Monday, December 12, 2011

Review: Malaysian Girls - How Ugly Can It Get?

This year has already been dominated by many dramatic theatrical performances like Dreamgirls, Kampung Boy the Musical, and STOMP! amongst others. Now, with the year coming to a close, KLPAC is proud to present their last major theatrical play/ musical for 2011, Malaysian Girls :)

Thanks to Dustyhawk, a few of us bloggers got to catch this Musical at KLPAC on its Opening Night. It began on 10 December 2011, and will run until 30 December 2011, followed by a tour to Penang. Malaysian Girls is the product of an award-winning team led by esteemed director Joe Hasham OAM along with producer and theatre doyenne Dato’ Faridah Merican.

Malaysian Girls tells the tale of the goings-on behind the scenes of a beauty pageant called "Malaysian Girls".
MALAYSIAN GIRLS lures you into the exciting world of a beauty pageant. The heady mix of glamour and talent is enticing in itself. Throw in the drama that unfolds when there is such a coveted title to be won and such differing notions of beauty together with Mark Beau de Silva’s humorous writing, you are in for an absolute treat.

The musical pits two camps against each other. On one side you have Serenity Billion – the person who started the Malaysian Girls pageant to seek and define a uniquely Malaysian ideal of beauty. On the other side you have the flashy Ray Sanjay and the go-getting Jasmin Hibiscus who has bigger and bolder ideas. So, just how ugly can it get? 

My Verdict:

1. The stage is too static. Though I initially liked how they do a scene change from top to bottom, it got boring after a while. If it was a three-tier stage, it would have been more interesting. I guess they wanted to make the stage bare so that we could focus on what was happening, but without the usage of props, the audience had to imagine what the set would be like. That's a lot of thinking for audiences who are trying to enjoy the show :/

2. The storyline :( While I appreciate the glitz and glamour of a beauty pageant, I feel that there is a lack of a cohesive storyline to the entire show. Some parts are not explained properly and were cut short, while other parts were too long winded. There is also a lack of a logical flow to the storyline, for example, how does Miss Kuala Lumpur get into the finals if she was never around for the previous elimination rounds in the first place? And what is the age requirement to enter a pageant? It also doesn't make sense that the co-founder of the pageant gets to enter the pageant AND get into the finals.

3. The singing is good. the songs are well written, and the vocalists were all amazing. The music score also has variety, and doesn't remain too stagnant, but perhaps they should not have used too many mainstream songs :/ However, I feel that singing the main theme of the song only at the end was a little 'potong stim'. They should have played instrumentals along the scene, and even until now, I can't really remember the tune for "How Ugly Can it Get". There should be a link in to the scenes so audiences will associate the tune to the musical itself.

 4. The dances were too long. It's good that mainstream music was selected to give a modern feel to the pageant, but dancing the entire full-length of the song was a little too much. Going through the half of Jai-Ho again after the intermission was overkill; perhaps they could have just added in the last bit of the dance only.

5. The acting skills was great. I liked the facial expressions the actors and actresses gave, and I liked how they all interacted with each other in a natural way. There was a seamless flow between them, and I think that's a very important element in any theatrical performance/ play. I caught Tabitha Kong in a church production bb showed to me few weeks ago, and her acting has improved tremendously, together with her singing skills :D

I would give this a 7/10 :)
I think what needs to be put into context here is the morality in the story. being a Malaysian Girl doesn't dictate that you have to be born in Malaysia and are able to speak in Bahasa Melayu or any other local dialect. Being a Malaysian Girl doesn't mean that you have to act in any particular way. Being a Malaysian Girl means that you can have any heritage, be from any part of the world, as long as you truly believe deep down, that you are a Malaysian Girl. Where you come from doesn't matter, as it is the intrinsic value that we carry in our hearts that really makes us Malaysian.

Showtimes for MALAYSIAN GIRLS are as follows:

10th, 13th–17th, 20th–23rd, 27th–30th December 2011 (Tue-Sat) @ 8:30pm
11th & 18th December 2011 (Sun) @ 3pm
25th & 26th December 2011 (Christmas & Boxing Day) @ 5pm

Pentas 1, KLPAC

Weekend (Fri – Sunday)
Adult: RM 110/90/70/50
Concession*: RM 88/72/56/40

Weekday (Tue – Thu)
Adult: RM 100/80/60/40
Concession*: RM80/64/48/32

*Concession: TAS Card, Disabled, Student, Senior Citizen, UNHCR Card

Event Page: Malaysian Girls – KL Edition

Call / Walk in – klpac @ 40479000
Call / Walk in – The Actors Studio @ Lot 10 @ 2142 2009 / 2143 2009
Walk in only – iLasso @ A606, Block A, Phileo Damansara II, PJ

They have a Penang Tour as well :) (Launch date for ticket sales: 1 December 2011)

10 January 2012 @ 8.30pm (preview);
11–14 January 2012 @ 8.30pm
15 January 2012 @ 3pm

stage 1, penangpac
3H-3A-1, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang
Tanjung Tokong, 10470 Pulau Pinang.

Preview: RM30 flat; Normal Price: RM60 / RM40 / RM30 (concession for students, disabled, senior citizens, TAS car holders & UNHCR cardholders)

penangpac @ Straits Quay 04 8991 722 / 2722

Event Page : Malaysian Girls – Penang Edition

The Bloggers with Tabitha Kong after the show
L-R: Serge, me, Yew, Tabitha, Simon, JQ, YinYin, Henry

Special thanks to Serge for giving us bloggers the opportunity to catch this musical :)


Charmaine Pua said...

So many beautiful gals! Just see them also worth it liao :D

choulyin.tan said...

haha you meant me also right? >.<

Nana Eddy said...

I think I might be too conservative.

When they give the title "Malaysian Girl" and when I saw the costumes the girls wore, I would say it is not how "Malaysian Girl" should be portrayed (despite the reality of it). It is wayyyyy to westernized. Even the "Miss World" concept is totally not Malaysian and absolutely western.

I know its a pageant, but we Malaysian has our own way to exhibit beauty too. Don't i agree? XD

Oh sorry, I'm not commenting on the musical itself. Terkeluar tajuk pulak~ hehe

chocotheclown said...

nice meeting u choulyin(same wit my yin..hehe)...thou i din have much chance 2chat wit u..but i can tell dat u r freakin cold there..hoping for the next meet...take k^^

choulyin.tan said...

Yup i agree with you :) for me i didn't put that thought into account as I feel that restrictions cannot be put on performing arts. Once you start to restrict it, this industry will never be ale to prosper in Malaysia. Having said that, I still stand by my stand that the storyline could have been better written to depict the Malaysian reality.

Yin Yin
haha yup I was cold!!!!! XD lucky brought my scarf..if not i will freeze to death oredi :p