French cabaret Crazy Horse returns to Singapore after a decade

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Crazy Horse, a French cabaret known for its topless female dancers, has returned to Singapore a decade after a franchise club failed in the conservative Southeast Asian city-state.

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A Parisian institution for 66 years, the cabaret theater opened a club in Singapore in 2005 when the city was trying to spice up its image in a tourism revamp, but closed its doors two years later because of poor ticket sales.

This week the cabaret was back with “Forever Crazy”, a compilation of memorable routines that recently played in Australia.

The Singapore show was not censored by authorities, said Crazy Horse tour director Mark Brady.

“It’s the original production as we’ve just performed in Australia for nine weeks,” Brady said. “We’re not changing anything.”

Farah Nadia, a 29-year-old who attended the premiere at the Marina Bay Sands, said she was impressed watching the bare-breasted dancers going through their routines.

“As a woman, I believe that sexiness is a key to confidence and the ladies portrayed it really well,” she said.

She planned to watch the show again next week, but doubted her hometown was ready for another permanent cabaret club.

“We may have more expatriates, tourists or modern locals now, but people are still shy or conservative about shows like this,” she said.

The show, which runs for 12 nights in Singapore before moving to the Chinese-ruled territory of Macau, is restricted to those aged 18 and above.

Arts, entertainment and other forms of media are tightly regulated in Singapore, which the government says is necessary to maintain social stability.

Last year, a same-sex "peck on the lips" was cut from the musical "Les Miserables" following complaints. Sex between men is illegal in Singapore. (

When it came to issuing a license for “Forever Crazy”, the island’s Infocomm Media Development Authority appeared to accept the organizers’ argument the show was a form of art.

“It’s not necessarily easy to bring shows of this nature, but because I think it’s been understood that it’s a piece of art and it’s seen as art, they gave us the entertainment license,” said Chantal Prud’homme, chief executive of BASE Entertainment Asia.

The media authority “aims to strike a balance between reflecting generally accepted social norms, while giving due consideration to the event’s artistic merits,” it said in an email statement.

Additional reporting by Natasha Howitt; Editing by Jack Kim and Darren Schuettler