Wednesday, 31 October 2007

the magic of musicals, and "cinta pertama"...

deansham's question on why a musical and not a film inspired me to post this new piece. i guess its bound to be asked again and again so i may as well gush now.

i have always been a fan of stage musicals, since i watched miss saigon in the 90's. i remember that was my first love where musicals are concerned, and i was so blown away by the experience, its stayed on my mind til today. musicals have a magical way of transporting you mind, body and soul with good performances, clever staging, a compelling story, WOW sets, sweeping overtures and memorable showtunes you leave the theatre singing in your head.

nothing beats the energy of great rapport between an enthusiastic audience and the actors on stage projecting and pouring their emotions so freely. its uncanny though, i never experienced a malaysian audience so open about expressing themselves so openly before this. its always been a pretty much passive experience watching traditional theatre, i guess. then again musicals are a relatively new medium for most malaysian audiences and i guess when it hits them, it hits them hard and they respond with raw enthusiasm and they cry and laugh and cheer.

a standing ovation at the end caps it all,and these are some things you just cant orchestrate, it comes from the audience naturally at the end of a good musical outing. its a fabulous feeling on the receiving end too, i can tell you this from experience. quite honestly, the "live" appreciation and adulation you get from an audience under the spell of a magical musical,makes you forget just how much sweat and tears it took to get you there. you're on such a high for hours after the curtain call, you just want the moment to last! thats why we stay up to sign hundreds of autographs after the show, to stay in that moment.

since that "miss saigon" experience i have watched almost every other musical especially the ones by cameron mackintosh and andrew lloyd webber. many of them i watched twice or more too, just to re-live the magic. "phantom of the opera" is my next favorite musical, along with "les miserables"- i cried and cried, and i still choke thinking of the songs and the scenes they came from. i also enjoyed "the producers" which was most entertaining - laughed myself silly, and relived that experience again in the film version that was out last year. watched "cats" too which didnt quite have the same magic as "saigon"or "les mis", but was sweet and rather entertaining,in parts. watched "bombay dreams" in new york but missed stephen rahman hughes in it so i guess it was only half as magical as it could have been, ha ha.

but there's nothing like your first love, really. just as p. ramlee was a first love in malaysian cinema for many of us,our very own "cinta pertama", first musical experiences stay with you for a long long time. sigh.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

extra performance for p. ramlee the musical

hi friends!

just to share with you, before news is released to the general public tomorrow, enfiniti productions is confirming 1 additional performance of p.ramlee the musical, 3rd november at 3pm (matinee performance). this will surely be a most emotional performance for the cast as its going to be their last day of performing for this season... tickets are available through and istana budaya's 24-hr hotline just as before, so good luck, its 1stcome-1st served...

hope to see you all there!

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

tiara's producer's note in p.ramlee programme book

In my midnight huddles with my team after a gruelling 12-hour day of rehearsals, I remind them about how we are doing this not for ourselves,and certainly not for anyone else but for P. Ramlee. It’s the least we can do in recognition of his genius and exceptional talent, and his total dedication to his art that has given us this industry that exists today.

It is very unfortunate that the people of my generation and the generations after us, have totally missed out on who P. Ramlee was, and why it is that he is called a Malaysian icon, a national pride, a legend. Therefore, in the name of immortalizing that very legend, my friends and I have set out to research and tell the story of his life, so our children will always remember.

Putting on a show is always a challenge. Trying to meet and hopefully exceed the expectations of audiences after the success of Puteri Gunung Ledang is ten times that challenge. But I have always been most fortunate, God always sends wonderful people my way. Wonderful people who share the same vision and the same dream.

Watching the team work lifts my spirits and strengthens my hope that we have the people who want the best for our country. Mahatma Gandhi once said that we must be the change we want to see in this world, so here are a bunch of people who are trying to walk the talk and make that change. There is so much to be learnt from watching how people in the arts come together, support each other and succeed together. I see a team of people who work not for credit or recognition, but are happy to play their part in making the bigger picture a success.

Thank you, Tan Sri P. Ramlee, for being the original dreamer, and for inspiring many of us after him, to dare dream too.

Saloma sings these words at the end of the play:

Dan siapakah dia
yang telah berjaya
menghuni di hati
kita semua?
Dia telah membawa
Makna dan kenangan
Cinta yang pertama…

“What you want to do, and what you can do, is limited only by what you can dream. Mike melville

hello, new friends...

hi manal,true blue,aishah, adlisyahril, deansham, sheila,nadia,

thanks for being one of the first few visitors to my blog. and thanks for saying such kind and encouraging words about p.ramlee the musical. we put it together with love and sweat and tears, hoping it is worthy of a tribute to tan sri p.ramlee.

true blue,
i will try to upload photos soon but being a new blogger, belum pandai! will get chedd to show me how...

there are 300 tickets for 27th matinee as well as 31stnight that were originally blocked for a corporate booking yang tak jadi, these are the best view seats actually, rm180 and rm200, i just booked some last sunday for my family members,you can try your luck there but its 1st come 1st served and i dont have any control over ticket sales,only istana budaya and ticket2u do..

so sorry to hear what happened to your seat! have you got a replacement for another night? i heard what happened actually,malu betul and i feel really awful especially untuk theatre fans yang betul2 berusaha book tiket awal2 mcm you.

Friday, 12 October 2007

happy birthday to me!!!!!

if youre wondering what happened during the 1 week silence, its cos i couldnt for the life of me remember my username and password combo...newbie ma..what to do. thanks to chedd, again, i'm baaaaaack!

so much has happened in the last one week. i celebrated a birthday (only my 27th lah, no big drama..cancelled the big celebration at the 11th hour cos i didnt feel like partying really, for once, what with the show round the corner and this being ramadan month and all, not quite feeling the party mood if you can imagine. however!!! became quite a drama in the end with surprise bash after surprise bash, first was one dear ol' eja organised with the ensemble and pat, at the stroke of midnight of 3rd october, then it was buka puasa the next day with the cast and team at istana budaya, and i got my bezzies who would have been at the cancelled birthday bash to be there with me too. this time it was durian cake...ayo..heaven.. that night after buka, we were treated to a full run thru of the entire show, both act 1 and act 2 - i couldnt have asked for a better birthday gift than to finally see the whole show coming together. i had my posse with me - khai, noren, karl, mal, teong hin. after the run thru, this was already 11.30pm, whilst it was still technically the day of the birthday, the celebration continued at the concorde hotel melting pot! it was quite a big group of us, including pat & ian, zahim, and even siti and datuk k. what a drama. from not even wanting to celebrate to a triple celebration.

Monday, 1 October 2007

18 days to d-day!

arrrrggghhh!!! october has "happened" so suddenly. now that brings on the butterflies,i tell you. in the next 14 hours, the sets would have moved in to the backstage area of istana budaya,erwin gutawa's team of musicians from jakarta would have arrrived, and we will officially "bump in" on stage.

tonight at rehearsals,pat is in the ballet studio with the ensemble, fine-tuning act 2 sc10 again and again. the moves are looking very much sharper today, and have a more definite attitude about them. even the "transformers", bless them, are really looking the part. the "transformers" are the guys who move and changed the sets in PGLM, but because we noticed that some of them actually had some hidden talent in them, this time around we decided to put them in costumes and actually feature them onstage. quite clever of the creative team, i thought.

watching the ensemble in action is always a real treat for me. especially after a full day of looking at marketing and publicity plans, progress update sessions, giving interviews etc etc, i'm always too happy to escape to i.b to watch ida mariana, izlyn and maya turn it on, or enjoy seeing baby erin, rozana and nadia light up the stage with their energy, witness chedd as sukardi in his element onstage. even the lovable fern (whom i always tell pat i marvel at how she has assimilated into the group so well, being one of the only non-malay members of the ensemble. so sweet.

now, must retire... long, long day ahead tmrw.