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Touted as a ‘juke box musical’, A Singaporean in Paris marries the best of French musical culture and Singaporean artists. This one-of-a-kind musical features songs from French songwriters and performers which have been famously sung by international legends like Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Sting and Elton John.
Woven into a unique theatrical experience, follow a native Singaporean, Hossan, of course, as he goes through magical Paris. He sings his way through many encounters of cultural differences with a range of ballads, tangos, boleros, reggae, rock and classic songs. Not only that, he’ll touch on topics of love, adventure, broken dreams, youth home-sickness, growing old and death… all with a large dose of humour.
Leading man Hossan Leong, along with co-star Emma Yong, sat down to answer some hard-hitting questions about being Singaporean and being in France.
Being in the musical A Singaporean in Paris is one thing, but have you actually been to Paris, and what’s your fondest memory of the ‘City of Love’?
Hossan: I love the markets in the street in all the different quarters. Especially strolling on a Sunday morning as the stalls open and listening to the owners shout out their wares.
Emma: It’d have to be the delicious croissants in the morning – so buttery and mouth-watering. They just don’t taste so good anywhere else!
In your time in Paris, did you pick up any French? What words or phrases did you learn and what does it mean?
Emma: I tried my best to order in restaurants. “Un coca-cola sil vos plait!
Hossan: I already spoke some French, so it was fun trying to understand and speak it. And then there was learning some really rude slang words which I cannot repeat on a nice website like inSing.com!
Singaporeans can be creatures of habit sometimes, what do you think is the one thing a Singaporean can’t do without when they’re abroad, especially somewhere as far away as Paris?
Talking about food, what’s the best French restaurant in Singapore, and what do you like to eat there?
Hossan: I can’t really say which is the best cos that wouldn’t be really fair. But I do like St Julien, Brasserie Wolf, though there are so many I haven’t tried yet. I love provincial French food. Give me a good bouillabaisse or a steak-frites anytime!
Emma: I love Le Bistrot Du Sommelier. I’m always searching for the perfect pork rillette.
As the lead character, there are songs-a-plenty in A Singaporean in Paris, where there any that you really loved performing, or that were more memorable for you?
Hossan: I love my song Comme d'habitude which is the original French version of Frank Sinatra's My Way! There's so much emotion in it and the meaning completely different. Serge Gainsbourg also feature in our repertoire with two songs, Sea, Sex and Sun and a very funny song called Comic Strip!
Finally, lets switch it around: what 3 tips would you give a Frenchman or women living in Singapore to help them survive here?
Emma: Enjoy the variety in hawker centres! Learn to speak Singlish! It's ok to wear flip-flops in Singapore!
Hossan: Dress light. Don’t try to speak Singlish. And ignore the politics.
WIN!Here’s your chance to win a pair of tickets to A Singaporean in Paris by watching the video on our Facebook page and answering the 2 questions! Send the answers along with your full name, NRIC & contact number to email@example.com.
A Singaporean in Paris is showing from April 14 – 24, 2010 at the DBS Arts Centre. For more details, check out our event listing here.