Friday 26 April 2019

The Phantom Of The Opera [Review]

The world’s most popular musical, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA makes a long-awaited return to the Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands for a limited season from 24 April to 08 June 2019.

Based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de L’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA tells the tale of a disfigured musical genius known only as ‘The Phantom’ who haunts the depths of the Paris Opera House. Mesmerised by the talents and beauty of a young soprano – Christine, the Phantom lures her as his protégé and falls fiercely in love with her. Unaware of Christine’s love for Raoul, the Phantom’s obsession sets the scene for a dramatic turn of events where jealousy, madness and passions collide.

It is one timeless story, an unforgettable score, and an undeniable obsession that could never die.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most famous musical is also one 
of the most successful in entertainment history, playing to over 145 million people in 150 cities across 30 countries. 
It is the longest-running show on Broadway, having celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2018, and has won more than 70 major theatre awards, including seven Tony Awards and four Olivier Awards, including one for Best Musical.

Photo credit: Base Entertainment

It has been around for decades, but was my first experience with this legendary musical last evening. One filled not only with familiar music, but with mystery, gothic horror and romance. The Phantom is a deformed man with ghost-like qualities in that no one can ever find him or his lair. People are frightened by him because of his deformities and the acts of violence he commits.

Weaving the dark emotions all together, the musical was elegantly portrayed, visually impressive with stunning stage set and dazzling costumes. And most memorably, the shimmering and crashing chandelier that was like the prop star of the evening. The crashing chandelier that almost scared the living daylights out of the audience. Must not be missed!

With the musical around for 30 years, this is not one modern musical you would match up to the current. We talk about opera in here, with entirely sung pieces from low base to high pitched soprano and with minimal dialogue. Which honestly, at moments I was not able to make up of the words sang. It may be best to enjoy the songs as a whole. The amazing thing about The Phantom of the Opera is that you hear its famous songs over the radio and elsewhere even before catching its musical. My most enjoyed scenes were definitely when "The Phantom of the Opera" and "The Music of the Night" were sang.

These titles remain irresistible as they serenaded the whole theatre!

Photo credit: Base Entertainment

The most beautiful scene that sent me to the edge of my seat was The 'Masquerade'. Came right after the interval, it gasped the audience with dazzling costumes dancing under the clever play of lighting.

And if your pocket leads you to a bigger budget, getting tickets in the front rows will be very well worth. A close up view of facial expressions, imperious gestures, stares, stage and costumes details will be very rewarding. But of course, it comprises on being able to take in the whole spectacular of the show.

Photo credit: Base Entertainment

The ending was very much linked up to its opening scene, the auction. Watch and you will know where the auction items were from. The musical flowed like a playback. Though, I thought the ending was a little abrupt, it left me open ended about the Phantom's fate. It was a twist from the novel and movie. In the musical, he disappeared through an escape hatch in the throne with only his mask left. In the novel, he died and in the movie, Christine grew old and died with both her love visiting her grave.

Whichever the ending was, it is always a clear pairing of Christine and Raoul. 

Photo credit: Base Entertainment

No spoiler here, I am sure it ran long and popular enough for anyone to know of.

If you have seen the show, you must be loving it so much to read this. If you have not seen the show, watch and decide if it deserves to be the most successful entertainment piece of the world! I say, it is truly a timeless classic. One that will be watched, re-watched and remembered in the many decades to come.

I was most Thankful to have spent this evening with the man, without kids tagging along. This musical may not keep our young children on seat as it appears as slow moving with inappropriate story happening of strange things and loud sounds. For the grown ups, The Phantom of the Opera undoubtedly makes a great evening date!


 Grateful and Thankful for having us, Base Entertainment! 

The show is about 2.5 hours long with 20 minutes interval. Get your tickets soon! We do not know when is the next return.

The Phantom Of The Opera
Wed, 24 Apr - Sat, 8 Jun 2019 Tue - Fri: 8pm
Sat: 2pm and 8pm
Sun: 1pm and 6pm
Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands
Ticket Pricing
(Excludes Booking Fee)
Tue - Thu
Phantom Reserve : S$205
VIP Reserve : S$175
A Reserve : S$155
B  Reserve : S$135
C Reserve : S$115
D Reserve : S$95
E Reserve : S$75
VIP Box (For 4 seats) : S$700
A Res Box (For 4 seats) : S$620
Restricted View : S$135

Fri - Sun
Phantom Reserve : S$225
VIP Reserve : S$195
A Reserve : S$175
B Reserve : S$155
C Reserve : S$125
D Reserve : S$95
E Reserve : S$75
VIP Box (For 4 seats) : S$780
A Res Box (For 4 seats) : S$700
Restricted View : S$155

Disclaimer: Tickets were given for the purpose of this review. All photos and opinions, unless otherwise credited are as usual, solely ours.

Tuesday 23 April 2019

Trip to Sekinchan, Malaysia

It was another long silence from the previous share, where we stopped after completing our visit in KL. Last November! Mamas are busy beings you know. 

Continuing... after doing KL, we drove about 1.5 hour to Sekinchan. A very small town in Selangor that can be enjoyed as a day trip. Known for its fertile soil for rice planting, it is one of the major rice producing areas of Malaysia.

Rice Factory and Gallery
So yes, we visited paddy fields and the processing factory where we learned about the process of paddy planting with a guided tour at the Paddy Processing Factory and Gallery. There is a small fee for the tour, and it comes with a small pack of rice. Not bad of a deal. The tour began with a short video that showed the process of rice processing from seeding to harvesting, as well as the use of modern technology in the production of rice.

Paddy Processing Factory and Gallery
Types of rice

After which we roamed around the souvenir store to shop for snacks. The prices of their rice are relatively low compared to getting rice from our local supermarket. There is a variety of rice to pick from, but I doubt I can differentiate the grades and types of it. 

Across the road, just opposite the factory is the paddy field. We saw lush green paddy. It must be the pre-harvest season when we visited during the tail end of November. Green is not only good for the eyes, it is photography heaven!

Rice field

Rice plant

It was an educational tour for both adults and kids of the urban. I liked that the tour was conducted in Mandarin, just so the kids can get into some language immersive programme. However, it really isn't a must visit place if you are not on the way. A good to visit location.

Paddy Processing Factory and Gallery
Lot No. 9990, Jalan Tali Air 5, Ban 2, 
Selangor, 45400 Sekinchan, Malaysia

Ah Ma House (阿嬤的家)

This is probably my favourite visit in Sekinchan. In here is where we can find all our yesteryears candies and snacks which are not easily available in the commercial shops. It was a blast from the past, a joy to see and rekindle the old times. But of course, price is not one that stayed with the past. It has been inflated with its influx of tourists.

Ah Ma House

Old school candies

Olden days furniture

The interior was decorated with really old furniture from our grandparents time. The place is small and it did not take us long to complete the visit with some munchies. You do have to try their egg cake (鸡蛋糕), it is very delicious with a wonderful traditional taste!

Loving this sour plum ice pop

Traditional love letters

Ah Ma House
Lot 10376, Jalan Tali Air 5, Kampong Sekinchan,
45400 Sekinchan, Selangor, Malaysia.

Mango King
And if you thirst for a cold slush out after a long day out, you may rest over at Mango King. A small fruit stall with seating that sells not just mango, but other seasonal fruits. As well as a small variety of dried goods. We had mango popsicle and slushie.

Mango popsicle

Mango slushie

Wan Chai Mango King (华仔芒果园)
248, Lorong 4, Site A, 45400 Sekinchan,
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.

Others that you can do within and nearby Sekinchan would be watching fireflies and visit the sky mirror (Google for 天空之镜 Sky Mirror). A boat ride is required for both activities. It was a day trip for us, so we didn't cover much.

After Sekinchan, we did a sleepover at Ipoh, to visit my Mum's hometown. After which we set off again, to Penang and Malacca.

Previous posts:

KL Day 1 - Aquaria KLCC and Petrosains Discovery Centre

KL Day 2 - Farm in the City


Tuesday 2 April 2019

It is our 10th Blog Annivesary!

Blogging has been a very exciting journey for me. Together with my firstborn's age, Mum's calling turns 10. It's our 10th blog anniversary! 

Writing is not my finest skill, looking back at my posts, I chuckle at the silly posts, poorly photographed pictures and bad grammar. It was like a nostalgic walk through. Inspirations may have left me quite a little 10 years on, growing kids with privacy I guess. Blog posts have significantly declined and I attribute that to the birth growth of Instagram, where we share more in there during the recent years. So yes, from not knowing what their Mum does for hobby, the kids now know I share stories and some parts of our life on blog, Facebook and Instagram (@mumscalling). And yes, I seek their approval before sharing photos and stories about them.

As much as being authentic, I do not mask my parenting journey. I share true stories, not the always positive, but the challenges faced as a parent. If a story is just too private or embarassing, it does not get a go for publish. Truth is, I am a relatively private person. If you have followed through our 10 years, I have always adopted a very generic style. A blog is not necessarily a share of an explicit life.

And no, being on social media does not make me a social extrovert expert. I am on the contrary quite an introvert. I am one with few words, especially in a new environment. Not because I am unfriendly or unapproachable, but I am a natural shy who usually takes a passive role. I am no social butterfly at media events, but I am always elated to meet familiar blogging friends. And of course, make new friends by breaking through my shy cocoon.

10 years did not come easy. There are many who have started a blog, but later left drowned in the ocean of blogs. It takes so much love, passion and discipline to keep the cob webs off a blog. I obviously did NOT start a blog for reviews or monetary. If you think blogging pays, I would say it comes inconsistently with the payments good enough for snacks buy. That's my blog's worth. It was simply sharing, learning and wanting to keep up with milestones. I have never thought it would grow to where reviews and collaborations come in. 

To date, we have done 124 reviews on blog. Excluding those on Instagram. Reviews are mostly barter trades, you get the product for free, but you do some work with it. You take photos, write and direct how best to bring it across to represent both sponsor and self, as a parent user. Do not think lightly of the work behind each post. And of course, if a product does not benefit us in any way, we do not even proceed across the initial stage.

Going forward, I hope to still keep up with blogging. For as long as it allows me to. It is a great way to document and share our experiences and vacation travels. It heartens me the most when readers send me words of encouragements, positivity and how much my sharing has blessed them too.

Thank you for staying around this humble little blog, Facebook and Instagram with us!