Written by Stephanie Yeo
Edited by Mitchell Yeo/Ong Hui Shan
Blow your horn: proudly proclaim your achievements
Hall Play 2012 was definitely worth every penny I paid for. The audience was thoroughly entertained with the hilarious screenplay and comedic chemistry of the cast, against the backdrop of an impressively lifelike apartment interior set (I really liked the bar and fireplace!). This was further augmented by ambient lights and sounds which fitted the play to a T. The hallplay ensemble could only have delivered such a heartstopping and smooth-running performance under the capable leadership of Producer Pin Lang, Production Manager Linus, and Director Annie.
“Come Blow Your Horn” is the first play written by Neil Simon in 1961. An interesting piece of trivia: the play was previously made into a movie starring Frank Sinatra, who was subsequently nominated for a Golden Globe, as Alan Baker in 1964! The play tells the story of a young man’s (Buddy Baker, portrayed by Wesley) decision to leave the home of his parents, and arrive unannounced, at the bachelor pad of his older brother, Alan Baker (played by Asher).
Alan leads a swinging and carefree ’60s lifestyle – he would rather chase girls than take over his family’s business. Much to Buddy’s surprise, Alan welcomes him with open arms as he is glad that his younger brother is finally taking a shot at independence. The 2 brothers cannot be more different – Buddy is no ladies’ man, awkward around girls, and has always been “Mummy’s boy”.
As the story unfolds, Alan tries to integrate Buddy into the New York community, teaching him the “cool” way of life. Buddy embraces the whole new culture so successfully that he soon takes over his brother’s liquor cabinet and girlfriends, like struggling actress Peggy (played by Stacy). Buddy is so eager to please Peggy that he impersonates a famous producer, and ends up spinning a web of ridiculous lies to very amusing effects.
Along the way, an anxious Mrs Baker (played by Eunice) and a furious Mr Baker (played by Shaam) drop by the apartment to convince Buddy to renounce his new lifestyle and return to the family business. It is clear that Mr Baker disapproves of Alan’s behaviour, and regards him as a bad influence.
After giving Peggy up, Alan gets beaten by the husband in yet another fling. Broken, Alan alienates his long-time girlfriend Connie (played by Ellie), his commitment phobia rearing its ugly head. Alan is ashamed to realise that his life is now reflected in Buddy’s changed behaviour. This realisation impacts Alan greatly, and he begins to see the futility in his previous lifestyle. Alan urges Buddy to renounce his casanova ways, but Buddy is having too good a time to heed his advice.
Finally, with the help of Connie’s persistence, Alan jolts back to reality, realises what he really wanted in life, and proposes to her. It is a sweet ending with the couple back together and the family reunited and stronger as ever.
As the cast and crew came out for the curtain call, a final bow was made, words of appreciation exchanged and the first night of Hall Play 2012 concluded to wild, raucous applause. This is yet another well-received Hall Play, an unforgettable experience for crew and audience alike.