Dubbed the ‘No. 1 Family Musical in Korea’, Musical Taru or “恐龙复活了” (the dinosaur came back to life) has roared into the Resorts World Theatre in Singapore. While this mandopop star-studded family musical is entirely in Chinese, there are two screens projecting the subtitles on either side of the stage. You’ll still want to brush up on your Chinese so you don’t get a neck ache craning your head back and forth the screen and the stage though, save the neck whipping to watch the awesome somersaults during the brilliant opening number!
Siblings Na Li (Cheng Shun Wen) and Gao Feng (Lai Tse Yi), and good friend Da Fa (Singapore-born singer and actor, Wong Jinglun) are all geared up for their trip to the museum to become volunteers. Outgoing Gao Feng wants to be the ‘King of Volunteers’, his ambitious sister Na Li wants to be a museum curator and the handsome Da Fa wants to be an archaeologist. But sinister happenings interrupt this innocent museum trip and the three plucky heroes must take action when the prized baby T-Rex fossil, Taru, goes missing. Featuring some fab dinosaur puppets, eminent historical figures and even James Bond (!?), this is a fun family musical like no other.
The set and costumes
The production marries audio-visual effects and projections with stage props and puppetry, bringing the magic of the museum to life. If you’ve seen our review of The Lion King, you know we love a good puppet show and though the bouncy dino-bones have no speaking parts, they’re absolutely bursting with life.
Expect some catchy songs to bob your heads along to, even if you can’t catch the words. The subtitles projected on either side of the stage really come in handy at these times, especially for the infectious raps which had us tapping our toes along to the beat.
As this is a family musical, expect lots of jokes, laughs and a large helping of motherly love and friendship. We might have teared up at some emotional scenes but the mood never dips too low for too long. There’s bits of romance thrown into the mix between Na Li and Da Fa, but don’t worry, it doesn’t get too mushy. The jokes are where being bilingual or trilingual (they throw in some sneaky Korean into the mix) really comes in handy but the energy of the characters keeps even the most obscure joke relevant.
Even with our minimal grasp of Chinese, we enjoyed it, songs, dance and all. It’s exactly what you would expect from a pantomime (except in Chinese) and it definitely puts the magic into museums: especially if you have big dino fans in the fam.
When: 7 Dec 2018 to 13 Jan 2019, various performance times
Where: Resorts World Theatre, Resorts World Sentosa
Cost: From $30– $108 per person (for ages four and up), no admission for infants in arms
Top image credit: Resorts World Sentosa
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