This week Urban Kulit caught W!LD RICE’s Aladdin at the Drama Centre.
Amidst gender-bender politics and teen romance, Aladdin provided raucous laughter and wild fun.
Typical of a Jonathan Lim script, Aladdin relied on jokes, wordplay and mash-ups to take us on a magic carpet ride to the Batu Caves and beyond. (“Don’t worry, you won’t go blind” and a melodramatic rendition of “I Ask The Sky” which also made an appearance at last year’s Chestnuts - Classic Jonathan Lim!)
Former Singapore Idols Hady Mirza and Sylvia Ratonel held their own against musical theatre stalwarts like Jo Tan and Darius Tan, although they lacked the polish and confidence of their stage counterparts. The Idols were smooth, but never managed to get under their characters skin, not enough for us to believe their journey.
It was the wicked wizard who took centre stage in Aladdin. Karen Tan’s evil Abba-k’adab-rah dripped sarcastic one-liners and witty ad-libs, and what’s camp without an Abba song or two or three? Karen has appeared in every other show this year and ends the year with a spectacular finish as a Tibetan-esque overlord with plans for world domination. She’s snarky, over the top, and wears a mean moustache, the villain we all love to hate, evinced particularly by the non-stop booing from the mostly children crowd.
We especially loved the two giant genies Juwanda Hassim and Halimah Kyrgios who sassed and sung their way to freedom! Their charisma, stage presence and most of all, chemistry brought a touch of razzle dazzle to the otherwise children’s show. We’ve also loved Halimah’s belty voice since her Lasalle days and look forward to seeing her on stage more often.