I had the pleasure of watching Puteri Gunung Ledang, The Musical quite recently. (Compliments of TV through Suan. A thousand thanks to both). I Love musicals! I've been DYING to watch a LIVE Musical, and I didn't care WHAT it was, I just HAD to WATCH ONE, DAMNIT. NOW.
Sadly, we don't get enough of musicals. And even THEN, prices for the tickets are just short of an atom bomb. As an underpaid corporate monkey slave, I don't even have enough money for lunches, let alone atom bombs. Have to settle for Hindi movies on Tv2 and Tv3 aired every weekend afternoons.
But I digress. PGL! THE MUSICAL!! OH WHAT FUN!!!!!!
The hills are alive with the sound of music!
The legend of Puteri Gunung Ledang, for those who grew up never hearing it before (call yourself a Malaysian? Malu only!), is basically about a princess, a king's warrior, a king, some crazy assed marriage preconditions, and a Mount Ophir.
Or, you can get a better version of the legend HERE. Click!
The movie is even Wikipedia-ed! Click!
Angry guy: "Who stole my shirt?" Guy Left:"Not me! Not me!"
Wah seriously .... when the curtain first went up, the set totally blew my mind away! The set was, for the lack of a better word, FANTASTIC! I mean this is a 100% made in Malaysia production, and being Malaysian AND a pessimistic one, I really wasn't expecting much. But WOAH! The Set! The Props! The Costumes! The lighting! The wayang kulit effect! Everything! Nice! Pretty! Best! AWESOME! The stage had some REALLY fancy hydraulics work going on there which was ON! ONE THOUSAND POINTS!
The shadow crept up unto them silently and when they knew that the Bogeyman existed.... it was too late.
Tiara is super duper HAWT for SURE! And she's REALLY toned too! Slurp. I am surprised that she wasn't taller. She's probably about my height. Heheheh. Yeay! There is HOPE YET FOR MIDGETS LIKE ME! I STILL CAN RULE THE WORLD!!! MUAhaHAHHA! Ahem. And yes, she CAN sing! Though, at sad parts, I couldn't really tell if she was heart broken or smiling with glee.....
The ensemble was ass kicking. Everytime they came out to sing/dance/clown about/do the chorus, I get the goose bumps, of the good sort. They had the whole Bollywood-esque synchronised communal dancing & singing thing working out great most of the time!
Sultan Mansur was played by none other than Adlin Amin, the same guy from the movie! Most of the time I felt like punching his face in though, and that's a good thing right? OH! OH! He had this one moment which reminded me of a routine from Kung Fu Hustle, and for that one moment, he was AWESOME. I hope that they made it intentionally funny, because I couldn't stop laughing like a maniac on weed. Watching him do the routine and say the most incredible shit while he (A SULTAN OKAY!) was gyrating his hips was too fucking priceless. AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME! A hundred points for being funny!
(By the way, was it just me or did anybody else catch references to the King and I musical? Got lah. A few parts, kan? Go watch it and tell me lah!)
AC Mizal acting as Adapati, the Majapahit King, was the best ever. He OWNED it. Nobody else in the goddamn play came CLOSE to how he asswhiped his character and made it his own bitch, especially when he's all PISSED OFF and going "MUST. HAVE. BLOOD. ARGHHHHHH!" 3/4 of the time. AWESOME-NEST-EVER. MIZAL=ADAPATI FOREVER.ONE MILLION POINTS! JUST GIVE THE MAN A BLOODY AWARD ALREADY!
I feel pretty! Oh so pretty! I feel pretty! and witty! And GAY!
Hang Tuah was played by an imported Angmoh. I couldn't believe it either, why ah? Our local men not good enough isit? Somebody was raving to me about how he's this big time Broadway actor singer actor and even had parts for Andrew Lloyd Weber's musical and was oozing sexual appeal and EVERYTHING... but I thought he was a little kayu. Guess it didn't help that he couldn't understand of word of MELAYU to begin with padahal the whole musical was IN Melayu. Kesian. Most of the time he just looks out of place and lost because he wasn't quite Melayu-ish enough. Silat pun takde gaya silat. BUT. He could sing like you wouldn't believe, and that's a GREAT thing! When he hit the high notes, I was like, WOAH. Dude.
Also a shout out to the Gusti Putri's Bayan - Sukania Venugopal. She be rocking it, yo!
There were some technical problems though. Mics were falling off / not working when dialogues/important singing parts were going on. Meh. Magical experience pun tergendala sikit. But nevermind, still tahan-able.
What REALLY pissed me off was THE BLOODY SUBTITLES. ARGH! It was on a LED SCREEN. RIGHT ON TOP OF THE STAGE. I was sitting just a few rows away from the stage, had to crane my neck upwards to a 180 degrees and I COULD HARDLY READ THE DAMN THING. The moron who was operating it must've been a drunk, drugged MONKEY because he/she/it is ALWAYS FUCKING UP THE TIMING. TOO FAST. TOO SLOW. ANNOYING AS HELL. Minus FIVE THOUSAND points.
And sometimes the bass or the chorus would go so loud, I couldn't even hear the soloists sing! FIX THE SOUND SYSTEM OR SOMETHING! At parts it's like I'm in a fengtau club as all I could hear was the BASS. DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM.
It could get a litttttle draggy too. In fact, ALL romantic/slow/tender moments were draggy for me because I'm more of the GIVE ME BLOOD KILL EVERYBODY NOW person. Thank goodness for the little stolen bits of comic relief by the cameos! Those were BEST! Five Golden stars for all the funny people! YEAY!
On the contrary (to it being draggy), the second part (Melaka scene) of the play after intermission felt a little rushed and messy somewhat. They took their time with the first part (Majapahit scene) and it was fantastic! Second bit was like "OMFG we're running out of time/money/snacks to munch so let's just finish it up, get everybody to sing twice as fast, and call it a day!". Well, it FELT like that anyway.
And my BIGGEST complaint? Alcohol wasn't sold ANYWHERE!!!!! HOW CAN!??! NOTHING! ZILCH! ZERO! NADA! KOSONG! MINUS A TRILLION POINTS FOREVER.
Happy Shiny People Making Merry!
Overall, I'll give it a B, and NOT just because I am a true blue anak Malaysia and patriotic and can use the public toilets without cringing. No! It was really decent!
A lot of effort was put into this musical and it was GOOD effort! The musical has its highlights and its little annoying fuckups, sure. But on the most parts it was enjoyable!
Should you watch it? YES. Watch it NOT JUST solely for the "it's a made in Malaysia" thing, but because it has great entertainment value! If you could watch the movie and liked it (or not), you would definitely like the musical a WHOLE LOT MORE (or dislike it much less). Dancing, singing, hot chicks, hot guys, humour, romance, violence, semua pun ada! Fun for the whole family! Yeay!
WATCH IT!!!!! WATCH IT NOW!
More details of the Musical HERE.
More reviews aggregated HERE, courtesy of Midnitelily (who is hot, btw).