Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Looking East?

i must say that hafidah can really sniff stuff out. i'd been sitting on this for a while now, since we met this japanese guy at the cameronian arts awards and he wanted to discuss bringing PGL the Musical to Japan. with the madness of rehearsals and always being behind in deadlines for approving print ads, editing the P.Ramlee coffee table book and managing interviews and communication for the show in between attending rehearsals, there really wasn't much time and brain space at all for anything non-P.Ramlee.

she caught me off-guard with a phone interview about the Japan thing though, i must say. cheeky thing. i hadn't even discussed it with the guys yet. gosh, when you're in "recovery" mode from one big rollercoaster ride, you don't wanna get on another one that instantly.

"putting on" a show the size of PGL or P.Ramlee really takes a whole lot out of you, not just out of our piggy bank, but physically and mentally too. emotionally and spiritually too in the case of PGL especially as everyone knows the project really has a special meaning for me.

well, now it's out in the open i guess the next few weeks will be spent trying to make the next run happen, and anyone interested can keep watching this space...

peace, everyone.


Wordhasit: Puteri Ledang may head East
By : Hafidah Samat

EACH time Datin Seri Tiara Jacquelina’s name makes the headlines, Malaysians inevitably take pride seeing her passion in raising the bar of Malaysian theatre.
And now that she has shouldered the reins of film and theatre productions, our respect and admiration for her can only get stronger. She obviously knows what she wants and strives to remain dynamic in the creative field.

Now, barely two weeks after her latest production, P. Ramlee The Musical: The Life, The Loves & The Inspiration (Season 2) concluded its successful run at Istana Budaya in Kuala Lumpur, Tiara has started talking about her next project.

According to the executive producer of Enfiniti Productions, the company’s first theatre production Puteri Gunung Ledang The Musical (PGLM) has been invited to perform at an arts festival at the Metropolitan Theatre of Performing Arts in Tokyo early next year.

Understandably, Tiara is excited. But still reeling from the too-good-to-be-true feeling, she refuses to think about the offer yet.
In a phone interview last Friday, Tiara let out a hearty laugh, saying that she is still “recuperating” from the sold-out performances of P. Ramlee The Musical.

“Oh my, how did you find out? But yep, a representative from the Japan Foundation has approached me not too long ago. Although the offer is just too good to miss, there are a lot of factors to consider if I were to accept it,” said Tiara.

Logistics is the paramount factor she has to look into if the production goes to Japan.

“PGLM is not designed as a ‘two-men-and-a-suitcase’ production as that would be ideal for a travelling show. And the musical without the set is a different story.

“If the organiser can plan PGLM for a longer run, that would be more economically-viable for us,” said Tiara, adding that she will be meeting with the production crew to discuss the matter in a couple of weeks.

She also said that PGLM has also been invited to be staged in Singapore.

“Honestly, it is expensive to start the entire production all over again and for a production to break even, it has to run for at least two months,” she added.

Asked about her latest project, Tiara said she can’t reveal anything at the moment.

“Yes, I’ve something planned for next year but it is still at an infancy stage,” she said.

The self-professed perfectionist has also released Behind The Scenes At P. Ramlee The Musical, a coffee-table book that documents interesting anecdotes and never-seen-before images of the production.

Citing it as “a labour of love”, she helmed the book project in order to make it more special. “It’s more of a record of our journey and the book can be used as a manual for fellow theatre practitioners for their future productions,” she said.

The book is currently available at all MPH outlets nationwide.

Monday, 23 June 2008

to my galfriends...

adding on to my piece on maya angelou just inspired me to do a whole piece on a group of people who make my day everyday. my girlfriends. i'm so fortunate to be blessed with a bunch of gals who love me for just being me, with or without my makeup, false lashes,warts and all.

like my husband effendi, i'm always wary about letting anyone into my circle, because you really can never's not always that people want to be your friend to just BE your friend, these days, it's sad but true. and i lead the kind of life where it's always moving at a pace i can barely control,let alone have any chance of wondering where the next dagger is gonna come from or who's saying what about me - I AIN'T GOT NO TIME, MAN!

it's a challenge sometimes to ward off negative people who have nothing but bad things to say about other people (i've trained myself to just stare blankly at people who try to engage in such conversations with me and slip away quietly - best thing to do), and generally stay away from "functions" where i'm just a "functional" prop or a name that will make their invite list look cool, or worse still, like i've said before, where i'm just "high-table dressing" - thank you very much, i have enough to do with my evenings, and even if i don't, its a huge relief for me to just do nothing for a change.

i think i will offer these words of advice to my daughter when she grows up.

firstly, lead a fulfilled life on your own. if you're not fulfilled and content with what you have, you'll always be looking.

secondly, don't seek anyone's approval or endorsement. wanna do something? think like Nike and JUST DO IT. nobody's opinion matters, as long as you're always sensible and don't do anything to harm anyone.

thirdly, don't allow anyone into your personal space if they don't bring value to your life, no matter how much you think you want them to be your friend. waste of time and good energy.

i have been so lucky to have a few gals in my life who have always been there for me, through the rough and rolling times, (mostly rolling lah, i must admit - life's good...) and whom i'm so lucky i can LET MY HAIR DOWN WITH without fear of being judged, be a complete nutter in their presence, drool over patrick dempsey like schoolgirls and giggle and squeal like mad women with even if it's over kaya toast, half-boiled eggs and tea at kopitiam (unless someone's been spiking our tea lah, everytime...;-p). thanks for the good times noren, ida, mal, cat, sylvia, amaal...

*i heart you all*


Time passes.

Life happens.

Distance separates.

Children grow up.

Jobs come and go.

Love waxes and wanes.

Men don't do what they're supposed to do.

Hearts break.

Parents die.

Colleagues forget favors.

Careers end.


Sisters are there,

no matter how much time and how

many miles are between you.

A girl friend is never farther away

than needing her can reach.

When you have to walk that lonesome valley and you

have to walk it by yourself, the women in your life

will be on the valley's rim, cheering you on,

praying for you, pulling for you, intervening on

your behalf, and waiting with open arms at the

valley's end.

Sometimes, they will even break the rules and walk

beside you...Or come in and carry you out.

Girlfriends, daughters, granddaughters,

daughters-in-law, sisters, sisters-in-law, Mothers,

Grandmothers, aunties, nieces, cousins, and extended

family, all bless our life!

The world wouldn't be the same without women, and

neither would I. When we began this adventure called

womanhood, we had no idea of the incredible joys or

sorrows that lay ahead. Nor did we know how much we

would need each other.

Every day, we need each other still.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

a thought piece on P.Ramlee - the Musical, by siti ruqaiyah hashim

i didn't know how to react when i saw this piece in Berita Minggu today. Maybe someone can enlighten me. sigh.

Muzikal P Ramlee teater untuk orang muda?

CATATAN dalam buku program Muzikal P Ramlee - Kehidupan, Cinta dan Inspriasinya (ditulis sebahagian besarnya dalam Bahasa Inggeris) mengatakan teater ini hiburan semasa yang sesuai untuk orang muda. Saya kurang pasti apa dimaksudkan oleh Tiara Jacquelina dalam prakata buku program muzikal ini. Apapun, Enfiniti Productions memberikan persembahan teater yang amat menghiburkan dengan lakonan, penataan seni, lampu, kostum dan set yang cukup tergilap dan bermakna di Istana Budaya baru-baru ini.

Persembahan teater ini cukup bermakna kerana P Ramlee tidak pernah menekuni teater dan drama tetapi menghabiskan seluruh jiwa raga dan kehidupannya kepada filem. Sayang sedikit, tiada usaha seumpama ini daripada penggiat filem untuk mengingati P Ramlee walaupun sudah lebih 35 tahun beliau kembali ke rahmatullah melalui medium filem. Tetapi mengangkat kehidupan dan kerjaya seni P Ramlee dalam satu pentas muzikal yang menarik adalah suatu usaha bertepatan dan harus dipuji.

Pun begitu, kenapa tiada sedekah Al-Fatihah untuk Arwah Tan Sri P Ramlee sebelum pementasan dimulakan? Perdana Menteri pun mengajak khalayak membaca Al-Fatihah ketika bercakap mengenai P Ramlee sewaktu perasmian Hari Seniman pada 29 Mei lalu. Jadi apa salahnya kita menghormati jasa Seniman Agung itu melalui persembahan teater yang baik menerusi acara menghadiahkan Al-Fatihah kepada Allahyarham?

Persembahan teater ini mempamerkan lakonan beberapa peneraju utamanya yang cukup baik. Melissa Saila sebagai Norizan begitu meyakinkan dan mahir mempamerkan berbagai laras emosi yang berbeza tanpa perlu berusaha banyak. Norizan yang bahagia sewaktu baru mengahwini P Ramlee, cemburu yang cuba disembunyikan dengan sebaik-baiknya tetapi tidak berjaya sama sekali, pengasih dan amat prihatin tentang kebajikan suaminya dan akhir sekali kesunyian yang tidak berdaya dibendung kerana bersuamikan seorang P Ramlee kepunyaan ribuan peminat.

Cuma nada suara dan intonasi Melissa sedikit mengejutkan dan tidak sesuai ketika membaca isi kandungan telegram kepada P Ramlee mengumumkan beliau akan tiba di Singapura tidak lama lagi.

Kenapa tidak dibuat dengan nada suara lebih perlahan dan romantik?

Babak ketegangan pertengkaran antara Norizan dengan P Ramlee dalam teater ini mempamerkan letusan emosi yang kelihatan cukup spontan tetapi terkawal dan sangat natural. Pun begitu, babak ini boleh menjadi lebih berkesan dan cantik jika ketegangannya ‘dibina dari bawah’.

Liza Hanim sebagai Saloma juga cukup baik dan meyakinkan. Babak percintaan Saloma dengan P Ramlee baik dan menggelikan hati melihat kegugupan kedua-duanya. Ia sangat natural kerana seperti yang pernah dilalui semua orang, walau sudah berapa kali pun kita jatuh cinta, kegugupan sama akan dilalui dan dirasakan ketika mula-mula mahu menyatakan perasaan kepada orang dicintai. Cuma Musly Ramlee begitu kuat berusaha mahu ‘menjadi’ P Ramlee bukan mahu memainkan watak P Ramlee seperti sepatutnya.

Pelakon utama lain juga berkesan, meyakinkan dan natural menerusi watak masing-masing.

Muzik garapan Roslan Aziz ada kalanya terlalu kuat dan menyebabkan pelakon perlu menjerit walaupun menggunakan mikrofon pentas. Ini terjadi dalam babak P Ramlee menaiki kereta api menuju ke Singapura dan lain-lain.

Penataan lampu dan set walau bagaimana pun cukup baik dan kreatif terutama babak kereta api dalam perjalanan ke Singapura.

Hanya dinamisme babak ke babak teater ini terlalu pantas dan ‘mencungapkan’. Produksi teater ini mampu meninggalkan pengalaman emosi yang jauh lebih mendalam dan menimbulkan empati dan bukan setakat simpati kepada P Ramlee di saat-saat duka beliau.

Tapi analisis skrip dan watak yang jauh lebih dalam dan terperinci amat perlu untuk tujuan itu.

Mungkin perkara paling membuatkan saya terkilan ialah ‘jiwa’ teater ini terlalu keras berbau Broadway dan West End. Imej West Side Story begitu ketara dan menonjol dalam tarian dan juga gesture lakonan yang agak kebaratan. Sesungguhnya budaya memainkan peranan penting dalam perlakuan seseorang. Jadi, apabila watak Junaidah sedang ‘menyabung’ (mengangkat kaki sambil tidur meniarap) adalah sedikit ofensif dari sudut budaya Melayu. Sesuatu yang amat tidak wajar dalam kita menghormati P Ramlee ikon seni negara dan bangsa Melayu tersohor dan tiada galang gantinya. Ia mungkin tidak menjadi salah dalam hukum berteater tetapi beberapa penonton celik teater mengatakan perkara sama.

below this, i have the text from my executive producer's message in the P.Ramlee Musical programme book that Siti can't seem to understand. my 8 year old son had an opinion to share after reading my message, and we debated the challenges i mentioned in the piece, but it obviously went over some other people's heads... what to do, what to do?

tiara's executive producer's message :

When producing a subject as highly loved and respected as P.Ramlee, we can only hope to make the story work for his many, many fans and aim to produce a good representation of his life and at the same time add a touch of creativity so it's attractive, entertaining and "today" enough for a young audience.

It's unbelievable that Malaysia has undergone so many changes and yet today, 35 years after the passing of P.Ramlee, his films still make you laugh and cry, and everyone can sing along to all his songs and quote lines from his films, as if his words have been etched in our minds indelibly.

On the night of our final performance at the Esplanade in Singapore, we're having a team huddle backstage 15 minutes before curtains go up. It's been a very challenging week, with technical rehearsals running for 14 hours a day. The cast and ensemble are still on a high from receiving nightly standing ovations, yet I can tell they are running on reserve battery by now. Guys, I said, we're almost at the finishing line, we can see the goal right in front of us, let's end with a huge bang! Remember why we're doing this. This is our tribute, as the Anak Seni who have inherited the legacy of the great Master we never met. We're doing this so people will know his story, why he is such a legend, so that no matter how we evolve as a nation, P.Ramlee's name will never be forgotten.

P.Ramlee reminds us about the challenges of being an artist and achieving greatness – you are loved and revered in your moment of glory, and you are all alone in your moment of despair. His story is also a lesson for us about how art can only survive and thrive in an enabling and supportive environment. Recognition and accolades mean very little when it's too late.

Our hope is that when the curtains come down, every one of you will leave Istana Budaya feeling lifted, and for those who miss and love P.Ramlee as much as we do, a joyful sense of reminiscence.

Laugh, cry and enjoy…

words of inspiration by Maya Angelou

my very very the bosom-buddy ida mariana sent me this. i wanna post it on my blog so i never forget. these are the words of Maya Angelou - poet, educator, historian, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director, rennaissance woman, and one of the most inspiring human being's on God's planet.

By the time she was in her early twenties, Maya Angelou had been a Creole cook, a streetcar conductor, a cocktail waitress, a dancer, a madam, and an unwed mother. The following decades saw her emerge as a successful singer, actress, and playwright, an editor for an English-language magazine in Egypt, a lecturer and civil rights activist, and a popular author of five collections of poetry and five autobiographies. In 1993 Angelou gave a moving reading of her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at Bill Clinton's presidential inauguration, an occasion that gave her wide recognition.

i don't have many women in my life that matter to me, i don't really care to, to be honest, much less unnecessary trouble that way - always - trust me who's been there done that tried almost everything. but i thank my lucky stars for the few women that matter to me - my mom, my daughter mila, my sister carol, and mah sistas noren, ida, mal, cat and sylvia. i am one lucky gal to have you gals in my life.

thanks for sharing, ida, here's one for all the women out there...


enough money within her control to move out
and rent a place of her own, even if she never wants to or needs to...


something perfect to wear if the employer, or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour...


a youth she's content to leave behind....


a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to
retelling it in her old age....


a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra...


one friend who always makes her laugh... and one who lets her cry...


a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family...


eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal, that will make her guests feel honored...


a feeling of control over her destiny.


how to fall in love without losing herself.


how to quit a job, break up with a lover, and confront a friend without; ruining the friendship...


when to try harder... and WHEN TO WALK AWAY...


that she can't change the length of her calves,
the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..


that her childhood may not have been perfect...but its over...


what she would and wouldn't do for love or more...


how to live alone... even if she doesn't like it...


whom she can trust,
whom she can't,
and why she shouldn't take it personally...


where to go...
be it to her best friend's kitchen table...
or a charming inn in the woods...
when her soul needs soothing...


what she can and can't accomplish in a day...
a month...and a year...


i missed watching teong hin's APA KATA HATI, really knocked my head very hard for that as i'd been procrastinating for the longest time as my mind was on P.Ramlee - last thursday when noren, ida, chedd and i finally got together, we found out "apa kata hati" had closed the day before. dang...

we were already so geared up to watch a movie, we went ahead and watched a movie anyway, noren chose "Made Of Honour" - good choice! i SO heart patrick dempsey... never mind that it was like a male version of My Best Friend's Wedding cos Dempsey is dem-sex-ay! *palpitations* phew. (now what movie is this about again? oh...)

was invited to Alternate Studio's premiere of Sepi last night, that would make it 2 movie nights in a row. i must say it exceeded my expectations in many ways.

for a start, i loved afdlin's portrayal of Adam the chef who specializes in making wedding cakes. he made what wd have been rather clunky dialogue very, very comfortable and natural. i laughed so, so much.

loved Nasha as the andartu Suzie - so unexpected of nasha and she did amazingly well, i couldn't tell she was just acting, she played ditsy so well. whod've thought she'd be cut out for comedy like that man.

pacai's music score was fun and featured many beautiful songs (ok including my all-time favorite, anuar zain's "mungkin", so that's cheating a bit i guess) but sometimes it felt as though the songs and the score were a bit overwhelming at times. still, i think it's refreshing to have ppl like pacai in the business to give the others a run for their money.

tony yusoff put on a very commendable performance as Sufi, and he managed to overcome the rather uncomfortably clunky dialogue by having less words to say and more acting instead. funny how you can tell the "real" actors who have been stage-exposed and trained vs the "pop" stars especially when they're laid out next to each other like that.

the story had 3 parts to it, "adam", "sufi" and "imaan". the "imaan" section, to me was the weak link of what would have been an otherwise completely enjoyable movie. was contrived in parts, sometimes i felt it tried too much to be an "arthouse" film, trying to be poetic and theatrical and all. no harm done really, when the actors can pull it off successfully. the actress who played imaan, baizura kahar, might need a few more lessons in serious acting, maybe try her hand at seriously reading poetry aloud, before attempting such a role. another thing that really distracts me in a film that really annoys me, is when an actor wears a wig that LOOKS like a wig. in LOVE, kabir's previous movie, i didn't mind and couldn't tell that acha was wearing a wig, and it turns out later that her character wore a wig to hide her falling hair and not just for vanity. wait a minute if imaan wore the wig for vanity she was ill advised man.. someone shoot the hairstylist. quick. i was ready to be a little moved by the scene of her in a coma in hospital but kept being distracted by that silly wig that was off centre too for some reason, sigh. enuf said about imaan and the wig.

some beautifully executed bits of acting throughout the film though. i found the afdlin - vanidah scenes to be most enjoyable, and found myself smiling, laughing and tearing here and there. i liked eja as marya most when she played makcik marya who came back to look for sufi at their usual rendezvous spot but found out he had died. didnt like her character as the young marya vey much though.

in conclusion, i think it's worth a watch for sure. the film was held together by time-tested actors who proved they are dependable and can deliver the goods. the younger actors will have to pay their dues just as the ejas and nashas and tiara jacquelinas of the world did, i guess, and come back in another 5 years. minus the wigs.

Friday, 20 June 2008

st.mary's school, re-visited!

lets see if anyone of you can spot me in these photos from the dark ages, ha ha! man, i don't think any talent scout would have looked twice at me the way i looked then. sheesh. but hey, that's when it all started for moi okay, not long after the photo above was taken. who'd have known eh. so there's hope for anyone, i always said that, as long as you're determined as hell. or as determined as tiara jacquelina lah at least.

i look back on my formative years in secondary school with mostly fond memories of what a crazy time i had every single day of my schooling life. i was always, always, up to something, there was always something to look forward to every day - choreographing the school cheer team, organizing the form 4 variety shows, rehearsing skits for teacher's day, preparing for inter-school debate etc. oh, did i mention i found some time to attend classes in between too now and again, ha ha!

life was GOOOOOD... i have no regrets.

the teacher in charge of organizing the upcoming school musical "Phantom Of The Opera", Mrs Charangeet, wrote to me asking if i could be guest of honour for the event on the 28th June 2008. I said yes, of course, for the alma mater, for God and for School and all that. Its the least i could have done for the institution i spent 12 good years at, that shaped me into the person i've somehow "transformed" into.

i did say that i would be happy to meet the girls just to talk to them and hopefully inspire them in some obscure way or another. i love meeting students, they're the only hope we have of having some kind of a decent future for this country, sigh..

well, firstly, i insisted she put together a group of the students and teachers that wd be putting Phantom together to come watch P.Ramlee whilst it was still running at I.B. something told me from my sms conversations with this kind lady that she had not much of an idea who i was, and had never watched a single film or play i'd ever produced, and only knew me as a malaysian actress that once studied at st. mary's. i don't blame her, teaching is a full-on deal okay. i'm glad they made it, mainly so at least when i finally meet them them they'd at least have some kind of an idea who once tread those boards!

anyway, last wednesday, i forced myself to get out of bed early enough to get to st. mary's just before recess time. thats EARLY by my standards. NO LIKE-UM EARLY MORNINGS, NA-UH! this was post-p.ramlee recovery week for me, as well. but for God and for School(thats part of the school song by the way...), i made it...

walking into the school hall where rehearsals were under way, was like a huge blast from the past. just seeing the eager, confident young faces that morning, i felt proud to have passed through this school once. the girls made me feel so welcome, and had a million questions for me that morning. what was your favorite memory of st. mary's? how did you juggle between studies and extra curricular? which person was your biggest inspiration when you were in school? bless them.

i don't remember everything i told them, but this is one thing i do remember.. i told them about how i took advantage of being in a multi-racial school by mixing with EVERYONE.

well, if anyone wants to join me in supporting young talent, potential stars of tomorrow, i'll be attending St. Mary's (in Selayang) Phantom Of The Opera on 28th June at 8pm, at the school hall.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

remembering Hani Mohsin (happy birthday...)

hani mohsin hanafi (18.06.65 - 25-07-06)

remembering a wonderful loving father, loyal and faithful friend, and one of the silver screen's most luminous talents ever, on what would have been his 43rd birthday.

just as P.Ramlee, you may be gone, but will never be forgotten...


Saturday, 14 June 2008

the death of a national hero - will we ever learn?

(edited and re-posted)

The curtains have finally come down on P.Ramlee – The Musical, season two, after 24 gruelling performances in K.L. as well as Singapore. It’s been a full-on few weeks for us, and tonight was a particularly emotional final night’s performance for the cast, especially for Musly Ramlee. For him, telling the life story of the man he idolizes so much, is more than just playing a role, and when he removed his “fat suit” for the last time after the play ended, he was in uncontrollable tears, which deeply moved everyone backstage that night.

For me, it’s been a few weeks of laughing and crying every night and watching a bunch of amazing talent and energy at work onstage, giving their very best for every performance.

I must share with you the moments that stay with me the most each night I leave the theatre. Sure, I love the funny moments in the show like when Ramlee marries Junaidah, when the Shaw Brothers do their thing, when Saloma enters the studio with her big white sunglasses and sings Senandung Kasih with Ramlee, and then the magical “Gelora” scene when they fall in love. But what really stays with me and affects me the most are the scenes starting from where the MFP (Malay Film Productions) studio closes down, and the Shaw brothers tell P.Ramlee he is being transferred to Merdeka Studio in Kuala Lumpur. Its heartbreaking for me being a artiste myself, to see the pain in Musly's eyes, playing P.Ramlee, seeing his whole world fall apart, with the passing of that order. The rest of the play then shows the beginning of the downfall of a genius, and his films, his music and the passion he dedicated his life to.

Moving to Kuala Lumpur and trying to recreate the same magic as in Singapore, was the most frustrating and heartbreaking point in P.Ramlee's life. In Singapore, all the enabling factors for him to create good work were in place. In KL, he lacked the support of the management of Merdeka Studio, budgets were cut, and politics killed the spirit of our most creative and talented star ever. Most heartbreaking was when we heard about an incident where the great P.Ramlee was actually BOO-ed off the stage during a performance at the Chin Woo stadium. This was the once great man who has 66 films and 300 unforgettable songs to his name; the man a queen left her palace for, the man whose life story my friends and I have chosen to share with the generations of today and tomorrow.

P.Ramlee was a success because he was "color blind" and made films that Malaysians and Singaporeans of all races could relate to and willingly came together to support. He was not perfect, just like any of us mortals, but he was good at what he did and he could rally a one-ness in spirit no filmmaker or artist can today. Then came the separation, and with it, all the chaos that follows when a country's political and economical situation is in crisis. As a result, nobody was interested anymore in doing anything for the film industry.

P.Ramlee was a victim of the changing of times. What’s intriguing is, did he have the ability to re-invent himself to go with the flow of change? It seemed inconceivable with the enormity of his talent and creativity that he could have been that easily defeated. He would have been one of those that could have mastered that change. But I believe it wasn’t just that challenge of change that he had to deal with, it was all the other exogenous factors that were the breaking point for him – the jealousy, politicking, BUREAUCRACY (sigh, why is this strangely familiar even TODAY...) the back-biting and the system that failed to support him.

P.Ramlee was a true artist who lived and breathed for his art. He was marginalized by people who were not driven by the same passion, spirit and commitment he had. They could not take the industry further themselves. They were just destructive, the kind of people who trip others and humiliate them when they fall.

When I think about what worked for both Puteri Gunung Ledang as well as P.Ramlee (the two stage musicals), it had a lot to do with our being able to bring the best people together, working in harmony towards a common cause.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could turn back time and create the same environment for P.Ramlee in his day, getting people to rise above their personal egos, pride and other agenda, and to work together cohesively for the good of the higher purpose, the industry.

The killer of all killers though, has to be this evil demon called “Dengki”. I don't know why some people seem to have perfected the art of practicing it, when they should have instead focused their energies on improving themselves. It has nothing to do with the spirit of competition, not in a fair sense, anyway. It existed back then, and the sad thing is that it still exists today - in business, entertainment and not to mention politics! It has to do with the tragic mindset of "if I don't make it, nobody else should!"

I wish they would realize what we really need is to create more CHAMPIONS, more success stories, and provide a supportive environment for those with genuine talent, belief and commitment to thrive. This way, we will have the pleasure of seeing those who are capable to be inspired, encouraged and fully realize their potential, and hopefully this will create many more great Malaysians like P.Ramlee.

Greatness is not always meant to be recognized during one's lifetime, I guess, just as in the case of other geniuses like Van Gogh and Mozart. If I may take this to a “bigger-picture” level, we should take a leaf out of the sad ending of P.Ramlee’s life story. Let it be a lesson to us about being grateful for and appreciative of what our country has been blessed with. We are far luckier than many of our neighbours to be free from continuous natural disasters and worse still, political and economic disasters. It could easily happen if we don't wake up and smell the roses whilst they're in bloom. I love this country and I would do anything for it, from my tiny insignificant corner. There's still today, and tomorrow, for us to cherish what we have now.

As the "Shaw Brothers" sang in the musical, "otherwise, what more can we do?" (What to do?) Sigh...

Friday, 13 June 2008

Encore performance for P.Ramlee!

P.Ramlee – The Musical has performed 16 shows as of last night, to
around 21,500 people of all age groups, races and religions. Some came
from as far as Penang, the east coast and even from across the
causeway after reading news and reviews.

I of course am the proudest person of my team of 200 something actors,
ensemble, creatives, musicians, graphic designers, production
management personnel, set design and construction team, technical
personnel, wardrobe, makeup, hair, front of house, admin and corporate
liaison etc. Success like this does not happen by luck or by chance
but only through sheer team dedication and belief in one cause.

Last night, the cast of P.Ramlee - the Musical performed for no less
than Her Majesty the Queen, as well as for our most honorable Prime
Minister and his wife. That was for all of us, the biggest thrill of
this season so far.

That is, until Dato' Sri Shazalli Ramly called Ibrahim up to say, "If
you cannot make a corporate night available for me (because tickets
were almost completely sold out as of last Friday, can you do an
encore performance for Celcom?"

There is no bigger compliment for any group of performers than to be
asked to do an encore performance, and Enfiniti is very thrilled to
have Celcom as one of our sponsors and to put on a most unforgettable
encore performance for Celcom's customers.


KUALA LUMPUR, 12 JUNE 2008 – As a gesture of appreciation to its customers, Celcom (Malaysia) Berhad has extended the P. Ramlee the Musical show one more night. All Celcom customers will be able to enjoy 30% discount on all P. Ramlee the Musical ticket prices just by showing the ‘My Celcom’ on their mobile phone screens at Istana Budaya on 15 June 2008.

The discounted prices of the tickets are listed below :
Normal price (RM)
inclusive of service fee Discounted price of 30%
inclusive of service fee
rm33.00 = 12.00
rm53.00 = 38.00
rm83.00 = 59.00
rm123.00= 87.00
rm153.00= 108.00
rm183.00= 129.00
rm203.00= 143.00

In addition, Celcom will be rewarding its Premiere customers with free tickets to a “One Night Only” engagement of the much acclaimed P. Ramlee the Musical on that day.

Celcom’s Premier membership is by invitation and based on customers’ usage, good payment record and tenure.
During the show on 15 June, Celcom will also host an exclusive evening cocktail for its Premiere customers and will showcase its products and services such as its BlackBerry solutions.

Elaborating on Celcom’s decision to host this exclusive ‘one night’ only event, Dato’ Sri Shazalli Ramly, Chief Executive Officer of Celcom (Malaysia) Berhad explained, “We are always looking at ways to reward our customers for their continued loyalty to Celcom, so what better way to reward them by giving them an opportunity to watch this acclaimed show live and in person.”

“The response P. Ramlee the Musical has received from the public is a testament to the quality of its production, and Celcom is excited to be able to organise this exclusive engagement for our valued customers,” Dato’ Sri Shazalli added.

The second season of P. Ramlee the Musical is back by popular demand at Istana Budaya and began its run on 28 May 2008 and will end on 14 June 2008. The main cast of P. Ramlee the Musical Season 2 includes some of the brightest and talented stars in the Malaysian entertainment scene which include :
- Musly Ramlee as P. Ramlee
- Liza Hanim as Saloma
- Melissa Saila as Noorizan
- Atilia as Junaidah
- Emelda as Azizah

Recently, the show received 10 nominations at the recent announcement of the BOH Cameronian Awards for 2008. Among the awards it was nominated for included Best Director for Adlin Ramlie and Zahim Albakri as well as nominations for Sean Ghazi and Liza Hanim, both of whom received nominations for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

P. Ramlee the Musical is produced by Datin Seri Tiara Jacquelina and is directed by Adlin Ramlie.

The PM and THE QUEEN came to watch P.Ramlee - KEWWWWLLLL!

Abdullah catches P. Ramlee musical

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his wife Datin Paduka Seri Jeanne Abdullah attended P. Ramlee The Musical last night at the Istana Budaya.

The guest of honour was Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah. Also present was Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

The musical is about the lives, loves and inspiration of famed actor Tan Sri P. Ramlee, who died 35 years ago.

Later, at a private tea session during the intermission, musical executive producer Datin Seri Tiara Jacquelina unveiled a coffee-table book, P. Ramlee The Musical, and presented it to Tuanku Nur Zahirah.

A copy was also presented to the prime minister.
The book is an account of the behind-the-scenes production of the musical.


Datin Seri Tiara Jacquelina (right) presenting the 'P. Ramlee The Musical' book to Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his wife Datin Paduka Seri Jeanne Abdullah yesterday.

P.Ramlee The Musical pop singles album

limited copies of this album containing 3 singles, "leka" by Atilia, "Andai Ada Kesempatan" by Liza Hanim as well as "Mulanya Cinta" by Siti Nurhaliza, including 2 music videoclips and "the making of P.Ramlee The Musical" available til 15th june. We are working on the full original cast recording of the show right now but cannot confirm when it will be finally released!

creativity and artistic exposure can develop the mind... and help you in maths!

i dropped in on irfan khairi's blog to thank him for posting such a generous review of P.Ramlee - The Musical, and decided i'd copy the comments to post it on my blog too.

its always been a personal mission of mine to encourage more Malaysians to explore their creative side and see how being creative can help open our minds to many different possibilities and alternatives, especially to do with problem solving and finding creative solutions.

most ppl don't see the connection but i'll tell you a secret about myself in school. i was a maths failure in form 4, i just couldn't figure out why and had almost given up. then i decided to take up art and got really into it, form 4 being "honeymoon" year and all, and one day, it all fell into place when i took a step back and found that maths was not a problem as it seemed, it was just concepts and patterns and recognizing them, and after that maths became fun, tackling any kind of algebra was a fun challenge i looked fwd to and by the time i got to do my spm, i got an A2 for maths and that's a far cry from my no-hope results in form 4! that's why i absolutely believe in exposing children to all forms of art and creativity right from a very young age.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

behind-the-scenes at P.Ramlee-The Musical coffee table book

finally!!!! this book has been almost 7 months in the making, and is a journal of our experience putting together the musical from scratch, and charts our journey through seasons 1 and 2, as well as singapore. it will go on sale at istana budaya from FRIDAY 13th June through the rest of our run til 15th June, afetr which it will go on sale at MPH outlets nationwide. enjoy!

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

teamwork wins championships...

in michael jordan's words" “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”

i'm dedicating my day off work today to updating my blog. last saturday, i decided to watch P.Ramlee from a different seat in the audience. i have always wondered what the show would look like from right up close, so chose to sit right behind the main keyboardist and conductor, the talented young Jason Voo.

this must be the best seat in the house, in my opinion. if you appreciate watching talent, energy and focus at work, that is. i could see from right up close, just how every single member of the cast, ensemble, musicians and even the "transformers", really give their all both onstage as well as off. the energy coming from the stage and from the orchestra pit is so infectious one can't help but whoop and cheer them on. i watch in awe at this group of 70 onstage and the 11musicians and 8back-up vocalists who have been performing 11 shows in a row since the 29th may, and am amazed at how dedicated every one of them are to their job, telling the story of the rise and fall of Malaysia's greatest entertainment icon.

in a production like p.ramlee, what you don't see from just being in the audience is just what it takes for every single one of the many, many elements in the whole production to happen at exactly the right time, on cue, or we fail. if at any one time, ANYONE decides it going to be his "day off", and he or she switches off for even a split second, forgets a line, messes up a music cue, forgets a dance move, forgets to run onstage, wears the wrong outfit, touch wood lah of course.. or even the guy you DON'T see onstage, the back projection operators Danny Hoo and team, imagine if they put on the wrong slide or played the projection late, or if Pat Gui or any of her super stage management team "switched off" and lost focus for even a split second and forgot to cue oneof the sets to come flying down or to be pushed on, that would be unforgiveable. but every one of the 200 people in the production know just how their part no matter how big or small is so integral to the success of the whole production.

i'm watching every single show and usually have my mobile phone handy so i can take notes on little details we need to fix - timig of the train coming in, norizan's bra back that bugged me cos i can't help but notice it (tks shada for fixing this!), the azizah-ramlee duet, watching out for details like whether baby erin's side slits show off too mck leg, whether musly looks good in all his outfits in each scene, actors audio levels in specific scenes etc. and everyone knows i'm watching and taking notes when they see me whip out my infamous bling baby mid-way through a performance. nothing escapes me, and they know i'm there to keep everyone on their oes and i do this cos i want the show to be absolutely perfect and i expect nothing short of PERFECT. i don't think we will come across the opportunity to do something like this very often, not unless we get a special grant for it or something falls out from the sky, so i want us to deserve the credit and accolades and not feel we cold have done better.

i watch the show and i must say i am so proud of everyone involved in making P.Ramlee-the Musical the show everybody calls "world class" and the show that proves Malaysia Boleh. hats off to you, cast, emsemble, stage management crew, transformers, musicians, projection team, sound team, lights, front of house, enfiniti's production maagement team, and the talented bunch of ppl i call my creatives. you are the reason why we ROCK.

Earvin Magic Johnson said this: “Everybody on a championship team doesn't get publicity, but everyone can say he's a champion.”

Monday, 9 June 2008

Cancer warriors and the gung-ho spirit of St. Mary's girls...

i had two very special groups of guests at yesterday's matinee show for P.Ramlee. one group consisted of 10 teachers and students from my former school, St. Mary's, who have recently approached me to help them out as adviser for the school's staging of Phantom of The Opera. The other group was a special group of cheerful ladies, cancer warriors and survivors, members of a support group called Cancer Care Subang Jaya.

looking at the girls in the group from St.Mary's, i was reminded of my days as a secondary school student, always wanting to make a difference and trying to stand out from the others even from my school days! i stumbled upon one of the girls' blogs one day by accident, as it came through mu google alerts for P.Ramlee. i smiled as i reflected on how i must have come across myself, as this 16year old, too-smart-for-you and overly confident kid who used to annoy the lights out of my teachers who had written me off as a no-hoper. i insisted they come to watch the show before i accepted their invitation to be their president/adviser for the school musical, and insisted they do a special backstage tour so they know what it really takes to put on a decent show. it takes more that mere guts and confidence to put on a show, i learnt that.

i had two very special groups of guests at yesterday's matinee show for P.Ramlee. one group consisted of 10 teachers and students from my former school, St. Mary's, who have recently approached me to help them out as adviser for the school's staging of Phantom of The Opera. The other group was a special group of cheerful ladies, cancer warriors and survivors, members of a support group called Cancer Care Subang Jaya.

looking at the girls in the group from St.Mary's, i was reminded of my days as a secondary school student, always wanting to make a difference and trying to stand out from the others even from my school days! i stumbled upon one of the girls' blogs one day by accident, as it came through mu google alerts for P.Ramlee. i smiled as i reflected on how i must have come across myself, as this 16year old, too-smart-for-you and overly confident kid who used to annoy the lights out of my teachers who had written me off as a no-hoper. i insisted they come to watch the show before i accepted their invitation to be their president/adviser for the school musical, and insisted they do a special backstage tour so they know what it really takes to put on a decent show. it takes more that mere guts and confidence to put on a show, i learnt that.

the ladies from the cancer care group though... Khadijah,Dr Salmah, Eva Arriffin,Jessica Loon,Audrey Tang,Geok Bee,Geok Chu,Habsah,Azizah...what a spirited bunch! meeting them after the show really made my day. i must thank khadijah and her husband Yeong (whom Khadijah says enjoyed the show so much he didn't fall asleep for the first time, yay!) for bringing the group of ladies of all races to the show. some of them said this was their first outing after such a long, long time, and they enjoyed themselves so much. that makes my work so so meaningful, if i can bring smiles to a group of special people like these. i loved how the support group is all about a group of people who get together to give each other hope and strength and cheer each other on,regardless of race and religion. i've attended a few of their get-togethers too myself, and have been inspired by the spirit of comraderie in the group. one of them asked me, when are you bringing Puteri Gunung Ledang back? i hope i will be fully recovered by then, to come watch you again. love that spirit, ladies, keep smiling!

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Johan Jaafar, hanging out with the boys at Dewan Bahasa and Tati's tarts...

my big brother Datuk Johan Jaafar who has always been my unofficial inspiration in wanting to do admirable work for the theatre, has given us a glowing review and critique of the show in his weekly column in today's NST...YAAAAAYYYY! i've been a fan of J.J's since he staged Salina, and always fancied that someday to crown my acting career i wanted to play that role that Fauziah Nawi pulled off so well. we somehow became "pals" over several teh tariks when i used to be "one of the boys" acting in plays directed by Zakaria Ariffin for Dewan Bahasa in the mid-1990's.

i had some good times then, doing "Raja Lawak" and "Perempuan Seorang Leftenan Inggeris" with "the boys". i smile when i think of how i tried to blend in with the DBP boys like Imuda, Sabri Yunos, Jalil Hamid and Wahab Hamzah and stay as grounded as possible. it was really some good times, i must say, my first experience traveling with a theatre group to do shows all over the country. they even nicknamed me "Harun" back then can you believe it, just so they wouldn't feel awkward having one odd girl in the group. thank goodness i wasn't much to look at back then, and blended in effortlessly as one of the boys cos i was just such a tomboy, back then. life was simple. we did it just for the pleasure of promoting theatre to audiences all over the country. and the highlight of every performance would be our "audience" with J.J over Teh Tarik at Benteng. (bet none of you can picture me hanging out at Benteng now eh?)

anyway, i'm rushing off to istana budaya now to open the matinee show, whilst reflecting on my humble beginnings, glowing from reading the NST today and munching on some drop-dead home made yummy pineapple tarts a friend/fan of mine named Hartati brought to istana budaya to give me after the show... thank you tati!

and to my mentor Johan Jaafar, i owe you for inspiring me, man.. hope i make you proud!

JOHAN JAAFFAR: Finally, P. Ramlee gets the treatment he deserves

INFINITY Productions' latest offering, P. Ramlee the Musical, is lavish, stylish and classy. It is also smart and entertaining. It has all the attributes of a world-class production, not to mention an ensemble of probably the best and brightest in stage production, acting, music, choreography and design. Little wonder it sets a new marker in theatre excellence in the country.

Should we care about the man at the centre of the production? We love tragic heroes and P. Ramlee is one of them. Probably one of the most talented artistes in the history of the Malays, he died at the relatively young age of 44 (1929-1973).

But he was no longer in his prime some years before his death. P. Ramlee was a fading star, booed by younger audiences in concerts, marginalised by the artistic fraternity and more often than not, was facing financial difficulties.

Yet in his heyday, P. Ramlee acted in many memorable films, directed some of the greatest movies the land has ever known and composed and sang some of the most popular tunes ever heard.

P. Ramlee was a flawed hero and his life story was more dramatic than those he depicted, perhaps even sadder. He represented the underdog facing insurmountable challenges from the establishment, the Bangsawan and the rich. P. Ramlee was Amran in Penarik Beca, Ghazali in Antara Dua Darjat and Kassim Selamat in Ibu Mertuaku. These characters were perfect for P. Ramlee and he was at his acting best in them.
Sadly, he became the characters he played in the movies. Just read what Nasir P. Ramlee wrote in the heart-wrenching Bapaku P. Ramlee (P. Ramlee, My Father).

In Hollywood, Nasir could have lived on the royalties from his father's works. In the book, he narrated an anecdote of how he and his step-mother had lived after P. Ramlee's death. There was a time when Nasir asked for money from Saloma. Saloma told him to meet her at P. Ramlee's favourite coffee shop belonging to Ah Lek. She took out RM40 from her wallet. "This is all I have Nasir, take half."

No, you won't find this episode in P. Ramlee the Musical. After all, the musical is about P. Ramlee's foray into the world of entertainment. And his greatest achievements and disappointments in his relatively short career in show business.

Nasir did not even feature in the musical. But Junaidah, his mother, was. So, too, Saloma. The two women certainly had a great influence on P. Ramlee. Junaidah, his first wife, bore him his only son, Nasir, and Saloma was at his deathbed. In between, he married Norizan, who left the comfort and security of the palace to be with him. The real life Norizan died a broken and poor woman.

How would you render on stage such a complex personality as P. Ramlee? And to convince the audience that P. Ramlee was more than just another handsome face illuminating the world of show business in his time? The actor has to be credible for P. Ramlee was the embodiment of the most remarkable and the sorriest states in Malay entertainment.

Despite P. Ramlee's reputation, there had been no serious attempt to bring his story to the stage or film. Perhaps P. Ramlee is an icon unlike any other.

One could simply pick up the sensational elements of his life, which were many, and exaggerate them. In a musical, even tidbits glitter. But the creative people who staged the musical at Istana Budaya (which is still running) realised the explosive nature of their subject.

Understandably, the musical took liberties with the facts at times but it always stayed true to the spirit of the legend. What we see is a simulacra of images and representations, in a form of a condensed life history of a man so extremely talented yet dangerously vulnerable. The musical does not judge the man nor eulogise him.

A strong case for the musical, which is directed by Adlin Aman Ramlie, is the fact that P. Ramlee was too human despite his incredible talent. You will be disappointed if you believe the musical will help bare the character, warts and all. After all, this is no Stanislavskian attempt at method acting.

The actor who played the part (Musly Ramlee) was not trying to show his behavioural ticks and all to a discernible audience. He was just playing P. Ramlee to entertain the audience. He did a good job at that, mimicking P. Ramlee's signature gestures and mannerisms, not to mention the uncanny resemblance of his voice to the maestro himself.

Credit should be given to the ladies playing the roles of P. Ramlee's women. Liza Hanim, of course, gave an award-winning performance as Saloma. You can feel the chemistry between her and Musly. In one scene at a garden, they were love birds with the correct moves, steps and dialogue to remind us of P. Ramlee's moment of personal satisfaction in the presence of the woman who mattered most to him, Saloma. Liza is so convincing and believable she is almost an incarnation of Saloma herself on stage.

Melissa Saila seldom fails us as an actor. There is little space for her to prove her worth in the musical, but in the scene when Norizan explodes emotionally in front of the man she loves blindly, one sees her true talent. It was probably one of the most memorable scenes in Malaysian theatre.

Atilia as Junaidah has little to work with, so, too, Emelda Rosmila playing Azizah. Azizah was an enigma in P. Ramlee's life but Junaidah was probably a mismatch in the time when P. Ramlee's ascending popularity demanded sacrifices -- Junaidah being young and jealous could not provide that. But both Atilia and Emelda gave their best to convince us that good acting is not just about pretty faces but talent as well.

P. Ramlee should be proud to know that he is remembered with respect by the actors who played him and the people he encountered. Some of those people were unkind to him, but at least Malaysians will kindly remember him as the best thing that has happened to the Malay entertainment industry.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Gremlins in the theatre, TV Smith's pix and NST review of P.Ramlee Musical

thought i'd combine this entry with a review by NST as well as photos from TV smith's Dua Sen blogzine...i must say this brightened up my night after i got home depressed after a technical glitch and mic failure at the P.Ramlee musical dampened my spirits. Thanks too to my kakak Faridah Merican who told me to keep my chin up, "that's Malaysian live theatre for you," she says, "always full of surprises!"

thanks, TV, and thanks too, dennis!

Ramlee, once more


Only better with a new actor impersonator, music director and truer-to-life Azizah. DENNIS CHUA is talking about the second run of the hit play, P. Ramlee The Musical.

IF the first staging of P. Ramlee The Musical... The Life, The Loves And The Inspiration last year was a blast, its second is equally a runaway success, if not more, so.

While executive producer Datin Seri Tiara Jacquelina and Enfiniti Productions stuck to the formula which made the musical’s first run a monster hit last year, the second one introduces new elements which are as good as its predecessor.

First, in place of the London’s West End trained Sean Ghazi is Musly Ramlee, who is as close to Tan Sri P. Ramlee as Sir Ben Kingsley was to Mohandas Gandhi.

The 40-year-old from Teluk Intan, Perak, who was first introduced to the audience during the musical’s tour of Singapore last month, is one of the country’s most respected Ramlee impersonators.
Musly, whose parents were friends of Ramlee, first found fame winning the Bintang P. Ramlee contest in 1996 and has appeared in P. Ramlee tribute concerts ever since.

Second, in place of pop queen Datuk Siti Nurhaliza is Emelda Rosmila as Ramlee’s first love Azizah.

Third, in place of Indonesian maestro Erwin Gutawa is Roslan Aziz as the music director.

Roslan, a fan of Ramlee, has added new musical scenes to spruce up the show, and together with directors Adlin Aman Ramlie and Zahim Albakri, has given the characters more expressive and animated gestures reminiscent of Ramlee’s romantic comedies.

P. Ramlee The Musical which returned to Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur, on May 28, a day before the King of Entertainment’s 35th death anniversary, trims Ramlee’s story down to that of a screen idol longing to be loved.

Much of the retro-oriented props in the first outing remain this time round. There are props “carbon-copied” from Ramlee films, footage of his films, his movie posters and “Ramlee newspaper reports”, accurate retro-fashion, stage technology which changes scenes by elevation, curtains emerging from all sides and credits in black-and-white.

An improvement to the props is newspaper reports of historical events that coincide with the milestones in Ramlee’s life. They include the formation of Malaysia (1963), the Indonesian Confrontation (1963) and the Singapore Separation (1965).

The story begins and ends in 1973, with Ramlee’s last days at the Jalan Dedap bungalow in Kuala Lumpur that is now a memorial museum. Pudgy and tired, he is seen busily composing his last hit song Air Mata Di Kuala Lumpur as a thunderstorm roars outside.

Ramlee retires to his favourite sofa and is joined by his third wife and soul mate Saloma (Liza Hanim), who assures him that the country will never forget him once he is gone.

Ramlee’s sadness slowly turns into a smile, as he reminisces on his journey to stardom beginning in Penang 36 years earlier.

Back then, a suave, 20-something Ramlee, wins a talent contest in Bukit Mertajam with his first hit Azizah, composed with his childhood sweetheart in mind.

Film director B. S. Rajhans (Joseph Gonzales) who works with the Shaw Brothers’ Malay Film Productions in Singapore, invites Ramlee to pursue an acting and singing career in Singapore.

Ramlee is heavy-hearted as this means leaving Azizah, but she encourages him to reach for the stars.

Joined by his best pal Sukardi (Chedd Yusoff of So You Think You Can Dance?), Ramlee boards a Singapore-bound train, and ends up at the Jalan Ampas studio.

The first season’s scene of a teenage Ramlee, Sukardi and Azizah in Penang is done away with. Instead, the scene of Ramlee’s studio debut is prolonged to feature him singing, dancing and acting to newly-created songs.

Musly may not have the booming vocals of Sean to carry the original numbers penned by Adlin, but he proves superior when performing Ramlee’s songs. His gestures, accent, hairstyle and whiskers are vintage Ramlee, and fans may be forgiven for thinking Ramlee was his real-life relative.

Musly’s Ramlee has better chemistry with Liza Hanim’s Saloma than Sean’s Ramlee (who had better chemistry with Melissa Saila’s Norizan). He makes their courtship on the set of Bujang Lapok look so real.

In a nutshell, watching Musly’s version of P. Ramlee The Musical is a must.

• P. Ramlee The Musical runs until June 14. Call 03-7711 5000 for tickets.

Monday, 2 June 2008

P.Ramlee the Musical m-online review

Jiwa Musly sebati jadi P. Ramlee
29-05-2008 12:27:02 PM

MASIH terngiang dan terbayang lagi lakonan mantap pelakon-pelakon Teater Muzikal P. Ramlee..Kehidupan, Percintaan dan Inspirasi (PRTM) ketika pertama kali dipentaskan di Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur pada bulan Oktober tahun lalu.

Lebih-lebih lagi lakonan bermakna daripada Melissa Saila, Liza Hanim dan Sean Ghazi yang membawa watak Allahyarham P. Ramlee di bawah arahan pengarah dan pelakon Adlin Aman Ramlie.

Kali ini, masih menggunakan khidmat pengarah yang sama, Enfiniti Productions sekali lagi menerbitkan teater muzikal tersebut dengan pembaharuan yang lebih bermakna.

Memang nampak ketara perubahannya, lebih-lebih lagi apabila menonton pelakon baru iaitu Musly Ramlee melakonkan watak P. Ramlee menggantikan pelakon musim pertama Sean Ghazi.

Ramai yang memuji kredibiliti Musly untuk menghidupkan watak seniman yang dipuja ramai itu. Bayangkanlah, ada segelintir penonton yang sehingga menitiskan air mata apabila menonton lakonan Musly yang mengingatkan mereka kepada P. Ramlee dan dirasakan P. Ramlee seolah-olah 'hidup kembali'.

Walaupun jalan ceritanya tidak banyak yang diubah, namun dari segi pembawakan dan penghayatan watak pelakon baru seperti Musly dan susunan muzik yang lebih mengikut emosi cerita di bawah pimpinan pemuzik tersohor Roslan Aziz serta latar visual dan props yang banyak membantu kesempurnaan teater itu, PRTM seperti pertama kali dipentaskan dan bukannya musim kedua yang mencedok idea musim pertama secara bulat-bulat.

Hal ini sendiri diakui oleh penerbit eksekutifnya, Datin Tiara Jacquelina yang berbangga dan berpuas hati dengan persembahan pertama bermula semalam hingga 14 Jun depan di Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur.

"Persembahan yang 'cantik'. Saya tahu setiap kali teater membuka tirainya, orang akan mempersoalkan tentang kesempurnaan. Memang teater mengejar kesempurnaan tetapi susah untuk mencapai kesempurnaan itu.

"Saya harap apabila penonton yang menonton pada hari ini dapat menghebahkan kepada semua orang bahawa teater kali ini berbeza daripada yang pertama dahulu. Saya dapat merasakan lakonan Musly yang membuatkan teater ini berbeza.

"Saya lihat sambutan penonton pada hari ini pun, saya dah rasa macam nak menangis.Yang istimewanya apabila melihat lakonan Musly. Dia seorang yang tekad, tekun dan bekerja keras. Bayangkanlah, dalam masa enam minggu sahaja dia dapat menghayati watak P. Ramlee dengan baik.

"Kira-kira 80 peratus kumpulan produksi bergantung dengan dia. Dari segi dialog, aksi, bahasa tubuh dan pergerakannya banyak membantu PRTM. Selebihnya diberikan oleh orang lain.

"Saya kira dalam 200 peratus yang dia bagi lebih kepada PRTM selepas balik dari pementasan di Singapura," ujar Tiara selepas PRTM melabuhkan tirai pada hari pertamanya.

Jika PRTM yang pertama dulu, jualan tiket telah habis dijual sebelum tirai pementasan dibuka.

Namun, kali ini penjualan tiket masih dibuka kepada orang ramai dan bagi mereka yang belum berkesempatan untuk menonton PRTM musim pertama dahulu, inilah masanya untuk menyaksikan PRTM yang diberi nafas baru. Memang tak rugi duit kalau menonton!

"Saya rasa PRTM musim kedua ini sedikit mencabar kerana jualan tiket yang tidak sehebat musim pertama dahulu.

"Jadi, ia perlu mengambil masa yang panjang untuk mencapai tahap seperti dahulu," tambah Tiara.

Apabila ditanya kepada Tiara tentang berapa banyak perubahan yang dilakukan sebenarnya?

"Susah saya nak cakap sebab muzikal ini banyak bereksperimentasi dengan muzik. Banyak susunan muzik yang berubah dan PRTM dah jadi seperti cerita baru.

"Kita dah buat lain. Jadi, PRTM kali ini tidaklah dikatakan musim kedua. Selain itu, koreografinya juga baru.

Pelakon lain seperti Douglas Lim (kanan Musly) dan Colin Kirton (kiri Musly) turut membantu menghidupkan PRTM

"Selain itu, lakonan dan lawak Musly yang baru. Dia banyak membuat gaya yang spontan seperti "Apalah terlompat-lompat, macam monyet lah.".

"Skrip tu dia tambah sendiri dan banyak memberi cadangan dengan Adlin untuk menghidupkan watak P. Ramlee. He's so P. Ramlee. Dia 'sebati' macam P. Ramlee," akhiri Tiara yang memuji kejayaan Roslan Aziz ketika mengetuai pemuzik lain mengalunkan 34 buah lagu dalam PRTM.

Antara lagu-lagunya adalah Apakah ada Cinta Darimu Oh Abang Ramlee, Hujan di Tengahari, Hore Hore, Istana Cinta, Di manakah Ku Cari Ganti, Getaran Jiwa, Senandung Kasih, Gelora dan Cinta Berbalas Cinta.

Kali ini, hanya 11 orang pemuzik dan lapan orang penyanyi latar yang diperlukan oleh Roslan untuk menjayakan muzikal tersebut berbanding sekumpulan orkestra yang dibawakan oleh komposer dari Indonesia Erwin Gutawa pada musim lalu.

Musly Ramlee mungkin satu nama yang agak asing bagi peminat teater tanah air. Namun segala persepsi terhadapnya berubah sejak menonton lakonannya sebagai P.Ramlee dalam PRTM 2 malam tadi.

Penulis sempat menemubual beliau di Istana Budaya semalam. Jelas apa yang dapat dikatakan Musly berjaya membawa watak seniman agung, Tan Sri P.Ramlee dengan baik.

Dengan lenggok suara, bahasa tubuh dan rupa saling tidak tumpah dengan lagenda dalam filem Melayu pada zaman kegemilangan studio Jalan Ampas di Singapura ini ternyata Musly punya aura yang membuatkan penonton teruja dengan lakonannya.

Namun kejayaannya yang dicapainya bukan semudah yang disangka. Biarpun kepenatan jelas terbayang namun sinar kegembiraan jelas terpancar diwajahnya setelah selesai tayangan pertama Muzikal P.Ramlee musim kedua.

Menurut Musly, dia cuba memberikan yang terbaik tanpa meniru gaya Sean Ghazi yang membawakan watak seniman agung itu pada PRTM yang pertama.

Biarpun mempunyai masa yang singkat sekitar enam minggu untuk berlatih namun dia berani menanggung risiko untuk membawakan watak idolanya.

“Orang gila sahaja berani terima tawaran melakonkan watak P.Ramlee dalam masa enam minggu. Namun saya teruja ketika mendapat watak tersebut".

“Bukan mudah untuk saya membawakan watak ini namun kerana sifat cinta yang mendalam terhadap karya-karya P.Ramlee saya jadikan ia sebagai cabaran untuk memberi persembahan yang terbaik”.

“Saya rasa bersyukur kepada Allah dan gembira kerana semua orang menghargai karya seniman agung P.Ramlee,” kata Musly.

Musly menyifatkan kejayaan PRTM ini tidak terletak ditangannya seorang.

“Kejayaan hari ini bukan terletak pada saya seorang, rakan-rakan seperjuangan dalam teater ini banyak membantu saya. Tanpa mereka semua saya rasa tidak sempurna pementasan ini”.

PRTM 2 turut dijayakan oleh Melissa Saila (Norizan), Liza Hanim (Saloma), Atilia (Junaidah), Emelda Rosmila (Azizah), Chedd Eddie Yusoff (Sukardi), kumpulan Infinatez (Paparazzi), Douglas Lim (Runme Shaw), Colin Kirton (Run Run Shaw), Joseph Gonzales (BS Rajhans) dan ramai lagi.

Saksikan Teater Muzikal P. Ramlee...Kehidupan, Percintaan dan Inspirasi di Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur bermula 28 Mei hingga 14 Jun depan.

P.Ramlee the Musical review by Berita Harian

Semangat P Ramlee
Oleh Nurulhisham Abdul Latiff

Persembahan teater muzikal 'hidup', dikagumi rakan seperjuangan Allahyarham Seniman Agung

SEBAIK saja nama Musly Ramlee diumumkan sebagai pelakon utama teater P Ramlee..The Musical musim kedua, seluruh tenaga produksi bagai sudah mengerti, tentunya perubahan juga turut berlaku pada persembahan kali ini.

Ini kerana apabila 'terajunya' berubah, maka keseluruhan rentetan muzikal itu dilihat akan tampil berbeza.

Persembahan pembukaan teater muzikal P Ramlee di Istana Budaya pada 28 Mei lalu, mengiyakan segala-gala yang pernah disebut Penerbit Eksekutifnya, Datin Seri Tiara Jacquelina. Ia umpama sebuah pementasan lain, berpaksikan kepada cerita asal yang pernah dipersembahkan pada musim pertama.

Cukup menghiburkan melihat gelagat Musly berdendang, beraksi dan berlawak di pentas berprestij itu sebagai bintang legenda negara yang sudah pun 35 tahun lamanya meninggalkan kita. Malam itu, Tan Sri P Ramlee bagai hidup semula dek keupayaan Musly menjiwai watak artis serba boleh berkenaan.

Disokong muzik yang cukup baik, biarpun hanya dimainkan sebelas orang, rakan lakon yang sama-sama cemerlang menghidupkan cerita, prop menarik lagi meyakinkan yang membawa semula penonton ke dekad 50-an, 60-an dan 70-an, Musly pada detik itu ialah 'bintang' yang penuh suka duka, di sisi wanita utama dalam hidupnya, iaitu Azizah (Emelda Rosmila), Junaidah (Atilia), Norizan (Melissa Saila) dan Saloma (Liza Hanim).
MENGHIBURKAN: Sebahagian aksi menarik pementasan teater P Ramlee The Musical... yang kembali ke Istana Budaya atas permintaan ramai.

Biarpun ucapan tahniah tidak putus-putus diterima sebaik saja pementasan menutup tirai kira-kira tiga jam kemudian, artis yang lahir daripada pertandingan Bintang P Ramlee di Sarawak pada 1996 ini enggan mendabik dada, mengatakan kejayaan pementasan itu miliknya semata-mata.

Sebaliknya, Musly berkata, kemampuan muzikal terbabit memukau perhatian ramai disebabkan kerja keras seluruh anggota pasukan penerbitan, termasuk pelakonnya.

Apatah lagi, dia cukup baru dalam bidang lakonan teater (inilah teater pertamanya). Dia hanya mengenali lakonan pentas kira-kira enam minggu sebelum P Ramlee...The Musical musim kedua dipentaskan. Namun, peluang diberikan Tiara amat dihargainya, kerana bagi pemuda ini, langkah pertama kini sudahpun bermula.

"Saya pernah berkata kepada Tiara, hanya orang gila yang akan menerima tawaran menjayakan watak P Ramlee dalam masa sebulan sebelum ia dipentaskan," katanya yang kini membuktikan, sebagai 'orang gila' itu, kehadirannya di pentas meninggalkan kesan mendalam kepada penonton, termasuk rakan seperjuangan Allahyarham yang turut diundang menyaksikan pementasan pembukaan berkenaan.
RAKAN LAMA: Wahid Satay dan S Shamsuddin turut hadir menonton teater P Ramlee... The Musical.

Biarpun tampak yakin ketika beraksi, dalam dadanya tersimpan debaran kencang. Kata jejaka kelahiran Teluk Intan, Perak ini, sewaktu mula-mula berada di pentas, dia terfikir sendiri, betapa lambatnya masa berjalan daripada satu babak kepada babak seterusnya.

"Tetapi, sebaik saja mendengar tepukan gemuruh penonton, semangat untuk terus memberikan persembahan terbaik semakin mendatang. Sudah tentu saya tidak ingin menggagalkan usaha keras rakan sepasukan yang lain," katanya yang kini difahamkan sudahpun diambil sebagai artis residen Enfiniti Productions, syarikat yang menerbitkan teater ini.

Bersama Enfiniti, dia bakal muncul dalam sebuah program televisyen yang membicarakan pelbagai topik mengenai P Ramlee. Begitupun, masih terlalu awal untuk dia bercerita lanjut mengenai perkembangan baru itu kerana segala-gala masih dalam peringkat perbincangan.

Mengenai kemungkinan wujudnya persoalan mengenai perbandingan cara persembahannya dengan pelakon asal, Sean Ghazi, Musly percaya, setiap manusia mempunyai kebolehan yang berbeza-beza. Seandainya Sean dikurniakan dengan kebolehan dalam bidang lakonan broadway, dia pula lebih terarah kepada kemampuan meniru bintang pujaan ramai itu secara tradisional.

Kassim Masdor kagumi Musly

KEMUNCULANNYA pada musim kedua, umpama menyuntik emosi yang bukan sedikit pada muzikal terbabit. Bukan sekadar cemerlang dalam menghidupkan kembali watak P Ramlee, dengan lenggok badan, tutur percakapan dan suara hampir serupa, dia juga cukup kelakar, seperti sifat sebenar Allahyarham, yang pernah diceritakan rakannya.

Masakan tidak, teman lama P Ramlee sendiri, komposer Kassim Masdor, cukup menghargai lakonan Musly. Katanya, jejaka itu bukan setakat menyerupai seniman agung terbabit dari segi wajah, malah dia juga mampu menyanyi dengan baik.

"Cara dia membawakan watak P Ramlee cukup menarik. Dia bisa menghadirkan rasa suka dan duka dalam lakonannya," kata Kassim yang turut menyukai babak membabitkan watak dirinya dalam muzikal berkenaan.

Tokoh muzik veteran yang sudahpun setahun menetap di Kuala Lumpur ini mengaku, menonton teater muzikal itu membawanya mengimbau sejarah silam ketika dia dan P Ramlee masih aktif dalam bidang seni di Singapura.

Katanya, mengikuti babak demi babak yang dipentaskan, membuatkannya termenung, terkenangkan peristiwa lama.

Sempat berkongsi sedikit cerita, Kassim memberitahu, bintang legenda itu meminta dia dan beberapa teman lain seperti Yusuf B dan S Sudarmaji merahsiakan perkahwinannya dengan Norizan, yang berlangsung di kediaman Musalmah di Jembeling Road, Singapura. Begitupun, lama-kelamaan cerita itu 'pecah' dengan sendiri.

"Apabila P Ramlee berhijrah ke Kuala Lumpur, dia tidak mempunyai pasukan sokongan yang bagus. Kepak beliau bagai sudah patah. Dengan keadaan demikian, kerjayanya semakin suram. Ketika di Singapura, dia mempunyai ramai rakan yang membantu, termasuk saya sendiri yang kadangkala bersengkang mata untuk menyalin semula skor muzik yang digubahnya," kata Kassim.

Pelakon S Shamsudin yang mesra dipanggil Pak Sudin, mengagumi pementasan muzikal ini. Katanya, secara keseluruhan, P Ramlee...The Musical sebuah persembahan menghiburkan dan berjaya membawa mereka kembali ke zaman kegemilangan filem Melayu pada era terdahulu.

"Prop dan lakonan semua bintang utamanya cukup bagus. Semua pelakon lama bagai hidup semula di depan mata apabila saya menontonnya," ujar pelakon yang masih aktif pada usia 80 tahun.

Seniwati Zaiton pula berkata, sudah tentulah cerita yang disampaikan itu tidak lengkap sepenuhnya dek kesuntukan masa dan corak persembahan itu sendiri yang berbentuk muzikal. Namun, sebahagian kisah yang dipaparkan, memang benar-benar terjadi sewaktu hayat P Ramlee masih ada.

"Saya menyukai ceritanya yang cukup hidup dan tidak membosankan. Pada masa yang sama, saya turut berasa sedih apabila teringat kenangan waktu kami masih muda," tutur pelakon yang pernah beraksi di sisi P Ramlee dalam filem Hang Tuah pada 1956.

Memuji kejayaan Liza Hanim membawakan watak Saloma, seorang daripada rakan baiknya, Zaiton juga berasakan teater yang memberikan penghargaan kepada tokoh seni lama harus diperbanyakkan, bukan saja untuk mengingatkan kembali generasi baru kepada bintang lama, malah ia sendiri menyemarakkan lagi dunia teater Melayu di Malaysia dan Singapura.


# P RAMLEE...THE MUSICAL musim kedua dipentaskan di Istana Budaya bermula pada 28 Mei sehingga 14 Jun 2008.

# PELAKON lain yang menjayakan pementasan ini ialah Ched Eddie Yusoff, Colin Kirton, Wan Kanari Ibrahim, Douglas Lim, Joseph Gonzales, Infinatez, Asrul Zaidi Jamaluddin, Lily Zarina Khalil, Zeqhty Nattrah Ramli dan ramai lagi.

# TEATER P Ramlee The Musical diarahkan Adlin Aman Ramlie, dengan dibantu Datuk Zahim Albakri.

# P RAMLEE...The Musical memenangi enam trofi pada Anugerah Seni Boh Cameronian 2007 termasuk Arahan Terbaik, Skrip Asal Terbaik (Bahasa Melayu), Rekaan Set Terbaik, Muzik dan Bunyi Terbaik, Aktres Pembantu Terbaik dan Anugerah Pilihan penonton.

P.Ramlee the Musical review by Kosmo

another review out today, in Kosmo.

Lebih hebat, menyengat


PEMILIHAN Musly Ramlee, 40, sebagai P. Ramlee melatari P. Ramlee The Musical...The Life, The Loves & The Inspiration (PRTM) nyata tidak silap, malah ditafsir langkah terbijak buat Enfiniti Productions Sdn. Bhd.

Ada relevannya, P. Ramlee dan Musly tiada sebarang hubungan saudara, cuma keterujaan dan semangat membara lelaki bernama Musly terhadap idolanya jadi penyebab 'jelmaan' P. Ramlee muncul kembali lalu 'menghantui' Panggung Sari, Istana Budaya, minggu lalu.

PRTM yang dipentaskan untuk kali keduanya di pentas paling berprestij itu menyaksikan Musly, si imitasi P. Ramlee menggantikan tempat Sean Ghazi sebagai watak utama menerusi pementasan musim pertama produksi skala besar ini Oktober lepas.

LAKONAN Liza Hanim kali ini lebih cemerlang sehingga ke tahap maksima.

Usah gusar mahupun bimbang, gaya dan penampilan Musly sahaja saling tidak tumpah seperti Seniman Agung itu.

Barangkali klon P. Ramlee ini dipilih menggalas subjek utama PRTM atas persamaan yang dinyatakan di atas.

Musly punyai kemampuan mendendangkan lagu-lagu P. Ramlee dengan baik, adakalanya lontaran vokal Musly atau nama sebenarnya Musly Amir Mohamed Ramli, mirip penghibur kesayangan ramai yang sudah pergi dan mengadap Tuhan kira-kira 35 tahun lalu.

Enggan membuat sebarang penilaian atau rumusan awal, kedatangan penulis semasa malam pertama persembahan PRTM Rabu lalu sekadar berharap ada 'keajaiban' yang timbul.

Saat tirai PRTM dikuak tepat 9 malam, rasa kagum mula menyelubungi diri. Pembukaan awalan berhasil membuat audiens tidak mahu berganjak melihat babak seterusnya.

Fikiran terus menerawang seketika, tidak hairan kejayaan PRTM menyeberangi Singapura di Esplanade baru-baru ini memperlihatkan impak membanggakan khususnya penggiat teater tempatan.

Sepanjang dua jam 30 minit PRTM belayar, mata hampir tidak berkelip menontonnya. Telinga pula terpesona mendengarkan dendangan demi dendangan mengasyikkan.

ADA sedikit kekurangan dalam lakonan Melissa Saila sebagai Norizan saat berkongsi babak dengan Musly yang memerankan watak P. Ramlee.

Tidak dinafikan, lirik lagu P. Ramlee mampu membuai sukma dan perasaan pendengarnya.

Menterjemah sebuah ceritera cinta di antara seorang pemuzik dengan wanita yang dicintai cukup dirasai audiens.

Kerana sifatnya bak sebuah pementasan muzikal, PRTM tidak boleh lari daripada elemen broadway, berbaur kontemporari, terutama segi penyampaian dan lenggok suara.

Babak pertama berlatar belakang Pulau Pinang, tempat yang memberi bermacam kenangan buat P. Ramlee, bahkan cinta pertamanya dengan Azizah mula berputik di tempat sama.

Mereka melagukan doa agar cinta yang dibina terus direstui, namun malang buat Azizah, gadis sunti yang sentiasa mengeluh kesah tentang impiannya untuk bertemu cinta sejati.

Kasihnya terhadap P. Ramlee ditentang hebat keluarga yang berasal daripada golongan atasan.

Belum puas bermain kata, saling menyembunyikan perasaan asmaradana dan mengikat ikrar untuk bertemu lagi, Azizah mohon diri untuk berlalu pergi.

BERJAYA mengembalikan nostalgia dunia filem Melayu era silam.

Bagi Azizah, cinta mereka tidak pasti, malah hubungan yang terjalin tidak mungkin kekal. P. Ramlee dan Azizah akhirnya terpisah dek berlainan darjat, lalu P. Ramlee membawa haluan ke Singapura pantas memahat nama sebagai anak wayang.

Di sinilah bermulanya tragedi pelarian cinta bersaksikan airmata dan semangat tinggi menggapai impian.

Hadir mewarnai pentas dalam beberapa babak, lakonan Emelda Rosmila sebagai Azizah kelihatan biasa, malah dia tidak dapat menyembunyikan riak gementar.

Mengambil alih takhta Datuk Siti Nurhaliza yang sebelum ini menjadi Azizah bukan tugasan mudah dan sembarangan. Mereka miliki kemampuan berbeza.

Pengalaman Emelda sebagai pelakon drama mampu memberi kejutan dalam PRTM. Andai berusaha lebih keras, Emelda barangkali dapat menyalakan sinar cerah sebagai salah seorang wanita inspirasi dalam hidup P. Ramlee

'Apa lagi yang baru?' - satu lagi soalan yang mungkin terpacul di fikiran umum kala mahu menyaksikan PRTM musim kedua.

Harus diingat, musim kedua bukannya menawarkan pembaharuan semata-mata, sebaliknya cuba mengutamakan kepuasan.

Sementara itu, Musly berusaha keras mempertingkat sebutan dan patah katanya sebagai P. Ramlee. Hasilnya, ternyata membanggakan!

Membayang Musly sebagai penggiat seni terulung itu sudah tidak jadi gambaran janggal.

Diksi dialog dan nyanyian Musly jelas, malah dia tidak kekok menyandang gelaran P. Ramlee.

Andai Musly kekal konsisten dan jiwanya terus menebal dengan 'roh' P. Ramlee, dia mampu mengundang lebih ramai kehadiran penonton menyaksikan PRTM.

Tiada improvisasi kerana PRTM musim kedua ini baru jadi permainan Musly, cuma ada waktunya dirasakan ada sedikit klise dengan gerak lentuk tangan Musly yang menyamai P. Ramlee.

Memang gaya itu biasa diguna pakai P. Ramlee, namun kekerapan Musly dengan gerakan tangan menerbitkan rasa muak, malah terlihat berlebih-lebihan pula.

Terus dibuai dengan babak-babak yang disusun sistematik, adegan isteri pertama P. Ramlee, Junaidah yang dilakonkan Atilia nampak lebih natural dalam musim terbaru ini. Lihat sahaja Atilia beraksi gedik dan lincah mahu menawan hati P. Ramlee, memang cukup mengena.

Bagaimanapun, ada sedikit kekurangan menerusi watak Norizan yang dilakonkan Melissa Saila. Sebelum memasuki babak kedua, sepatutnya Norizan menghayun langkah bergaya menghampiri P. Ramlee yang ketika itu sedang berduka ditinggal Junaidah.

Dengan gema suara Norizan sebelum dia muncul, peminat menjangkakan impak hebat, namun ia kelihatan agak normal dan kurang menarik. Begitu dapat dirasakan adegan sama antara pada musim pertama jauh lebih baik.

Tidak menjadikan awalan Norizan itu sebagai cacat-celanya, apa pun lakonan mantap pemenang Pelakon Pembantu Terbaik Anugerah Seni BOH Cameronian 2007 awal Mei lalu menerusi PRTM itu memang menonjol di kaca mata umum.

Lantunan dialog dan nyanyian Melissa juga dapat dirasai hadirin, malah bulat bunyinya. Mewarisi bakat lakonan menerusi ibunya, Seniwati Mariani yang pernah terkena 'tempias' P. Ramlee, tidak hairanlah seandainya Melissa meraih penghayatan yang lebih optima.

Watak Saloma yang ditangani penyanyi bersuara gemersik, Liza Hanim memang menjadi. Lenggok badan dan personalitinya menjadikan babak PRTM jadi lebih bermakna dan diresapi perasaan cukup sentimental.

Semangat Liza Hanim untuk beraksi di atas pentas berada di tahap maksima. Dia tidak teragak-agak dengan segala tindakan mahupun langkah tari. Suaranya semerdu Saloma, nyanyiannya juga meyakinkan sehingga memecah kesunyian panggung.

Di tangan Roslan Aziz, sisi muzik PRTM tetap mengasyikkan. Meskipun ada barisan pemuzik lama termasuk Erwin Gutawa yang sebelum ini mengepalai tugas pengarah muzik tidak dikekalkan, namun bunyi-bunyian yang terhasil untuk musim kedua lebih berperisa.

Bunyi percussion dan gendang lebih menggegar, begitu juga dengan elemen muzik moden yang kuat terasa di celah-celah irama kontemporari ala-ala Broadway.

Pat Ibrahim, sekalung tahniah sekali lagi atas koreografi yang kemas lagi indah, terutamanya pada hampir keseluruhan adegan PRTM.

Ilham Raja Maliq dalam mengindahkan set, efekpenataan cahaya, props dan pakaian juga patut diberi penghargaan.

Keseluruhan pasukan produksi PRTM harus diberi apresiasi kerana hasil kerja yang kemas dan menakjubkan.

Buat Tiara selaku penerbit eksekutif, penulis sudah kehabisan kata-kata pujian atas usahanya mengangkat martabat PRTM ke satu lagi peringkat.

Ia bukan kerja mudah, bukan juga sebuah angan-angan kosong. Dan buat Tiara insan seni yang tidak jemu-jemu menghasilkan teater bermutu, anda memang fantastik!

PRTM musim kedua kini sedang rancak dipentaskan di Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur bermula 28 Mei lalu hingga 14 Jun ini.

Tiket-tiket berharga RM180, RM150, RM100, RM70, RM50 & RM30 boleh didapati di kaunter box-office, Istana Budaya atau hubungi talian 03-4026 5558 untuk sebarang keterangan lanjut.