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Home: 27 April 2010
Can This Idol Act?
Taufik Batisah Makes Stage Debut In Dick Lee Musical
LOCAL pop singer Taufik Batisah has had several notable notches on his post, but now, he's going to take part in his first ever musical: A reworking of Dick Lee's Fried Rice Paradise.
According to Taufik, he was a little worried at first. "This is my first time acting on stage," he said. "I did Shooting Stars but that was for TV. I'm pretty much the virgin in the group here."
Still, he said, working with actors like Denise Tan, Sebastian Tan and Lim Yu Beng has helped.
"It's a privilege to be part of the amazing cast. I can absorb whatever they have and learn from what they impart!"
He's not alone though, Rahimah Rahim, who plays his mother Siti, is also a debutante in English theatre.
"This is my first musical in English. They're all the experienced ones. I'm the student here!" joked Rahimah.
"I've sung in front of thousands of people before, but this is different. When you sing you really have to project your voice at a certain level, and it's going to be a tough challenge," said Taufik.
Still, Taufik needn't have worried. Fellow cast members Denise (who plays the lead character Bee Lian) and Alemay Fernandez (who plays neighbour Devi Devandram) only had good things to say about him.
"He was totally in it and he absolutely gets it right," said Alemay.
"And when he opens his mouth, everybody melts anyway," said Denise.
The musical's creator, Dick Lee, said choosing Taufik was "natural".
"After I got to know him, I realised he's matured really well after Singapore Idol, and he's one of the most prolific - if not the most prolific - of the Idol contestants," said Dick.
"And he's very talented, and more importantly, he's willing to try new things ... You know how pop singers can get sometimes!"
Produced by SRT's Stage Two, Fried Rice Paradise is part of the People's Association's 50th anniversary celebrations as well as part of its annual Soundwaves programme.
"We started planning this about two-and-a-half years ago," said Tan Boon Huat, the PA's outgoing chief executive director.
"(Dick Lee's) productions are very Singaporean and bring out the best of the different cultures that are here. And I think it also brings out what PA is all about."
This updated version of the 1990 show features a new script and new songs from Dick.
And as for his detractors, Taufik had this to say: "When it comes to criticism, everyone is an 'expert'. But this is something we believe in and we believe that people will definitely enjoy the show ... I'm really looking forward to doing this musical."
Fried Rice Paradise begins its run from Aug 20 to Sept 4 at the Esplanade Theatre. Tickets from $60 ($50 matinee) available at all Sistic outlets.
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