Because true crazy rich Asians are kiam siap

Hard to believe it’s been 15 years since Wild Rice first blessed us with Christmas pantomimes. Their annual large-scale musical extravaganzas are now a treat many look forward to at the end of the year; 2017 saw thespians Ivan Heng and Glen Goei turn on the charm as singing, dancing, martial arts-practicing snake sisters, in the fantastically well-produced Mama White Snake.

This year, the theater company is taking a step back from Chinese folk stories, and putting a local spin on a hallmark Christmas tale instead. From Nov 23-Dec 15, A $ingapore Carol will reinvent the 175-year-old story A Christmas Carol, complete with laughs, love, and some obvious cha-ching. Instead of Scrooge, we’ll be treated to modern-day multi-millionaire miser S.K. Loo, who lives the high life (quite literally) up in his penthouse, but has no real friends or family. As the story goes, three unexpected spirits will appear to thaw his frozen heart—whether they’ll have sassy Singaporean names remains to be seen.

Leading the pantomime is everyone’s favorite Hossan Leong, returning to direct a Wild Rice gig after almost a decade. According to the ‘Singapore Boy’, the play has been modernized to include your usual themes of tech and social media, but the heart of the original tale remains. The script itself is written by Jonathan Lim, also known as creator of parody show Chestnuts. For the cast, laugh out loud to familiar faces like Sebastian Tan as S.K. Loo, Siti Khalijah Zainal, Candice de Rozario, and Terence Tay—and a band of 18 young talents from First Stage, Wild Rice’s youth theater program. And because the music is always such a big part of the Wild Rice pantomime, an original soundtrack by composer Elaine Chan will shine too, incorporating both traditional carols and jazzed up Singaporean melodies (spoiler alert: There will be K-pop).

Perfect timing, perhaps, to reassure the island what a true Crazy Rich Asian looks like: A kiam siap scrooge who needs a little chipping away at to get at the good stuff beneath.


A $ingapore Carol runs from Nov 23-Dec 15 at Victoria Theatre. Tickets are now available here.