Just watched the above musical, one word: SUPERB. I'm not a musical junkie, haven't watched the reknown Les Mis nor Miss Saigon, but thoroughly enjoyed Portrait of an Empress. Adorned with local talents like Kit Chan, Adrian Pang, Hossan Leong and more, it was really refreshing and inspirational to hear them croon. Never knew Adrian Pang can sing so well, Hossan Leong was the jester of the show, and Kit Chan did extremely well with her powerful vocals. The choreography and screenplay have a good mix of chinese essence and western touch, both complemented each other well. Some parts are a little cliche, but the good pieces made up for it. Lightings was beautiful, so were the costumes and props.
Then, on to the Esplanade itself. Despite feeling the much-commented "stifled" mannerisms of the audiences (well everyone tried to look and speak as refinely as possible), I'm glad we have the place. The Theatre hall was really grand, and the acoustics and lighting facilities are world-class. The stage was so deep they could use a few layers of backdrop! One complain is that leg space is inadequate, and aisles are insufficient. If you enter late and you're sitting in the middle of the row, be prepared to say lots of sorry's and excuse-me's while u shuffle your way through.
I'm really looking forward to another local musical/production, or just any good performance at the Esplanade.