To cel: WHY AREN'T YOU BLOGGING ANYMORE? I'm still watching Gilmore too, though I do miss early Gilmore. Luke is...Luke. I've always liked Christopher better. Oh well. Hope you're doing well in Medicine!
I watched Phantom of the Opera this afternoon. Generally I found it boring and I was falling asleep at parts and it was like, 2 p.m. But: The actor who played the Phantom was absolutely phenomenal. Ohmygod, seriously, the entire Phantom of the Opera/Music of the Night sequence was...just so breath-takingly beautiful and heartbreaking. I had tears in my eyes when he sung the last note of Music of the Night. He has such amazing control, such an expressive voice, conveying so perfectly the darkness and the torment and also a weird sort of grotesque beauty of the character. He's so amazing. He was the only character in the entire thing I felt for and the musical was so boring whenever he was not on stage or somewhere in the shadows haunting the opera company. He was just...amazing. I think honestly, the Phantom was the only character that was properly portrayed and, you know, developed. He was the only one that felt like a real person to me; everyone else was caricature or a cardboard cut-out. To me, the singing made all the difference. And Brad Little really fully conveyed the nuances, the torment, the humanity, and the eventual grace of his character, thus redeeming an otherwise-detestable character. Everyone else was just...bleah.
Before I go on to bitch about the show, may I also say that the set was fantastic? They changed their backdrops so damn quickly that I was like, Wow. Amazing set design. And the live orchestra was awesome too. I totally loved the beginning when the music suddenly changed to the musical's theme song. It was so loud, almost cacophonous (but in a melodic way), and jarring amidst the frenzied strobe lights. I never thought I'd say this about a musical but yes, the music was good.
If truth be told, I don't like musicals. They're schizophrenic, halfway between a concert and a play. Like, just make up your mind, you know? Don't be wishy-washy. It's just plain weird when people sing to each other instead of talk, and the way they sing isn't even melodic, and to me, songs that are lyrical as opposed to melodic are painful to listen to. Therefore, I found it incredibly painful when the characters on stage sang to each other. I know it's typical musicalfare, which is why this is probably the last musical I'll ever watch, ever. I also find it a lot easier to catch what the actors are saying when they're actually talking. I didn't catch half of the lyrics, but maybe it's just me.
Another problem? The characters were flat. I don't even think half of them were two-dimensional. I didn't give a shit about Christine, if truth be told, and I didn't like her lover at all. The segment when they were romancing each other was boring as fuck and I almost fell asleep, and I only woke up when the Phantom appeared from like the ceiling and went on to charm me with his deep, tormented baritone (ah, yes, I have a thing for Tortured). I didn't get her, I didn't get her motivation, I didn't get her issues. She was just typical damsel-in-distress, caught in the iron-grip of some dominating, monster-like man. Like, um, okay, anything new to say? And her lover was just the typical knight-in-shining-armour, will-do-anything-for-my-fair-lady type. Bo-ring.
And the rest? I don't even know where to begin.
The soprano woman seriously fucking grated though. I'm not an opera fan; in fact, I hate opera (will admit freely that I don't get it and I can't appreciate it at all) and soprano irritates the shit out of me. But still, Christine was bearable and I even enjoyed her singing at parts, but that soprano woman (the lead whom Christine replaced) was just bad. Everytime she opened her mouth to sing, I swear my eardrums burst a little and blood was produced. My mom was like, "She's not good enough for opera, which is why she's in a musical."
Hahahaha. My mom's mean. But you know, the musical kind of is the poor man's version of the opera. I just...yeah. I don't like musicals. I probably will never like musicals. If it weren't for the amazingness that was Brad Little, I would've hated Phantom of the Opera. I'm inclined towards thinking that listening to him sing Music of the Night was worth the price of the admission ticket, which is like a hundred dollars for which I can get a pair of jeans, but I'm still quite undecided because the rest of it, Phantom-less, was just...not worth it.
According to Wikipedia, when Phantom first came out, it received a bad review from the New York Times. I truly wonder why, /sarcasm.
Anyway, I think Music of the Night has amazing lyrics and I usually don't care for musical-y lyrics, either. My favourite part:
Floating, falling, sweet intoxication
Touch me, trust me, savor each sensation
Let the dream begin, let your darker side give in
To the power of the music that I write
The power of the music of the night!
You alone can make my song take flight
Help me make the music of the night
When he sang it I think I melted into a puddle on my seat. Like, OMG it was so pretty and moving and sad. In fact, when he sang the very last note of the entire show, I kind of cried. Like, you know, so poor thing lah.
Anyway, all in all, I wasn't very impressed. But I've never liked musicals so I guess I probably just don't get it.
My mom and I had lunch at the Peranakan restaurant at the Esplanade and we ate up $45. The food was AWESOMENESS. The chap chye was damn nice and the otah was also damn nice and the assam fish was not bad but I don't like fish anyway. Yummyyyy. I'm totally craving the chap chye and the otah right now.
It's my parents' wedding anniversay today and we had dinner at Wah Lok. The seaweed scallop thingy is awesome. I was still damn full from lunch so I didn't eat much, just the seaweed scallop thingy and some fish, and a bowl of mango sago which was too sour for my liking. My mom makes way better mango sago. I like my sago tangy, not soggy.
Anyway, the point is, there was a family or something sitting at the table next to ours. At that table sat this guy who apparently is a scholar, has travelled rather extensively to Europe, passed on visiting the Louvre whatever in Paris, and wanted to break his bond. How do I know all this? Because he was talking damn loudly, that's how.
At first I was so irritated. Like, nobody fucking cares about your stupid bond or whatever, okay? And the worst part? His English sucks. Typical Singaporean not-English, you know? I bet he's an engineer. I was like, OH MY GOD PLEASE STOP TALKING. He sounded so irritatingly obnoxious and full of himself.
After a while, however, my irritation turned to cruel amusement and I started laughing really hard at him. He was talking about visiting some art gallery or other and he said, and I quote, "I went to all the art galleries. To see art lor."
Amazing he's a scholar, eh?
I have two internships lined up for me during the holidays and I'm actually kind of excited. It'd be something to do to occupy myself with and that's good. In June it's off to Taipei for me. My parents want to swing by Shanghai but I don't quite feel up to it, for some reason. My brother definitely won't go so I'm thinking of flying back to Singapore with him while my parents have a good time in Shanghai. Oh well, burn that bridge when we get to it.
I miss Taipei SO MUCH. On our way to the Esplanade my mom and I were talking about the things we'd do in Taipei and how there are actually things to do in Taipei, much unlike Singapore. And I got all excited just thinking about eating my beloved liang mian again, and going to Shilin and eating the deep-fried cong you bing and shopping my ass off, and going to Zhongxiao East Road Sector 4 and shopping my ass off, and going to Ximending and shopping my ass off and trying the mee sua at this stall that had like hoardes of people standing outside and eating their mee sua (my dad thought they were all mad but my dad thinks everyone is mad), and drinking bubble tea, the more expensive, franchised type (50 Lan and the dragon legend thingy. Hopefully they're still around), especially the green milk tea which was so fucking good I didn't even care that it gave me a stomach ache, and going to the Art Museum and the National Palace Museum and the zoo and everything, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall once more, to Danshui, the night markets, the road side stalls, my dougan haidai. I'm going to not give a crap about my weight while I'm there and just eat whatever I want. I swear, I can totally eat liang mian for all my meals, every single day. Oh and the xue hua bing! The xue hua bing!!! Ice kacang is like so lame lor.
And Page One bookstore at Taipei 101! I know there's Eslite but I really like Page One a lot better, and it's nothing like the one at Vivo. Eslite is too big and thus hard to navigate and Page One has more English books. Definitely a wider range. I bought my Satanic Verses there.
God, I love Taipei. Imagine an alternate universe in which I'm doing law at the National Taiwan University (which is like directly opposite another shopping district OH MY GOD, less than five Metro stops away from where I lived, the exit from the Metro station leads directly to the school's entrance, and three-storey Starbucks!). And you know it's a big deal because it's Taiwan's best university. And you know it's Taiwan's best university because most of the guys there are not good-looking at all.
Sigh. I can't wait to go back. Moving back there someday is still an option for me, despite my steadily-deteriorating Chinese. At least I can read fanti. Yeah.
I'm going to watch some Grey's Anatomy.