The Mad Scene
This original local production with a cast of 38 ang mohs (and one Jap) is a fine masterclass in stage technology. It also helps that the production is built around the RWS Theatre, making full use of its space and trappings including audience spaces in order to overwhelm the senses. A floor to ceiling projection screen provide moving backdrops in 3D quality. The futuristic sets and costumes are incredibly detailed and opulent. Every time the scrim is brought down for video clips, you can be sure that it will eventually open to reveal another eye-popping set. Performers swing from ropes and bungee cords in between songs, sometimes for no apparent reason other than to impress.
But rather than being just empty spectacle, it has a cohesive plot that, while having some loopholes, is substantial enough to be more than just an excuse for song and dance (especially in comparison with the jukebox musicals that are making the rounds in productions and in movie form). A sci-fi fantasy with a semi-moralistic story, it brings to mind recent 3D movie blockbusters such as Avatar, with its otherworldly universe, good vs evil morality and apocalyptic premise...” “... Lim Kay-Siu makes a filmed appearance as The Emperor, a character not so different in look and function from the similarly named character of the Star Wars movies.
Music wise, the style leans toward that of rock opera, with electric and bass guitars strumming alongside bass heavy orchestrations. If there is a slight lack of sponteneity in the prerecorded music, it is nonetheless closely designed to weave seamlessly with the live action, providing musical commentary to the storytelling and not just accompanying song numbers.
With a clutch of high budget touring musicals making the rounds, LightSeeker trumps all of them in the spectacle department. It is not a thinly disguised rock concert but a sincere piece of lyric theatre, albeit within the trappings of casino entertainment. The cast of stock characters may not necessarily win our sympathy, but it is worth coming to see this multi-sensory sci-fi musical that is truly unlike any other.
P.S: Leading man Stuart Boother, who plays The General (first photo on this post), has clocked in time training with Shaolin monks. He also has an alternate career as an operatic tenor who counts Alfredo, Florestan (Fidelio) and Pinkerton in his repertoire.