a few days later how much he liked watching CATS. I left singing Mr Mistoffelees’ song all the way home!

——————————————————————-

CATS is produced in Singapore by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and Base Entertainment Asia in association with The Really Useful Group.

CATS is showing at the MasterCard Theatres, Marina Bay Sands until 1 Feb 2015. There aren’t many days left, so hurry to book your tickets. Tickets are available via the SISTIC website or SISTIC hotline (+65 6688 8826).

——————————————————————-

All photos courtesy of BASE Entertainment.

We received complimentary tickets for the show. All opinions are my own.

Read Full Post »

From the very first time I saw the advertisement for Cavalia on television, I knew I wanted to bring the kids to watch it.

I love horses! Always have! They are such beautiful, strong, yet gentle creatures. It’s my dream to learn how to ride a horse and to go for a horse trek in the big wide somewhere (I hear Wales is great for such things). I’ve only done one lesson that I bought from Groupon and had such a high after that! I’d definitely continue if I had the chance.

Anyway, Jon decided to give a big treat for my birthday and we all went! Yippie!

Ashers idea to do the horse hands :)

Asher’s idea to do the horse hands :)

One of the white tents

One of the white tents

The tent felt so much larger on the inside than it looked from the outside. It was also warmer than expected, but I guess it’s a temporary structure and we watched it at noon. Still, the warmth did not diminish our enjoyment of the show.

I loved seeing the horses running free (I use this term to mean they were running without a rider to guide them) around the performance area. The stage, if you would call it that, was large enough for the horses to gallop at high speed around it. Beautiful landscape scenes were projected onto the wide backdrop, transporting you to another location. Gorgeous, gorgeous horses with flowing manes took to the stage. There were also acrobats who performed in between the segments featuring the horses.

Picture taken from the Cavalia SISTIC website

It was amazing how the trainers were able to persuade the horses to move in certain ways just by talking to them, or with small gestures. What a contrast to the typical circus where you imagine the ring master cracking his whip to make animals perform. And really, it didn’t feel so much like the horses were performing as they were agreeing to be led. You can see the performers have a great respect for them.

 

This part was very Lord of the Rings (Picture taken from the Cavalia website)

There were some bits of humour thrown in and the boys particularly loved the surprise appearance of a miniature stallion!

It was especially beautiful when they flooded the performance area and the front portion became a pond. It was amazing how it was done and such a visual treat! The splashes, the grace of the horses, the scenery and the costumes all came together beautifully. Though I did wonder how they would get all the costumes dry and the sand dry in time for the next performance, which was just 2 hours after ours ended.

Splashing through the water (Picture taken from the Cavalia website)

In all, it’s a family friendly show with a Wow factor, though quite pricey I’ll admit. If you feel like a splurge, it’s worthwhile to go for it.

Cavalia, brought in by BASE Entertainment Asia, runs until 28 Sep and tickets can be bought from SISTIC.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Back in Singapore after a successful run in 2013, this run of Le Noir brings with it several new acts, including one of the most complex circus stunts in the world – The Wheel of Death.

LN horizontal A4 keyart Lockup(V2)FA

Le Noir promises an evening of intimate cirque-style entertainment with a cast of world-class acrobats, musicians, specialty acts, and comedians, many of whom were formerly from Cirque du Soleil.  And it really will be an intimate affair.  Le Noir has seats for audience members right next to the stage – near enough to touch.  It doesn’t get more intimate than that.  The audience will also be ‘enclosed’ within a canopy of curtains designed from LED lights, adding to the atmosphere.

c

The cast*

The Wheel of Dealth is an amazing circus act, guaranteed to make your jaw will drop. Colombians Angelo Lyerzkysky Rodriguez and Carlos Mayorga perform their act on a pair of spinning wheels.  Described as “certifiably crazy”, they leap and do tricks in the wheels as they spin.  And as if that weren’t crazy enough, Carlos climbs onto the outside of the wheel and performs a series of daredevils acts like skipping with a rope and doing a triple under. You’ll gasp, you’ll hold your breathe, you’ll love it. You have to see it for yourself.

Wheel of Death (Photo courtesy of BASE Entertainment)

Wheel of Death*

With no safety harness or crash mats, the possibility of a serious accident is very real. Angelo stressed that when they perform, nothing else goes through their minds.  “We need to be completely focused on what we are doing.  We pray, focus, and take care of each other,” he says.  Still, when asked why he does this he said the speed of the spinning wheels is what attracts him.  And it is clear from their expressions the passion they have for their art.

Angelo & Carlos

Angelo (left) & Carlos (right)*

 

The aerial lyra act performed by Thomas Worrell is another highlight to look out for. It is breathtakingly beautiful. A perfect juxtaposition of grace and strength.  His movements are as graceful and fluid as a ballet dancer’s.  And as it turns out, he started his career as a dancer before pursuing circus arts.  

Thomas shared that he choreographed the act himself and that it took only about two-and-a-half weeks to put together.  He added that this was possible because of the repertoire of moves he has mastered in his eight years of training.  Still, it wasn’t always easy for him.  At the climax of his performance, Thomas does an endless series of extremely fast, tight spins.  “When I first started I used to feel sick all day, but not anymore,” he shared. Thomas makes the aerial lyra look like child’s play.  His expression remains serene throughout, and you get no sense that he is under any physical strain or exertion.

xxx

Aerial Lyra*

An extremely flexible Thomas on the lyra

An extremely flexible Thomas on the lyra

 

These are just two of the many thrilling acts featured in Le Noir.  Others include a hand balance act by American Two-time World Champion in Acrobatic Gymnastics, Shenea Booth, who also appeared on the historic first season of America’s Got Talent; and the duo trapeze act by identical twins Sarah and Karine Steben who were highlighted as the principal act in the celebrated Cirque du Soleil “O” at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.

Le Noir promises to be a spell-binding theatrical experience that engages every sense and has been designed to be enjoyed by audiences young and old.  Expect to be enthralled!

Le Noir runs at the Mastercard Theatre at the Marina Bay Sands from 7 June.  Tickets are available through SISTIC.

*All photographs courtesy of BASE Entertainment.

Read Full Post »