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.


DeanSham said...

wow, I was expecting a simpler answer! ha..ha..ha.!

I do sincerely hope that Enfiniti will continue doing musicals such as P.Ramlee & PGL.

What you are doing now is more meaningful than you might think...

Ms Istanbul said...


Blog hopped from Ruby's. Saw a familiar name, wasnt too sure so I dropped by. :D

Anyway, heard the musical was great! (read it somewhere in this blogging world.) Unfortunately, no where near to watch it. :(

Amir Fuad said...

Hi Tiara!
I am late in enjoying musicals. My first experience was actually watching Evita (the movie)something I wouldn't have thought of watching until my wife reccomended it. I was actually more enjoying the Die Hard type of movies then.I found the method of telling a story through songs fascinating. My wife explained that's what musical theatre is all about. Like you, she cherished her experiences watching West End musicals (her faves are Les Mis & Miss Saigon) while she was studying in the UK. I was hooked, have since caught a few shows- Oliver!, Annie & Menopause the Musical. Also kinda enjoyed watching CATS (albeit on DVD) and also saw the power of musicals through DVDs that my wife bought (Hey, Mr Producer & Les Miserables - by the Dream cast.

Anyway, hope to catch Chicago the Musical at KLCC Convention Centre soon.

Hooray to the magic of musicals!

Malaywood said...

hey tiara!

i admire you since ringgit kasorga.and now you have a blog!!! a blog!!! hehe!(exited ni..)

i did watch lion king when im in london few weeks ago.and i felt that magical.seriously, what you wrote here is true.i felt each and every words of what youre saying.

ive been into staging performances ever since i was 10, and through my Uni year, ive done Oedipus, and so forth.

comparing lion king and PGL, mmg lah susah.i would say Pgl lagi best.still, tak jauh beza.maybe dalam berapa peratus.why i am comparing it with pgl??because pgl sudah menjadi "bench mark" for the theatre industry for me.setiap kali menonton theatre, surely ill compare with PGL.

i still remember masa tgk lantai t pinkie lakonan nasha aziz, i slept.
and my dad told me it is great.why did you slept? i told him, because you didnt watch pgl.=)

maybe taste kita sama, (ceewah)i lovee big sets, wow sets, credit to raja maliq.i cant watch theatre without this important element.SETS in theatre is the COre. for some people, they would prefer acting.for me setting come first, then acting.

ok, till then, and im going to watch les mis next friday!!!

and i am soo pist off tak dpt tgk p ramlee.seriously, if you bawak pgl dkt sini(west end)mmg surely ramai nak tgk!!!completely sold out punya!and your pgl mmg boleh lawan and setanding dgn theatre kat sini.


Malaywood said...

anyway, nak juga tgk kamu di layar perak.perhaps under yasmin ahmad?or any international directors? craving...=)

*what's next after PRTM?i would suggest something gothic.and i want YOU in it! you go gurl.

Malaywood said...

OMG.ive just got an idea! you know what?why not "THE TRUE PRINCE OF EGYPT THE MUSICAL?" or "PONTIANAK THE MUSICAL"(gothic)? sure best dgn "terbang terbang"..pentas naik turun...uuuu hehe!

*bengang juga tgk all the westerners curi cerita islam and our culture.
like kingdom of heaven, lions for lambs,etc.

aishah said...

glad to say that my 1st ever love with (proper) theatre musical is PGL! then PGL lagi then Wicked (in London - best giler...can we bring it over here?) and now P.Ramlee!

anyway got to meet you yesterday after the show (update pictures on me blog)...thanks!

was tempted to buy tix on 3rd nov matinee but ingat nak bg org lain plak rasa the show...lagipun if i go again, sure lari budget!

hehe...all the best for the remaining shows! can't wait for the 2nd run (if ade) and soundtrack!!!

i have pglm soundtrack on my mp3 and can't wait to have prm soundtrack on it too!!!


Leymah Giggs said...

Hi there Tiara,

Been a silent reader for quite sometimes. Tak sempat nak grab tix for the show but I suppose it is hebat.

I thot u assembled a gr8 team who understand the concept and the need to give a 'full force' to produced this. Congratulations!

Manal said...

Kak Tiara,

Truly, you have added the glamour in our malaysian musical theatre scene. May there be more and more projects in the near future and hopefully more and more new (and old) talents emerged, polished and glorified , acting side by side with the more professional ones, thanks to your tireless efforts in adding musical stages as part of our modern culture. It's live, entertaining, magical and unforgettable.

Thank you, Tiara for those pleasant memories of watching a quality musical in malaysia. A definite highly recommended!

GrimlyGeekyGirlNext Door said...

I am sooooo happy that you have your own blog, coz i was wondering where shall i sent my congrats to? Due to my busy schedule i only manged to get RM30 tix as the rest was completely sold out (the 180 were kinda too expensive for me, sorry). But i wowed, eversince I missed the 1st stage of PGL, i will never,Insyaallah, miss any of your "babies". From the beginning I was mesmerized with what I saw. The stage, the intro, the cast, the orchestra, etc, anything and everything that was on the show. Its true that PGL was the benchmark, but I believed you've surpassed it Datin. When my friend was commenting on the back up dancers & singers....I went& asked....What back up dancers? What backup singers? Those people were equally good. Sooooo good. Except for Siti, I believe the leading ladies captured my emotions and I was moved; sharing the feelings that they were trying to convey to the audience. Feeling the frustration of Junaidah, of seeing that no matter how she loved him, she just doesn't fit into his glamorous life. The feeling of not 'wanted' by the star. Though she was not a singer, Melissa Saila did not dissappoint us as she sang her anger & frustration of a wife 'abandoned' by her workaholic husband. And the ever so romantic scene between P Ramlee & Liza Hanim made me smile through&through Datin. P Ramlee as he was with 4 different woman he has in his life. A brilliant production.
I couldn't stop babbling about it to everyone I met, friends, colleagues, family members & they all feel like kicking me.......Not only because, I'll be talking about it for the next few decades ;), also because now they won't be able to watch it, coz the tix have now sold. hehehehe Padan muka diorang.
Datin, you are a risk taker, who has a strong determination in getting things done. Setting a new standard to the Malay Muzical theater, you have done a superb&fantastic job. You have brought it to a level Malaysian once think impossible. And I do hope now, others can learn so that we will have more directors, producers, with fresh ideas for such productions.
I may sound 'poyo' but this is what&how I truly feel. I wish you all the best Datin.

shirhan said...

hi tiara... been trying to get tickets to watch the musical but to no avail! nak sangat tengok show tu. but i guess too late, too busy and too malas. hehehe... skali tup tup SOLD OUT! padan muka aku.

just wondering if its gonna be staged in singapore. saw the PGL when it came to spore so am crossing all my parts of the body hoping that it will. sigh...

from singapore with love...


*cosmic freak* said...

hi tiara.

I think the first local musical that I watched was Hang Li Po The Musical. The second, PGL. And to be frank, those were the only musicals that I've watched. And both were great in their own ways, altho, being biased, of course PGL topped many others.

I come from a generation that would think Anna & The King is the original compared to The King & I. But I do adore The Producers and I wished I had the chance like my sister who watched Miss Saigon in London.

Tomorrow will be the last day for P.Ramlee and I felt so very bad to not be able to watch it. I hope if there's still good on planet earth (hehehe, kaedah membodek), you will re-stage P.Ramlee and PGL too!

Many luck be in your way Tiara. I know you've worked so hard not for yourself, but for the industry generally. Bravo to you and your hardworking team!

luvvee said...

Hi Tiara,

loved the show.Ive actually posted my feelings and thoughts about the show at
It be nice if you could some time reading it and would love your comments