THE MESS (A Review)
secondary school was big. We had 5000 students.
We had some important children, some VIP parents
and VVIP patrons. So, once a year we'll find
some brown nosing sponsors and hold one big
stylo mylo Sports Day at the Merdeka Stadium.
I remember taking part in the opening ceremony,
where our teams will march past the grandstand,
Olympics-style. On the podium, our headmaster
stood solemnly in salute, fantasizing he's
The King or the PM.
That was what I felt 10 minutes into M!
The Opera. It was like watching a
high school musical at grand Istana Budaya.
There were talent, no doubt. But all was squandered
on a staging that came off as one big mess.
If you have not read the synopsis, you would
have wondered what the story is, if there
is one. With so many people scurrying round
the stage, is difficult to concentrate on
any of the characters, let alone the story.
The main character M was as appealing as a
plastic 'leather' jacket. At one point, I
wished a light fell on M so that we can get
on with the night. I understand he's suppose
to be a Mat Rocker. He came off as a Mat Motor
instead. I know there's a fine line between
the two but M really murdered M!
If you are planning to bail out at intermission
like most folks, I have more bad news for
you. That won't happen till ten in the night.
If you are brave enough to stay on, you might
feel compensated when super George Chan deliver
some Broadway moments.
Broadway? Yes, one of M!'s biggest flaw is
the fatuous need (as with many local productions)
to create 'fusion arts.' Nothing wrong in
that. Fashionable and politically correct
as it is, the cross-cultural kuali dished
out another plate of bad rojak.
The orchestra sounded a bit hollow but fortunately
there was little fusion between East and West
in the score. I looked forward to those precious
few moments when the gamelan and other traditional
instruments took center stage.
If the producers woke up one morning and realized
it is more of a musical (than an opera), there
was very little music to remember it by. The
Surtitles (subtitles) display at Istana Budaya
is always wacky and unreliable at best. Pair
that with the incredibly corny 'libretto'
and you have a separate comedy running loose.
M! The Opera would have worked better if not
for its pretensions and illusions of grandeur.
The many talented people on board deserved
better material, direction and costumes. It's
someone's big wank that missed the wall. Mess!
I went for another viewing accompanied
by Suanie and FireAngel. It was delightful
seeing friends Cindy, Janet, Nicole, Doreen
and gang on stage again. While there were
some subtle improvements, the second viewing
reaffirmed my earlier view. Of course it didn't
help, FireAngel was whispering sweet WTFs
into my ear throughout the night...
2006 TV SMITH
Link to this article: http://www.tvsmith.net.my/duasen/250306_mess.html