Saturday, November 12, 2005

Girl From Ipoh: A Resounding Success

Just finished watching a wonderful wonderful musical (the producers call this new style Pop Theatre) called Girl From Ipoh at the KL Performing Arts Centre. The experience was simply amazing. This is a very well-crafted tongue-in-cheek play with everything I like in it. First things first: StoryLine. Once again, familiar and yet originally told. Briefly, it's about a Chinese girl from Ipoh (what else u expect la:P) called Wong Mei Lee, who doesnt really know how to be a Chinese. She fantasizes about Western worlds (not a Hor Fan seller's daughter helping out at the stall), being rich, famous and wanted as a kid and teenager. And when she finally grew up, her love life was also pretty messed up as she tries to find the meaning of love and of course, finding it in the wrong place, wrong person using the wrong ways.

So, what's really special about this play then, since I've been harping on it so much. Well, for a starters, try to fathom this: the main actress, Carmen Soo (more about her later;)) , playing Mei Lee isn't really playing her since Carmen is actually playing Mei Lee, in Mei Lee's mind!! Look at Carmen's character sort of like a phsychological alter ego or whatever. Actually what I'm trying to say is, the whole story was actually set in the real Mei Lee's mind. Told from her imagination and memories. Cool or what!! Which kinda explained why the poster for the promo looked so weird. Hehehe. I especially love the ending (spoilers ahead, don read the remaining of this paragraph if you're gonna watch it). It's where the real Mei Lee (who is chubbier, shorter and not-so-prettier:P, played by producer Cindy Chin) comes out and actually jolt her alter ego a bit so that she'll stop pitying herself. And I really like the part where
she says "it was because of her body, her face (meaning Carmen) and my story, taht's why it attracted so much attention..." Hmmm... ya I know, most of us are superficial people, tending to look at things at the skin-level. Guilty as charged:">

The other cool thing which has to be mentioned is the entire story was accompanied by a very talented group of A capella singers called the LiT Performers. So depending on Mei Lee's mood, these ladies will render different types of tune to suit the mood. No background music or percussions, just their voices. Familliar tunes like Pretty Woman, Under The Boardwalk and even some Teressa Teng tunes captivated the audience non-stop. These ladies even do translation as Mei Lee's dad speaks purely in Cantonese. Really nice and suitable. It really made the whole show unique as it's not a full musical where the actors sing but at the same time, there's a lot of interaction between the music and the whole storyline. I'm not sure if I'm giving the proper credits but one just needs to be there to know how it really feels.

And speaking about acting, I really have to commend Carmen Soo for a job well done. Not only is she pretty, she also delivers as the main actress. Every expression and action is well acted out. I think most of the guys (me especially) were bowled over by this cute looking chick. Of course, me having the opportunity to sit at front row (yup, worth every single cent of the RM48 and more), get to see her even much closer:D

And what do you know;) I even get to take a picture with her:

I know, the quality dam cacat, which was a very big pity. Blame it on my lousy camera phone and my colleague who went with me:))

It was indeed a happy-ever-after-ending for my night. Ya, i'm still grinning non-stop as I'm writing this piece now.

Kudos to Integrated Expressions for putting up such a refined show. They've really shown what Malaysian talents can really do with enough resources. Guys, still got time tomorrow (13/11/2005) to catch the show. You really don wanna miss it. You don need to be Mr/Miss Artsy-Fartsy to enjoy this. The crowd tonight was superb. Mostly average Malaysians like me. We were all very responsive and yet not-Ah-Beng-ish (no cat whistles during "intense" moments (most of them involving Carmen:P) of the show and all).

KLPAC is also a very beautiful place and rather romantic, with a Japanese restaurant in it as well. Miss this whole show and experience at your own risk!


Meglittlemeg said...

I must agree that this play is really amazing and an eye-opener for me. I enjoyed every single moments of this play and its really motivational, relaxing and yet so true. Things that happens around US involving US.

I will definitely go for more of this kinda play by the local talents.

Alan, you look handsome in the picture beside the elegant and pretty Carmen Soo. Nice picture! Your colleague ok wat.. taking that pic.. Don kill her r...

ngyahloon said...

Hahaha...i know. just make fun of you only. Btw, Carmen Soo thinks I'm really tall:P The only thing she said to me:))

meglittlemeg said...

Yea yea, I heard her saying that too. She even autograph the "Behind the Scenes" book of yours and she did draw some little heart there isn'it ?
Wow, you lucky dude!

So how, tonight can sleep? If not, still can go for the last show tomorrow and this time bring the flowers...

Jacky said...

Nice shot despite the poor camera phone :)

chuan said...

drool.. drool...