Dec 212013

I watched Marrying Me last night, and found it quite compelling (at time of writing, there are three shows left! I’m not really much in a position to talk extensively about a musical as a whole. My thoughts are usually mostly about the core story and it’s treatment.

Marrying Me will resonate with anyone who’s been asked by an aunty at any Hari Raya / Chinese New Year / Deepavali / wedding / etc etc, “Married already ah?” “Eh, why you not yet married?”

The major question the musical asks is: Do we need to be married to be happy? I think the approach the writers took is fairly open-minded, taking into consideration modern politically correct views, the importance of tradition and the reality of familial pressure.

I was impressed that I really could not predict how the story would end. I think this reflects faithfully how all the factors in the equation might affect someone in the protagonist’s position, pushing and pulling her in a maelstrom of agonising dilemma. Thrown into the mix is a nice guy with whom she has a long history, her principles and work with a women’s NGO, and her doting mother’s insistence on marriage.

I enjoy works of art that are able to effectively present a situation with no easy answers, and characters facing ‘damned if I do, damned if I don’t’ challenges, and I think Marrying Me gets there. The characters go through difficult, emotionally exhausting journeys, and emerge with conclusions that I think resonate with those of us who have been through similar journeys – always a nice thing to experience in literature.

Some of the other themes explored that struck me as very meaningful include the effects of carrying around hate and resentment for years, the dynamics of single parent families, and domestic abuse. I respect that the writers ventured into such rocky territory.

The musical is not of course all doom and gloom. It has a lot of humour written into it, much of which I LOL’ed at. Some jokes were funnier than others, and we were also hit with a double dose of the effeminate man trope, which may have been a little much; by the end though, both of said men played a significant role overall.

I might have edited the story in some parts, with hopes of making it tighter, but that applies to most work I experience. The musical as a whole could also perhaps stand to be a little shorter. As a dramedy, it might worth exploring how to ensure the distance between drama and comedy does not become so wide that traversing it detracts from the piece overall.

I enjoyed some of the songs, and the people I went with seemed to think many were well sung. I understand there were many newcomers in the cast, and I think they did quite well too.

In any case, don’t take my word/s for it – go watch it yourself! :)

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