Lao Jiu The Musical is part of a Kuo Pao Kun retrospective. It isn’t exactly the same as the original play I saw way back in the 90s but it is a thoroughly enjoyable reinterpretation of it.
As my friend Erv pointed out, it’s like Brave without the Disney ending. Yes, it is. A son, specifically the youngest son after 8 daughters in a Chinese family, longs to be a puppeteer but his family’s dreams and aspirations weigh heavy on him as the only son to become a scholar and look after them. To a certain extend it is about the choices life affords us and what we do with them reveals the salt in each of us. To me, it is more about the idea of happiness and the concept of parenting.
In my late 30s, I understand the pursuit of happiness eludes us all. More importantly, I understand that happiness is a state of mind and different people derive it differently. We all have dreams. Some of us get to do it and realise we still aren’t happy O.o Some of us don’t and realise dreams change. I guess it’s the pursuit of it that matters, how we go about conjuring these dreams, planning to make them real and trying. Which leads me to the concept of parenting.
I won’t be the first to admit that I gave my parents a hard time. Not in the naughty, up to nonsense kind of way but a I-think-I-have-dreams-bigger-than-I-can-imagine type of way. I also always thought I knew better … actually I’m still like that :p
My parents though, they adapted well. They knew that trying to control my thoughts would probably not end well. Parenting. It is a thankless vocation and I’m grateful that till today my parents do their best trying to parent me. They have no expectations of me fulfilling their dreams, they just love me and support me in trying to figure out how to keep conjuring dreams. More importantly, they’ve showed me that life isn’t easy all the time but when we have to make hard choices, it is how we go about making those choices that reveals who we truly are.
I’m all inspired to write a new play now 🙂 Maybe even vision it as a musical.
Anyway, before I distract you further, if you’re in Singapore till Sunday, July 29 with nothing to do, catch Lao Jiu The Musical. It isn’t perfect, nothing ever is but you’ll enjoy yourself. The cast sings wonderfully against a story that everyone can relate to. At the end, you’re left wondering a little which to me, is the best kind of artistry.