BLOGGERS & A FUNERAL BAND |
plus a couple of other reviews
1 U, Bandar Utama
Take one Ah Lian with lacey red bra and visible
black panty. Sit her next to the Ah Beng with pointed index finger in one ear
and flip-phone glued to the other. Give them little plastic cups filled with beer
and ice cubes. Now; multiply this scene by 500 times and you get Oktoberfest Malaysian
I have never seen so many Ah Bengs and Ah Lians congregating (outside
Sungei Wang) since the Sunrise Jazz Festival. The organisers obviously knew Bandar
Utama folks are the epitome of kiasuness. They came up with a no-brainer crowd
puller. Exchange a disgraced one ringgit coin for a bottle of beer. 5000 Kiasuhans
(including Suanie) showed up and the
allocated 500 bottles finished in 5 minutes.
I arrived after the pandemonium
and settled for warm, expensive, canned Aussie beers. Unlike the original festival
in Bavaria, there were no beer tents, no one-liter-tankards, no buxom beer maids
nor oom pah pah bands. But never underestimate the power of make believe.
sombre group of men dressed in black shirts and white hats appeared. They played
a marching version of Shanghai Beach that thrilled Fireangel
to bits. With enough barley juice; the band and the atmosphere kind of grow on
you. We were in one giant make believe forest after all...
Bar, KL Hilton, Brickfields
"Don't you like the jokers
with the mirror who check if you have a bomb under your car when you drive up?
Those flers won't know a bomb if it came up and introduced itself to them..."
were the famous not-so-last words of Patrick
Teoh when I told him I was at The KL Hilton the night before. I was there
to check out visiting Mumbai-based jazz ensemble, Soul Yatra. Their music is advertised
as fusing blues, flamenco, samba, funk, afro-Cuban, hip-hop as well as Indian
classical music like raag and taal. Sounds intriguing, tempting and at RM 50 per
head (pre-booked), even reasonable right?
What we got instead was a cautious
repertoire of clinically-delivered, STANDARD jazz standards. So safe; the bassist,
saxophonist and lead singer never moved more than an inch from their assigned
spot. Sure. They were technically competent and the staid crowd even tapped their
fingers momentarily. Yatra without Soul.
I quickly down the complimentary
Henessy XO and switched to cheaper stuff. RM 25+ per beer is fair donation to
The Paris Hilton Lifestyle Fund, I tried to convince myself. Bomb inspectors don't
come cheap these days, we were told. Staffing the hotel's tiny check-in counter
with 20 people ain't cheap either, I suspect. But RM 11 for two hours parking
Pentas 1, KLPac, Sentul
every friend who caught Pygmalion
warned me against it. Patrick said it was so bad it might be good for me. The
sado-masochist part in me stirred. I have always enjoyed the comedies of Indi
and Harith. Most of all, I wanted to go watch Janet,
Cristina and Susan (my friends from The
As it turned out, Michelle Quah (as Lisa Doolittle) and
the chorus girls saved the day. None of the guys there can sing to save their
balls. Grumpy Rex Harrison's original talk-singing suddenly sounded as cute as
Gwen Stefani, in my mind.
The part-Malaysianisation of the Bernard
Shaw classic is enigmatic and risky business. Many Malaysians have fond memories
of the very Cockney Eliza from their pirated copies of My Fair Lady. To hear Ah
Lian Doolittle switched back and forth, from Kepong England to Queen's
English is quite unbearable, to put it mildly.
Tell me. How many Malaysians,
let alone local theatre goers, actually speak this way? Is Malaysian theatre ending
up like radio where bad Manglish substitutes good writing? Add the uneven adaptation,
the mismatched lead players, throw in some psychedelic time-lapse clouds on the
backdrop and you get a show only director Paul Loosely can fully appreciate.
Link to this article: http://www.tvsmith.net.my/duasen/231005_fourbloggers.html
See also: ONE DAY IN DAMANSARA | MALLBRATS