Saturday, 9 June 2012

Poking Fun at Travel

Last night my friend YTSL got tickets for us to see the Hong Kong Singers perform a show at the Sheung Wan Civic Centre near where I live.

Even though I've lived in the area for almost two years I have never been in the civic centre before! How embarrassing. But it's got many resources in terms of box offices, online ticketing and lots of brochures for arts events happening around the city.

The Hong Kong Singers have been around for almost 75 years which is an amazing feat in itself. Apart from no performances during the Sino-Japanese war, the theatrical group has been putting on a number of musicals.

The one we saw last night was called Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know, inspired by Wendy Perrin's book of the same name published by Fodor's.

We already knew we were going to have a fun evening when some of the actors dressed up as flight attendants and instructed audience members to put their bags under their seats and fasten their seat belts. Some people were surly and demanded their bag of nuts, while another asked for a blanket.

The male flight attendant responded by going to her seat and promptly sitting on her lap, telling her to hug him tight and let the warmth envelop her.

Then another guy shouted he needed a blanket too and the flight attendant replied, "I'll get back to you later," with a wink.

The two-hour show was a series of scenarios mostly sung or acted out with musical accompaniment from a keyboardist and base with some audio special effects.

For example one on-going skit was a guy on the phone trying to get through the airline's phone directory system to book a flight and we could easily related to his frustrations.

Another sang about losing his luggage, or all the extra charges when renting a car from Hertz.

We particularly liked "Private Wives" where a divorced couple meet on their respective honeymoons.

They are surprised to bump into each other and they drink to each other's marital bliss.

The ex-husband claims he is still attracted to his former mate, but she will have nothing to do with him and her comments start getting more sarcastic.

She reveals she's had three husbands since him and when she asks her ex to describe his bride, he replies, "Tall dark and handsome".

It turns out he has married a man.

Another hilarious song called "Acapulco" had a hippie-ish woman describing the wonderful time she had with in the Mexican city, particularly with her guide, even acting out the sing-song version of the orgasm scene in When Harry Met Sally.

Some of the singers were stronger than others, but overall it was a well thought-out show. The bare stage was not important -- putting the onus more on the cast to give solid performances. We had a fun evening with lots of laughs and impressed by the local talent in the city.

Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know
June 6-10
Hong Kong Repertory Black Box Theatre
8/F, Sheung Wan Civic Centre
345 Queen's Road Central
Sheung Wan
www.hksingers.com





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