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THEATER BEAT

'Song of Singapore': Silly and Sprightly

July 29, 1994|F. KATHLEEN FOLEY

Gobs of time, money and energy have been lavished on the period musical "Song of Singapore," at the International City Theatre. The inside of the theater has been painstakingly transformed into a 1941 Singapore nightclub, complete with bar, dance floor and bandstand. The audience sits at tiny tables, while waiter-performers in tropical attire take drink orders (fruit juices and cappuccino only, for the anachronistic price of $2 a pop).

"Singapore" is somewhat slow-going in the first act, but picks up momentum after intermission, when the merely silly turns lunatic. Indeed, silliness reigns throughout, relentlessly so; the imminent invasion by the Japanese is a mere plot device in this somewhat flimsy parody.

But silliness is the point. Jules Aaron's lively staging and a determinedly sprightly cast keep the action mostly diverting. This Tiffany box show may only hold cubic zirconium--but it's fun jewelry.

* "Song of Singapore," International City Theatre, Clark and Harvey Way, Long Beach City College. Fridays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 and 7 p.m. Ends Aug. 28. $16. (213) 480-3232. Running time: 1 hour, 55 minutes.

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