I went to watch Puteri Gunung Ledang – The Musical last afternoon at the Esplanade. To be truthful I didn’t go there with very high expectations after having had to endure the snail-paced film version of the story of eternal love. Hubby dearest and I felt asleep like a quarter through the film. Although the cinematograhy was not bad.
But I was very pleasantly surprised. I had a good time at the theatre last night. Maybe the companylah more. PGL The Musical was a flawed but enjoyable experience (with family and frens.) Hubby did not sleep.
At the end of the performance a large number of the audience got to their feet to give the cast a standing ovation. I didn’t. I suspect that a lot of this was due to a sense of racial pride that we can stage something like this. In the lobby after the show I met several people whose comments included the line, “Wah, damn good la. For a Malay production.” My sis and aunt even hurried to get autographs from the cast. Haha, and they thought I was emo.I don’t think I was affected by a sense of racial pride. I just thought it was a good effort. Malay or otherwise.
Last night’s performance had few but apparent technical glitches. The obvious was the sound system. It was too overpowering until at times (or shall I say, most of the time, it drowned the casts’ singing).I understand it wanted to sound ‘gah’. But gah became blah to me cos I found it a tad irritating.
Overall the cast did a credible job. Tiara Jacquelina was great as the Puteri but her voice made me realise that I actually have an equally good voice. Hahaha…sumbang eh? AC Mizal was wonderful to watch as the Majapahit King. Splendid indeed. Sukania Venugopal as Bayan was definitely stunning, I felt at times, she overshadowed Tiara whenever they shared a scene together. Adlin Aman Ramlie reprised his film role as Sultan Mahmud and he was…well good (hubby liked him most, even though he was untolerable in Gubra). But the most watchable of the evening were the incredibly engergetic members of the ensemble. Super on sak…wah tak leh angkat.
As for Tuah, the hero was played by Stephen Rahman-Hughes. Frankly, he did not have much of stage presence. I was dissappointed. Broadway starlah, hunklah, singerlah , choreographerlah but missed a few steps etc. etc …so? Definitely indah khabar dari rupa. Can this boy act? I don’t think so. Every time he came out, I definitely felt my $95+ sistic fee was unjustified. Heart very the pain.
The costumes were elaborate and visually rich. I loike. My sis n bro in law even suggested tailoring the next raya outfits as such. The sets were actually minimal but maximise the space definitely.
Dick Lee’s formulaic music somehow was not there for me. I have watched his other musicals and this wasn’t his normal standard. Apart from the theme song, the rest were palatable and infact forgettable.But then again, what’s a cheena man doing in a Malay musical? Hmmm…My 3 hours of life was not entirely wasted watching the hyped Puteri Gunung Ledang – The Musical. Hubby dearest pointed out something,”Patutlah orang lelaki Melayu suka minah Indon…nie sumer Mahmud yang start…” Hahaha, I paid for his tix and he summed up the story just like that. How apt.
Would I recommend you to watch PGL-The Musical? Well, if you betul-betul semangat Melayu…go ahead.
For a favourable review, do read one by afdlin shauki (saw him in person yest too…he is great!) :http://afdlinshauki.blogspot.com/2006/02/puteri-gunung-ledang-musical-is-best.html