It is surprising to find such a world-class theatrical performance on the sterile shores of Singapore. la Vie - the affectionate term for this show by the Resorts staff - is sheer magic.
Act 1 Scene 1 unfolds with aplomb. Set in the immaculate office, performers move jerkily, puppet-like, across the stage. The metaphorical reference to the stifling office atmosphere and the suppressed cries for freedom does not escape observation.
Most people - if they allow themselves to - can identify with the stress of living in such concrete jungles.
Change then come in a little red box. A Puck-like contortionist delights with his gymnastics. The ways he folds, unfolds, twists, contorts, distorts and bends have the audience sitting at the very edges of their seats, mesmerised and gasping collectively.
And then, the first lesson for the man-boy begins. It is to be a lesson on strength, courage and resilience. The cast silences the audience with their dexterity and grace. But, the silence is not complete or lasting. Every now and then, the awestruck silence would be broken by light ripples of applause or gasps.
Each movement seems to be part of a song, mellifluous and organic. Each practised action is enviably graceful. Sheer muscular poetry. Each action is like a dab of colour - individually, they're pretty; collectively, they form an inspiring tapestry of Life and Living. The graceful tilting of hands, the undulating bodies are snapshots that, when stringed together, tell lessons that the man-boy must learn.
The lessons are loosely related and culminate in an uplifting crescendo. There is one lesson on friendship, another on love. One on conflict and the last on harmony. Each lesson is a subtle reminder to live with awareness and learn daily.
One may choose to accept the theater piece at face value. There's nothing wrong about this. The work is still astonishing. But to truly appreciate, each act must be interpreted with the storyline in mind. It is so rich in symbolism and lyricism, so many layers after layers of delicious imagery that one hardly knows where to begin describing.
The work eventually come together, almost magically, to remind us that 'it is not about the destination'.