Book by Kuo Pao Kun
adapted by Wu Xi and Zhang
Music by Jonathan Price
Lyrics by Xiao Han, Yang Qian, and Wu Xi
Produced in 2005 by The Theatre Practice, it was chosen to inaugurate the New Drama Centre in Singapore.
"Lao Jiu: The Musical was close to perfect as a production, with its innovative use of songs and puppets, seamless choreography, authentic dialogue, honest plot and characters, all coming together brilliantly with rare aesthetic cohesiveness. Full of energy and creativity, the gravity and lightness of the tale flowed and ebbed as naturally as breath. Lao Jiu: The Musical firmly captured the imaginations of its audience, affirming its place in Singapore's theatrical history." -Deanna Tan, The Flying Inkpot
"Lim and Ng were remarkable in their evocation of their characters' enduring camaraderie. Their duet of the song The Pendulum Of Time is the bitter-sweet heart of this production, its lament about the fading colours of their era underscored by the slightly hoarse timbre of their weary voices. The theme of unfulfilled dreams was also given play in the song Our Hopes, which saw two of Lao Jiu's sisters (Celine Rosa Tan and Magdalene See) singing to him about their hopes for his future. Their gentle voices weaved around him a musical cocoon of love and expectation that felt both comforting and constricting. Composer Jonathan Price's score was refreshingly eclectic." -Hong Xinyi, The Straits Times
"Equally promising and exciting as a downtown concert, Lao Jiu - The Musical offers some pleasant surprises that marked a rebirth from its former theatrical interpretation 15 years ago. An earnest remaking all in its own style, the musical is presented with refreshing takes concocted with a cocktail of original music compositions and creative choreography, manned with some stunning visual treats of puppetry works." -Jimmy Huang, Funkygrad.com
"This production of Lao Jiu makes genuine attempts at innovation which are welcome. The tone of the music and the hearty, mournful sentimentality of the Mandarin lyrics, sung partly in dialect, are lovely, especially those sung by Shifu and by Lao Jiu's ex-gangster father." -Matthew Phan, The Business Times
"The musical Lao Jiu soars, carried by magnificent production values. Interspersed with drama, puppetry and music, it has a tight ensemble and cast." -David Chew, TODAY
The song "Ji Tuo (Our Hopes)," from the musical Lao Jiu, was part of a special musical presentation at Singapore Day '07 in New York's Central Park on April 21, 2007. The live concert presented iconic songs from Singapore's theatrical history. The song was performed by Judy Tan and Skye.