My good friend and avid supporter, Jean Scholz, sent me this question:
Heidi and JJ, is there anything like cabaret (or wandering minstrels, burlesque shows, etc.) in Singaporean music/theatre traditions?
Jiu Jian was kind enough to write this detailed response:
Hi Jean Scholz, thanks for being curious:) for Singapore as we are still a very young country, less than 50 years. So over here ,our music and theatre are still very influenced by the western and china. But we do have our own chinese folk music , we call it Xin Yao that started since 1983. It was started by students from high school and university , with own music and lyric writen by ourselves. it has sort of the contemporary poem style ( in mandarin) , from this Xin Yao music form , it brings out a lot of popular sing song writer or song writer in Asia now adays . I am one of them that joined them near the end of this Music genre, it sort of dies off in year 1991 but alot of us that came from this group remain in the commercial music industry and have been active in our own field till now.
You could google "Singapore Xin Yao " and there should be some write up on it.
as for musical , we are even more young and have only started our own production in the pass 15years. but the english theatre has been growing very strong and local english theatre has already gain a firm ground for local audiences . As for the mandarin musical production its getting more mature for the pass 3 years and there was some very successful production this recent years .
In Singapore cabaret are not very popular but unplugged session are much more common for the young performers.
hope that my brief answers will be able to give you a better picture in our performing scene here in Singapore .