Huang Lijie Recommends

Arts picks: A mix of classics from The Singapore Chinese Orchestra

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This may be the third time since 2007 that The Theatre Practice is staging this popular musical, but its appeal remains evergreen because of the timeless songs by home-grown composer Liang Wern Fook, whose name is closely tied to the rise of Singapore's folk music movement in the 1990s. The play follows A-Le who leaves Singapore for New York after losing his girlfriend. There, he falls for aspiring actress Rose and finds himself torn between his old love and new flame. The actors put on a commendable performance and Liang does not disappoint with the tunes.

Where: Drama Centre Theatre, National Library Building Level 3 MRT: Bugis/City Hall When: Till April 27, 8pm (Tue - Fri), 2.30 & 8pm (Sat & Sun) Admission: $46 - $76 from Sistic (go to or call 6348-5555) Info: Some mature content

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One may not immediately associate batik altar cloths with Peranakan art but the new exhibition at The Peranakan Museum aims to change that with the first large-scale show on the subject.

Peranakan families typically used embroidered cloths made in southern China to decorate their household altars for special occasions. In the early 20th century, however, some families in Indonesia began using batik or resist-dyed cloths, a move likely spurred by the flourishing batik industry in Java. The colourful batik altar cloths combine traditional Chinese symbolism with motifs and designs from South-east Asia and Europe, giving Peranakan ceremonial practices a distinct local flavour.

The batik altar cloths on display were drawn largely from a donation by Matthew and Alice Yapp.

Where: The Peranakan Museum, 39 Armenian Street MRT: Dhoby Ghaut When: Till Dec 28, 10am - 7pm (Sat - Thu), 10am - 9pm (Fri) Admission: Free for citizens, permanent residents & children aged six & below. Pay $6 (adults) & $3 (students & seniors aged 60 & above)

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Two Singapore artists, Quek Kiat Sing and Ron Wong, finding beauty in the mundane, have made everyday life in modern Singapore the focus of their paintings, including Quek's Everyday Singapore Nasi Padang and Wong's Double Happiness, on show in this joint exhibition, which features 26 works.

Quek, painting in traditional ink on coloured paper, depicts banal moments that play out every day in the city with subtle lyricism, such as commuters looking for seats on a crowded bus or people sharing their meals with strangers at the hawker centre. Wong's oil paintings, on the other hand, zoom in on the human drama that unfolds in familiar situations such as the traditional tea ceremony at a Chinese wedding where the couple offer tea to elders in the family.

Where: The Fullerton Hotel, Main Gallery,1 Fullerton Square MRT: Raffles Place When: Till May 22, 11am - 8pm daily Admission: Free


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The Singapore Chinese Orchestra collaborates with English radio station Symphony 92.4FM for the first time to present a mixed bill of well-loved Chinese and Western classics featuring the Western flute and the Chinese wind instrument, dizi. The grand prize winner of the radio station's Young Talents Project 2013, 11-year-old flautist Nikolai Song, will perform French composer Georges Hue's Fantasie For Flute And Orchestra. He will also partner the orchestra's dizi musician, Zeng Zhi, to perform German composer Georg Phillip Telemann's Concerto In A Minor For Two Flutes. The orchestra will also perform songs from Western musicals, including Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story Overture, but with the unique flavour of a Chinese orchestra. Those unfamiliar with the different sections of a Chinese orchestra can look forward to an introduction by the radio station's DJ Kiat Goh, who will also lend his vocals to a performance of the popular showtune Some Enchanted Evening by Richard Rodgers and Henry Mancini's well-loved Moon River.

Where: Singapore Chinese Orchestra Concert Hall, 7 Shenton Way, Singapore Conference Hall MRT: Tanjong Pagar When: Tomorrow, 8pm Admission: $25 - $45 from Sistic