we know that you need to know that we, as responsible reviewers, have some quantifiable
categories to rate productions, and are not just relying on some undefinable
instinct or gut feeling. So to put your mind at ease, we will give you a logical
rating system based on the practitioner's vision / and the reviewer's response
of a particular production. Here it is then: ***** : Transcendent / Rapturous.
****: Crystal / Appreciative. ***: Transmitted / Thoughtful. **:Vague / Unsatisfied.
* : Uncommunicated / Mystified. Yet in the end, you will feel that this
is (1) a cheap attempt to justify the subjective arbitrariness of our rating
system (2) buttressed by an interest in the logical (and inevitable) categorisation
of such productions, which is (3) undermined by the cheapness of the attempt,
and (4) confused by the creeping feeling you are getting that we are dead serious
in our feeling that this rating system is an accurate description of the content,
intent and quality of the production. Oh please -- does it even matter now?
Look, at least we tried.
>>>>>LEAVE FOR A BETTER PLACE
I think I am Exodus-out. I have vague memories of that Charleston Heston
epic 'The Ten Commandments'; I have seen 'Prince of Egypt' more times
than I care to remember; I can still recall sequences from Ballet Magnificat's
'Deliver Us'; and I am in the process of walking a Bible-study group through
the book of Exodus. When I decided to review EXODUS: A JOURNEY OF FAITH
(a school musical, mind you) I wondered if I was in need of deliverance.
I went in
with my expectations suitably adjusted. There was no way I would hold
this musical to the same standards applicable for Broadway musicals (or
any that pretends to be one). So the static set did not particularly annoy
me. The few slightly mistimed lines and the teenage-awkwardness did not
grate on me. Not even the scribes' cheesy misinterpretation of putting
things on record could make my eyes roll. Quite the reverse, these were
strangely charming, perhaps because both cast and crew were so earnest
in making the musical work.
went beyond merely showcasing the spanking new premises to restating the
ethos of the school.'
What the first half lacked in energy, it made up with hummable tunes in
'Lead Me, I'll Follow' and 'Lamb, Little Lamb'. The use of primary school
children in 'Princes of Egypt' also upped the "aw-so-cute" factor,
although they seemed energetic only when they had to act spiteful. Perhaps
this is evidence of humanity's inherent evil?
half featured more high energy numbers like 'Pharaoh's Rap' and 'Four
Pests'. 'Go Moses' was an upbeat company effort' referencing 'Grease'
with much exuberance' and moving one to tap along. The finale 'To the
Promised Land' was a rousing number that had the whole hall clapping along.
Bravo to composers Kenneth Lyen and Chua Yao Zhang and music and choral
arranger Bang Wenfu.
Commissioned as a musical to mark the inauguration of the ACS Concert
Hall, EXODUS went beyond merely showcasing the spanking new premises to
restating the ethos of the school. The familiar account of the Hebrews'
deliverance from Egypt to serve the God of their fathers was undoubtedly
chosen to reflect ACS's history under God. With this musical, ACS has
charted a future that remains securely in divine providence.