Sing’Theatre presented the song-drama Forever Young from 11 to 21 October 2017 at the SOTA Drama Theatre.
Written by Benjamin Lee (also known as blogger ‘Mr Miyagi’), directed by Hossan Leong, and set in the 2060s, Forever Young is about a bunch of ex-actors spending their golden years together in an old-age housing facility. Memories and conversations crop up that end in them performing popular and recognisable songs.
There’s not much of a storyline here, but based on Erik Gedeon’s show of the same name, the cast’s slapstick moments and Lee’s funny dialogue had the audience laughing hysterically, from start to end. Also the well-known songs were well performed, with snazzy musical arrangements thanks to musical director Elaine Chan.
Candice De Rozario played the nurse in charge of the elderly residents, who were portrayed by Julian Wong, Ebi Shankara, Tan Kheng Hua, Karen Tan, Suhaimi Yusof, and Hossan Leong (who pulls double duty). They tackle songs like “I Love Rock & Roll”, “Barbie Girl”, “Uptown Funk”, “Rehab”, and “Sweet Dreams” amongst many others, with much aplomb and energy.
However, it is Rozario who most impresses with her crystal-clear operatic voice on difficult numbers with soaring high notes that she nails with no effort. Shankara too entices with inspiring vocal gymnastics rarely seen in his other performances.
The static set is well decorated and executed, whilst the costumes are well thought out.
The surprising thing though about Forever Young is that it is without a real plot that one can grab onto. Nothing happens, except the cast talking and singing. However, something stirs as you watch a bunch of 80- and 90-year-olds talk about their early lives and how they’ve lost so much of their strength and health and sometimes even their minds – and as the cast sings “Forever Young” to close the show, heartstrings are definitely pulled, as we all have parents or know people around us who are growing older with each day. And that includes ourselves.