The Goonfather goes to the ballet

Like, I should never have brought the Goonfather to the ballet.

More accurately, I should not have let Morte come along, too. When the two of them get together, it’s like the Morning Express on Class 95 on crack.

Sure, sometimes it’s very entertaining. But sometimes you just want to clobber them senseless with a rolling pin.

I’ll talk more about that later, but I want to talk about the ballet under the stars experience first!

We arrived about two hours before the performance. Fort Canning Park was already packed with picnickers.

[Picnicking at Fort Canning]

Okay, it’s not that packed. You should see the place at 7:30 pm!

I should have taken another photo at 7:30 pm from the same angle for comparison but I didn’t because I was by then comfortably seated. And I had taken off my 10-minute boots and just didn’t feel like getting off my butt.

My 10-minute boots are so called because it takes me 10 minutes to put them on and 10 minutes to take them off because they have shoelaces and buckles.

[Sheylara's 10-minute boots]

Yes, I know I shouldn’t have been wearing boots to a picnic but they are also my rainy-day boots and it had rained earlier in the day and we had gone to attend some other event before coming to this one.

Back to Fort Canning Park!

I got us an almost-centre spot which was right in the middle of the park, lengthwise and breadthwise.

[Can see stage? Check.]

The stage design is pretty!

[Pretty, woody-themed stage]

We were told that it was designed to blend into the natural environment seamlessly, so the sides of the stage end where real trees begin.

But you can’t ever escape the skyscrapers in Singapore!


[Sneaky skyscrapers!]

Can you see the two sneaky skyscrapers peeking above the trees on the right side?

I tried my best to ignore them and use my leet powers of imagination to immerse myself into the woodsy surroundings.

We were at Fort Canning Park to watch Giselle in the Park, an outdoor ballet performance by the Singapore Dance Theatre.

The Goonfather, Morte and Wang Wang had gone away for a smoke break, leaving me all alone (again!) so I decided to shoot myself.

In a friendly way, of course.

[Shooting myself]

I think the picnickers behind me and the cheery green grass provide a very nice backdrop for my photo!

Okay, more photos later. Remember this one. There will be even more picnickers behind me later!

It was a really hot day (even if it doesn’t look like it). I think the earlier rain just made it worse. So it was hot and humid and there was not the tiniest breeze to be felt.

The Goonfather made me get him a beer at the makeshift drinks stall set up by the side of the park. What a tyrant!!

I did it anyway, because it was the least I could do for making him watch ballet.

This is the Goonfather pouring out his precious $4.50 beer:

[Beer for a hot day]

And this is the Goonfather using his shoe as a cupholder.

[Shoe cupholder]

He is damn disgusting lah!

This was quite a last minute outing, so we didn’t have time to prepare a real picnic. We dabao’ed food on the way. (“Dabao” is Chinese for “takeaway”.)

[Roasted sweet potato]

Roasted sweet potato!


Donuts from Donut Factory!

[Chicken cutlet]

Taiwanese-style chicken cutlet!

[Fried mushrooms]

Batter-fried mushrooms!

[Bak kwa]

Bak kwa!!!!

I know it is freaking weird to bring bak kwa to a picnic. But I don’t care. I love bak kwa!!!

This is Bee Cheng Hiang’s gourmet-minced fusion. It’s the best, even if it doesn’t look it. But don’t blame the bak kwa, blame my photography. It’s a bit hard to photograph something sitting in a paper bag.

While we were digging into our impromptu picnic, I made everyone pose for photos.

[Morte and the Goonfather]

You can tell the Goonfather really loves having his picture taken.

[Sheylara and Wang Wang]

Me and Wang Wang.

[Sheylara and the Goonfather]

Me and the Goonfather.

[Sheylara and the Goonfather]


Anyway, after a lot of tomfoolery, the sky darkened and it was almost time for the ballet to start.

Check out the crowd now!!!

[The sky darkens, the crowd thickens]

And that’s only behind me!

On one side of me:

[The sky darkens, the crowd thickens]

In front of me:

[The sky darkens, the crowd thickens]

Just me!

[Sheylara under the stars]

Me me me!

[Sheylara under the stars]

Then it was finally dark and the stage lit up!

[Lit stage]

And people clapped and sat up anticipatingly.

And the Goonfather said, “Yay! Can I go home now?”

I glared at him and boffed him on the head with the now-empty donut box.

“Be a good boy and watch quietly,” I told him.

And then it started!

What a sweet performance! Giselle in the Park is about peasant girl Giselle getting woo’ed by a nobleman, who sneakily disguised himself as a peasant in order to woo Giselle, despite already being betrothed to a Duke’s daughter.

[Giselle and Albrecht]

Men can be such bastards.

When the male lead dancer bounded onto stage, my good friend Morte, silent until now, cleared his throat and said, “He put tissue paper in his pants.”

Then he and the Goonfather started whispering to each other. And then the sniggerings started.

I suppose I should be glad the boys were enjoying the ballet.

I thought the performance and everything around it was beautiful. I looked up in the sky to see if I could find any stars.

[Hello stars...?]

Hmm. Quite a starless night. Oh, there’s one tiny one in the right corner!

Oh, wait, that’s a speck of dust on my monitor.


In the middle of a scene when Giselle’s old, worried mother is telling the villagers how spurned young maidens who die become venging spirits called wilis, the Goonfather leaned towards me and whispered in my ear.

“You want me to tell you the story?”

I rolled my eyes but decided to humour him.

“Okay,” I said.

“So, this old woman is jealous of Giselle because she’s younger and more beautiful. She’s going to kill Giselle by feeding her a poisoned apple. So Giselle eats the apple and dies and later the prince comes and kisses her and she wakes up and they live happily ever after.”



Anyway, Giselle does die but not because of stupid poisoned apples. (By the way, there are no such thing as spoilers in ballets, apparently. They tell you the whole story before the show starts.)

So Giselle dies of grief (she literally dances herself to death, stupid woman) after finding out that her lover is a two-timing cheating bastard. And she becomes a wili!

She gets inducted into the wili sorority.

[Wilis give you the willies!]

We were now into the second act of the show and I was genuinely surprised that the Goonfather and Morte didn’t sneak off during intermission to go get a beer at a nearby pub.

They made their way back to our picnic mat after their smoke break.


I suppose they did enjoy the ballet. They would sporadically whisper smartarse comments to each other and snigger themselves silly.

In the middle of a wili dance, Morte told the Goonfather, “Jennifer cannot be a ballet dancer. Her pedicure all gone.”

(Jennifer is our manicure-loving friend who sometimes appears on my blog as Minou.)

And then, snigger snigger snigger.

To their credit, they did it quite inconspicuously, without disturbing people around us (much). Sitting beside them, I couldn’t even hear what they said and sometimes I had to ask the Goonfather to tell me what’s so damned funny.

The sky got very cloudy during the second act.

It was weird! I took another photo of the sky to compare with the first one.

First photo (during first act):
[Hello stars...?]

Second photo (during second act):
[Ballet under the clouds]

The sky had brightened considerably.

It’s a little freaky how the sky complemented the performance. The first act revolved around the sweet love story of the two young lovers. At that time, the sky was clear and dark, with just a few stars twinkling.

The second act was about the wilis taking revenge on heartless men. At the start of the seond act, dark clouds started gathering in the sky, casting an ominous glow over us.

Weird shit.

I preferred the first act. I felt a little cheated by the sky. My Ballet under the Stars become Ballet under the Clouds!

The SDT building looks really pretty at night, all lit up!

[Singapore Dance Theatre]

Very conducive for sleeping.

[Sleeping under the clouds]

Okay, I must admit that, while I love ballet and appreciate the beauty and grace of it, I find sitting through a long performance a little overwhelming.

You can tell by how I was looking around, giggling at sleeping people, admiring beautiful lit buildings and studying the sky, instead of looking where I was supposed to.

The performance lasted about two hours. Or maybe 90 minutes. Can’t really remember.

But I wouldn’t mind going for ballet under the stars again because the experience is nice and the picnic is fun. But I don’t think I will watch ballet in a traditional theatre (unless they have 20-minute performances).

And I certainly won’t bring the Goonfather and Morte together!!

Oh, yes. Thanks are in order to Nic (again!) for the tickets!! (Nic is my de facto ticket supplier for all cool events. Haha.)

[Sheylara and Nic]

Luckily for Nic, he was sitting elsewhere and wasn’t subject to the rubbish of Morte and the Goonfather.

It was a fun outing. If you’re interested, check out the SDT website for coming performances!