Team Taylor Deportation/Repatriation Countdown
Days left in Singapore: 9
Days left until arrival in the Queen City: 16
And a good evening to you all from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City. After his second disastrous night's sleep (5 hours combined across the last 2 nights), the Bull rallied for 4.75 miles this morning. I ran outside, and I must say - winter is CLEARLY over. After the brief 2 month respite, the weather's already back up to a scorching 14 TRILLION degrees, and there's no break in the humidity in sight. However, as Hong Kong is going to be colder than I'd originally expected, packing for the flight home should at least be somewhat easier.
Today was another great one at work, and a big milestone: today I presented the "handover documentation" to the lucky souls who a) get to finish all the tasks I was too lazy to get to and b) get to clean up the mess I've made across 2 continents over the last 12 months. There is definitely a sense of finality, as most folks will be on leave after Friday, meaning that, after the next two working days, it could be a long while before I see a lot of these folks again. It's the exact same feeling I got when I left London (both in 2007 and 2010) - you've got so many incredible memories and experiences wrapped into a place, and suddenly everyone is gone and the city is 37,000 feet below you, almost a memory, leaving you scrambling to find your place again in a new world order. Time is just FLYING right now (case in point - it feels like just yesterday that we started the deportation countdown at 30 days - now we're in single digits!), and I can't help but think of a quote from my favorite song by my Uncle Benny (GREEN LIGHT, BENNY!!!!): "Life goes zero to sixty in the blink of an eye."
As for the evening's festivities, the Bull went to Marina Bay for his 4th viewing of Wicked. This means that Wicked is now tied with Phantom for the show I've seen the most, but Wicked remains far and away the best musical I've ever seen. Jenny and I were lucky enough to see it 3 times in London, and we always managed to secure great seats. Given my track record with Singapore audiences, however, I wasn't about to pay $250 SGD for tickets in the stalls. Instead, I forked over $58 for the cheapest seat in the house (LITERALLY - I was on the very back row). I am happy to report that, for act 1, the audience was silent like the grave (but there were STILL 50% of the audience texting NON-STOP throughout the show). During the second act, however, the Americans sitting beside me originally moved down, meaning that a local couple slid over toward me. They were chatty chattersons for a bit, but ultimately they calmed down as well. So all in all - cheap ticket (with GREAT visibility), virtual silence, and an amazing show = terrific night.
As for the show itself - AMAZING. Definitely on par with London. Elphaba and Galinda were simply SPECTACULAR - the voices a perfect match and both SUPER strong. I really enjoyed sitting up higher, as I noticed a lot of lighting and choreography that I hadn't noticed before. The Grand Theater at Marina Bay is truly state of the art, and I think that really helped the staging, as I'm sure they had more flexibility her than at the Apollo in London. But I also think the dancing, blocking, and general feel of the show was (dare I say) better than London. Again, I think a bigger stage helps, but regardless - this cast made it count.
The chorus was phenomenal vocally, and the only weak link in the show was the Wizard. Traditionally he doesn't have a super strong voice (especially compared to the witches), but I did find some of his musicality a bit painful in places). But hey, no complaints, as it was just great. One thing I did find interesting - in London, people caught every reference to the book/movie and laughed. Here, I don't think the audience really caught a single joke in that regard. When there were jokes about looks or vanity, they cackled (consequently, Galinda was a HUGE hit). It was just odd, because some of the segments that hte London crowd took very in a solemn fashion was considered hilarious here.
And at the end of it all, I will say that, just like every other time, the end of Act 1 left me with chills, and the end of Act 2 left me with tears. I mean, I KNOW HOW IT ENDS AND IT'S A COMEDY. WHY DO I GET TEARY-EYED AT THE MUSIC? Matt, Ray - don't answer that.
And in case anyone thinks I've abandoned my old ways, FRET NOT - I did visit the casino before the show. I wouldn't want you guys thinking I'm slipping!
Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow! Two more sleeps until the return of MUFFIN PUFFIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sam and (most likely back from her slum tour and heading toward Leopold's for dinner before her LAST SLEEP in India - make your last day on the subcontinent count, Pumpkin! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!) Jenny (and Cath)