As the year comes to a close, the last major production in Singapore theatre for 2012 is Santa Claus the Musical, presented by Base Entertainment at the Marina Bay Sands’ Grand Theatre from December 14 to 30.
This musical tells the story of Santa Claus and his helper Joe, who must stop the Ice Queen and her henchman from ruining Christmas for the whole world. In the meantime, mother-daughter duo Jenny and Anna have lost their husband/father and are in major need of love and support. So Santa plots a scheme to help heal the hearts of these ladies, while falling in love himself with his amiable secretary. With the help of Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer and his friends, singing crows, lost penguins, and helpful elves, Santa and Joe have their hands full as they try to save Christmas.
The tale here is very simple, and whilst the script could’ve been a tad funnier and the twist (which I won’t go into) explaining the Ice Queen’s heartless nature may not be too fathomable, the beauty of this production is in the songs and level of singing. Both melodic and catchy, the songs, which range from original tunes to good ol’ Christmas carols and holiday classics (such as “Jingle Bells,” “Let it Snow,” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”), are sprinkled throughout the telling of this story, and sung with great musical technique and gusto by all the major actors.
The standout performers are the actresses who portray the Ice Queen, Jenny the mother, and Santa’s secretary. Unfortunately, the reviewers weren’t given any media kit or programme, so this critic doesn’t know the actresses who so superbly play these roles, or the book writer and composers/lyricists either.
Having said that, all three women have an impeccable vocal range and sing each high note effortlessly with vocal bravura as they perform their respective numbers. The singing is superb and enticing, and even when the Ice Queen performs a rock number, she shows technical prowess in her vocals. Santa’s secretary maintains a variety of expressions as she performs the songs and delivers her dialogue – both feats that have her employing an over-exaggerated high-pitched tone for effect.
Overall, Santa Claus the Musical is a feel-good production, perfect for the whole family and a fantastic way to finish the year. This is my last review of Singapore theatre for this year, and this musical with all its heart and emotion nicely closes off a year in which local theatre saw amazing tour-de-force performances, brilliant productions, and independent “comfort theatre” pieces. It has been an exciting and delirious scene indeed for theatre lovers this year.
So, in that spirit, I‘d like to wish one and all a Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and a wonderful new year. Here‘s to more amazing local theatre in 2013!