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.