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Reviewed by Adi Soon

Music by Dick Lee
Cast: John Lee, David Tan, Melissa Wong, Carolyn Ang, Juwanda Hassim
Date: 10 Jan 2002
Venue: DBS Arts Centre
Rating: ***½ (out of five stars)

The show started at 8:20 p.m. Too late in my opinion, but perhaps in line with the clubbing theme of the show. In the DBS Arts Centre theater, a transformation had taken place. Theater ushers played bouncers stamping cute little designs on the wrists of the audience. A thumping back-beat accompanied a silver disco ball that hung above the stage. There was no mistake. These were the trappings of glamour that begin every club experience: This was Club Mix.

The first song opened the show in a blaze of energy. From that moment on the pace was never allowed to lag. The young cast rocked, preened and posed their way with a panache that was both exhilarating and magical to watch.

Combining a reasonably crafted plot with well-written music, the show came together and proved greater than the sum of its parts. Re:Mix must surely earn the title of the prototypical Singaporean youth musical of its generation, mirroring the reality of youth in an obvious but distanced manner, showing it for what it is.

Perhaps the musical's greatest asset was its writing, both in terms of the plot and the music. This was a show that could have easily descended into superficiality, what with the subject matter involved and the form of the musical. What raised it beyond this was the careful attempt to resist the overt glamorization of the world of clubbing. After all, clubbing is different things to different people. To some notions of fantasy and merrymaking make up a frenzied impression. Further along this line, the sordid underbelly of the clubbing scene is a place of seething lust, alcohol and exploitation. Perhaps even expressing it in this manner is an inadequate substitute to what clubbing is really about. Ask anybody why they club and nobody will give you a coherent answer. Instead one hears words like "feeling" and "adrenaline rush" which attempt to describe the sense-warping experience of the world of clubbing.

Add teenage youth into the mix and the result becomes a potent cocktail. In the transitory space of the club, where boundaries are blurred and control is willingly given up, innocence is exchanged for an awareness that can be all too painful.