Currently residing in Warsaw, Poland, professional beatboxer Dharni Ng is known as one of best in the world. Beatboxing is a form of vocal percussion and involves the use of one’s mouth, tongue, lips and voice to mimic the drum and other musical instruments. He became the first person ever to win The Grand Beatbox Battle Championship twice consecutively in 2013 and 2014.
Born in Singapore, Dharni Ng is one of the personalities that is part of Casio Singapore’s 2019 G-Shock “Game Changer” campaign. A total of 27 locals, all of whom faced off multiple challenges to make a name for themselves, were selected for Casio G-Shock’s “Game Changer” campaign.
The other Singaporean “Game Changer” personalities are professional footballer Christopher James van Huizen, fashion creative Valerie Wang and artist Jahan Loh.
Christopher James van Huizen is a midfielder playing for Geylang International FC and he was a team member of the 2015 Malaysia Super League season.
Valerie Wang is a fashion creative as well as a lifestyle and travel blogger. Jahan Loh is a contemporary artist.
How does this “Game Changer” link back to Casio G-Shock? Well, the Casio G-Shocks of 1983 was a game changer in its own right to become the world’s toughest and most extreme watch.
“Personally this campaign is very close to my heart. I was galvanised into a movement when Kikuo Ibe who is fondly known as the father of G-Shock shared his personal adage of never giving up when I first joined the brand.
“His maxim speaks right to my heart where I know many of us are struggling and fighting our own battles to create the toughest watch in the world. That was a major feat in those days and the main thing here is: he believed in himself…. We are all game changers, no matter how big or small our achievements are,” says Yvonne Perpetua Ng, senior regional marketing manger, Casio Singapore.
The Casio G-Shock “Game Changer” campaign is therefore the brand’s way of celebrating your very own game changing moments.
No, “Alf layla wa-layla” is not a Singlish phrase (a colloquial form of English commonly used in Singapore), it is the Romanised form of ألف ليلة و ليلة in Arabic and it refers to the One Thousand and One Nights, better known in the western world as the Arabian Nights, a collection of Middle Eastern folklore that includes well-known tales such as Aladdin, Ali Baba and Sinbad the Sailor.
These Middle Eastern tales were compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age between the 8th to the 14th centuries. The Arabian Nights is said to be the title for the English language edition that was published in the early 18th century.
According to the Encyclopaedia Brittanica, the Arabian Nights includes Indian stories even though “the names of its chief characters are Iranian, the frame story (the overall unifying story where one or more tales are related) is Indian, adding that the range of origin: India, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Turkey and possibly Greece, make single authorship unlikely.
Aladdin and Princess Jasmine on the magical flying carpet. Photo: Aladdin Singapore.
The Arabian Nights has an interesting link to time. The main frame story is about King Shahryār who upon discovering his wife’s unfaithfulness, has her killed. The enraged king becomes bitter with women and every marriage of his thereafter ends up with his new wife being executed the following day.
Shahrazād, the daughter of King Shahryār’s vizier (chief minister), having conceived a plan to save herself and others, offers herself as a bride. On the night of their marriage, she tells him a tale but does not end it; instead telling the king that she would conclude the story the following night.
The king enjoys her entertaining story and allowing curiosity to get the better of him, postpones Shahrazād’s execution. Putting off the conclusion night after night, Shahrazād delays her execution until the king finally decides to abort his planned serial marriage murders once and for all.
There, for those who have read till this point, we have also prolonged your reading time. Now, to answer the question: is it truly worthwhile to spend your time watching Aladdin the musical at the Sands Theatre in Marina Bay Sands Singapore?
Let’s just say it really depends on what you wish for. Do you wish to be entertained by an energetic and colourful fairytale musical? Do you wish to watch and listen to the Academy-award winning song “A Whole New World” being performed live? Do you wish for a magical Disney experience?
If you said “yes” to the above three wishes, then you will probably not be disappointed with Aladdin the Broadway musical. If you are wishing for a more serious musical performance, then perhaps this isn’t for you.
Genie (played by Gareth Jacobs) and Aladdin (Graeme Isaako) in the Friend Like Me performance. Photo: Aladdin Singapore.
Gareth Jacobs who plays Genie is at his best with his high-octane performance of “Friend Like Me” inside the Cave of Wonders. This was probably the most memorable and entertaining act for us. Speaking of which, the gold finish in the Cave of Wonders is similar to that of C-3PO of Star Wars fame.
The colourful costumes are a visual treat. There are 337 costumes and 1,225 different fabrics are used. There is high attention to detail even if the audience doesn’t notice – some 712 different styles of beads and around 500,000 Swarovski crystals are used. We are told that one single pair of men’s pants in the finale of “Friend Like Me” holds 1,428 Swarovski crystals!
Wedding scene for Aladdin and Jasmine witnessed by the Sultan and Genie. Photo: Aladdin Singapore.
While many will be familiar with the song “A Whole New World” and will pay utmost attention when it is sung by Graeme Isaako who plays Aladdin and Shubshri Kandiah playing Jasmine, be prepared to be swept away by the couple’s magical carpet ride. This is Disney magic at work.
What other arguments are there in favour of watching Aladdin? Well, there are four new songs in the musical and three that were actually written for the movie but weren’t included due to running time limitations.
In addition, watch out for new characters in the musical: Iago, Jafar’s sidekick, friends of Aladdin – Babkak, Omar and Kassim.
Watching Aladdin was a pleasure for us. One final wish is for a highly memorable experience for those who are going to watch Aladdin the musical.