‘Singapore’ doesn’t skimp on corn

  • By Mike Murray / Herald Writer
  • Thursday, January 13, 2005 9:00pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

When the story line is kind of corny, you might as well go all the way.

That’s what director John Edwards is doing with “Song of Singapore,” a musical comedy with a swing beat about spies, murder and missing jewels that takes place in a sleazy waterfront dive in Singapore during World War II.

“It’s hokey, so I have taken the hoke and gone over the top,” said Edwards, who also has a small role in the show, a Northwest Savoyards’ production that opens tonight in Everett.

“Song of Singapore,” which enjoyed a long off-Broadway run in the early 1990s, is set in Singapore in December 1941. The Japanese are about to attack, there’s a dizzy chanteuse named Rose (Sam Samano), who loses her memory then gets it back with the announcement that she’s the long-lost Amelia Earhart, and everyone ends up in Pearl Harbor.

“It’s a fun evening, laughs, but as far as the plot goes, it’s fluff,” Edwards said.

The lively score gives the show its punch. Think Count Basie meets Spinal Tap, and you have some idea of the musical influences, Edwards added.

“You have so many different styles in there,” he said, ticking them off: blues, salsa, swing, tango. Musical direction is by David Little.

Edwards has staged the show cabaret style, with the singers, dancers and the six-member musical combo on the stage where the setting is Freddy’s Song of Singapore Cafe.

“We want the audience to feel like they are part of a nightclub.”

And he’s added some choreographic elements performed by four dancers. The cast of six delivers a pastiche of songs with titles such as “Never Pay Musicians What They’re Worth” and “Shake, Shake, Shake.”

The cast, in addition to Sam Samano, includes Bruce Cameron, Jono Lee, Roger Bare, Heather Apellanes and Mike McFadden. These include Savoyards regulars and some new faces, and Edward likes what he hears.

“There’s a lot of harmony and that’s a big vocal challenge,” he said.

“Song of Singapore” plays weekends through Jan. 30 at the PUD Auditorium. It’s the second show in the Savoyards’ season, which opened last fall with Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Pirates of Penzance.”

Steve Bye photo

Roger Bare (left), Bruce Cameron, Jono Lee and Sam Samano in Northwest Savoyards’ “Song of Singapore.”

“Song of Singapore”

A Northwest Savoyards production opening at 8 tonight at the PUD Auditorium, 2320 California St., Everett. Performances at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays, through Jan. 30. Tickets, $10-$20, 425-303-8902 for reservations. Tickets also sold at the door.

“Song of Singapore”

A Northwest Savoyards production opening at 8 tonight at the PUD Auditorium, 2320 California St., Everett. Performances at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays, through Jan. 30. Tickets, $10-$20, 425-303-8902 for reservations. Tickets also sold at the door.

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