All posts by PenTAS

A PenTAS exclusive: Marrying Me – The Musical

“Still no boyfriend ah?”

Every single woman who has had this question hurled at her would understand how annoying it can be to have nosy aunties and ‘well-meaning’ relatives trying to set her up with any Abu, Ah Beng or Appu.

And “Still no boyfriend ah?” is how the publicity team behind Christopher Ling’s upcoming production, Marrying Me, starts of its pre-pre press release, which came along with a personal note stating that PenTAS was the first media to receive the preliminary information on what seems to be like a syiok-tastic musical comedy. Brownie points for Marrying Me (which I hope would eventually translate into ticket sales).

Based on a book written by Mark Beau De Silva, this production by the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac) in collaboration with the Penang Performing Arts Centre (penangpac) tells the story of one Stephanie – a proud single woman. But as her will to resist marriagehood starts to fray and a looming tragedy corners her, will Stephanie change her “I don’t” to the dreaded “I do”?

We will just have to wait for Dec 5 to find out what Stephanie does when Marrying Me opens at penangpac.

MARRYING ME 

Content Advisory: PG-13: Parental guidance advised (13 years old and above)

Music Onn San

Book Mark Beau De Silva

Lyrics EllaRose Chary

Director & Production Designer Christopher Ling

Musical Director & Arranger Stephen Tok

Choreographer Lex Lakshman Balakrishnan

Featuring Stephanie Van Driesen, Sandra Sodhy, Tony Leo Selvaraj, Fang Chyi with Joel Wong, Aaron Teoh, Aaron Ho, Abdul Muhaimin, Ho Lee Ching, Tan Yi Qing

Date

5 – 7 December @ 8.30pm

8 December @ 3pm

Venue

stage 2, penangpac @ Straits Quay (3H-3A-1, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, Tanjung Tokong, 10470 Penang)

Ticketing Information

RM53 (Adults)

RM33 (Students, TAS Cardholders)

Ticket Promotions: Group Bookings: Buy 10 tickets, get 1 ticket FREE

Tickets can be purchased at TicketPro or the penangpac Box Office. For reservations or more information, call penangpac at 04-8991722 / 2722

Follow Marrying Me online on Twitter and Instagram with #marryingmemusical

IndiePG is back!

After a successful and much talked about first run in 2012, Penang’s biggest independent music fest is back with a fantastic line up of bands and four FREE workshops!

In its ‘About’ page on Facebook, IndiePG claims to provide  musicians “with a platform to showcase [their] artistic talents outside the usual, creativity-limiting mainstream venues to an audience hungry for new and original music.” This is a bold statement, but this collaborative platform by IndiePG and penangpac is not afraid to be bold and loud, and judging by its line up of bands / musicians for this year’s event, it rightly deserves to be.

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Don’t miss out!

Everything you could possibly want to know about making it as an indie musicians
Everything you could possibly want to know about making it as an indie musician

Date 25 & October 2013

Venue stage 2, penangpac @ Straits Quay (3H-3A-1, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, Tanjung Tokong, 10470 Penang)

Ticketing Information RM25 (For two days) Tickets can be purchased at TicketPro or the penangpac Box Office. For reservations or more information, call penangpac at 04-8991722 / 2722.

Ksatriya paints Malaysia in RED

RED by Ksatriya
RED by Ksatriya

If you have been to the monthly sessions of Say It Like You Mean It at China House’s The Canteen, you would be familiar with Ksatriya – the multifaceted Penang-based artist. Ksatriya is poet, songwriter and performer who has been a regular feature in the local (re: Malaysian) music and literary circuits. This VIMA-nominated artist has performed in notable Malaysian festivals, including The Georgetown Literary Festival 2012 and The Cooler Lumpur Festival 2013.

After teasing his fans and followers with singles released over the course of 2012 and 2013, Ksatriya today releases his debut EP titled RED. The EP includes eight tracks that are a blend of various genres, namely World Fusion, Rap, Spoken Word, Blues, Hip-Hop and Rock.

The tracks on RED feature Ksatriya’s vocals, be it in the style of spoken word, blues poetry or rap. His songwriting and versing shine through as the music is on each track is arranged to serve as a melodic canvas on which Ksatriya’s husky and clear voice and evocative lyrics paint pictures that very much reflect issues and lives of the average Malaysian.

Ksatriya, who is very much an activist and a vocal champion of freedom of speech, human rights and clean politics, professes to be dedicated to not sugarcoat or varnish truths in his musical storytelling. “Art is in my blood, if they take away my paint, I will paint in red,” he said, adding that his debut EP derives its title from stance of his. In other words, RED signifies “the beginning of a musical journey that promises to take fans on one hell of a ride.”

RED is now available for purchase at http://rebelrhyming.bandcamp.com/. The EP can be downloaded in mp3, mp3 320 format, AAC or other ‘audiophile’ formats, and is only available as a digital download.

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Ksatriya

*Images courtesy of Ksatriya

Beyond Ketupat & Kimchi – Celebrating Our Cultural Inheritance

Malaysia’s fascination with Korea does not end with K-Pop, Korean dramas and kimchi. Ketupat & Kimchi is an expression of this fascination; a fascination with the cultural and traditional Korea. This cultural arts festival will see the Korean Traditional Dance Team – Branch 2 Dance performing centuries old art form that is the Korean traditional dance. Part of the Korea National Dance Team, this team is sure to enlighten the audience with captivating dance pieces that are steeped in heritage and culture.

Be sure to catch Ketupat & Kimchi as it is stopping in Penang for only one performance!

Date

10 October 2013 @ 8.30pm

Venue

Stage 2, penangpac

Ticketing Information

RM33 (Reg.)

RM23 (Conc.

Tickets can be purchased at TicketPro or the penangpac Box Office. For reservations or more information, call penangpac at 04-8991722 / 2722.

A taste of Korean from Malaysia
A taste of Korean from Malaysia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Die Fledermaus

Don't miss this comic operetta all the way from Australia!
Don’t miss this comic operetta all the way from Australia!

The last Saturday of September can’t get any better as we Penangites are in for an operatic treat. Australia’s longest serving and busiest touring opera company, Co-opera is coming to our shores with its Die Fledermaus (The Revenge of the Bat).

A comic operetta sung in English, Die Fledermaus consists of three acts and will be performed by the Co-opera troupe of 26 performers, including singers and instrumentalists, and backed up by 10 members of Penang Philharmonic Orchestra.

The good folks at the Municipal Council of Penang Island and the Adelaide City

Council joined forces to bring Die Fledermaus to Penang for our viewing (and listening) pleasure in conjunction with Penang and the city of Adelaide’s 40th year as ‘Sister Cities’. Incidentally, Penang is Co-opera’s first venue in its Asian tour that includes Melaka and Kuala Lumpur. 

Be prepared to be highly entertained with this take of the classic Vienna operetta which is set in the roaring 1920’s. Energetic and uproarious, this fun production has the right amount of mischief and vivacity for an exciting Saturday evening entertainment.

Die Fledermaus

 

Date

28 September 2013 @ 8pm

Venue

Dewan Sri Pinang, Light Street, George Town

Ticketing Information

RM100 and RM60 (Adults)

RM20 (students)

Tickets can be purchased at the Tourist Information Centre (Ground Floor, The Whiteaways Arcade, Beach Street, George Town), all Switch outlets in Penang and Bentley Music at Gurney Paragon, or call +604 263 1166.

*Proceeds of this one-night performance will be channelled mainly towards the Penang Philharmonic Orchestra for purchase of new musical instruments.

 

Review of T4YP’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’

Romeo & Juliet: Sublime, Impeccable And Yet…

By Khoo Wei Cyn

Images courtesy of ShiPng.com

Romeo and Juliet is a tale which stretches back to antiquity. For eons, the concept of forbidden love was deemed the epitome of all romance stories. Produced by the Theatre For Young People (T4YP) ensemble which is based in Kuala Lumpur and directed by Christopher Ling, the performance of Romeo & Juliet at the Penang Performing Arts Centre (penangpac) on the 21st of September 2013 at Stage 2 was a play to beholdThe play was presented in an easy-to-relate adaptation of the original by William Shakespeare.

Welcome to SMK Damansara Verona
Welcome to SMK Damansara Verona

The concept in which this play was presented made the theatrical experience so fresh and enjoyable for laypersons such that the Shakespearean lingo did little to deter the audience from enjoying the play. Romeo & Juliet revolves around a group of Form Six students doing a moved reading of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, and in the process they find themselves indulging in their characters so much that they build a new world around them, a world where reality runs parallel with art. This world would end with the ring of the bell, and every new day begins with the students going into their routine — marching into class and breaking into dance, where the actors are completely in character as Form Six students which they portray. But once the moved reading starts, their transition into their Romeo & Juliet world is immediate.

... every new day begins with the students going into their routine — marching into class and breaking into dance...
… every new day begins with the students going into their routine — marching into class and breaking into dance…

Actors Tan Yi Qing, Tan Boon Kit, Arief Hamizan and Aaron Lo portrayed their characters well. In the scene where Lady Capulet swore to cast Juliet out of the house should Juliet resist her arranged marriage with Count Paris, the lines of Capulet and Lady Capulet were reversed. Hence, in Romeo & Juliet Arief (Capulet/Benvolio) was performing the lines of Lady Capulet of the Shakespearean text whereas Yi Qing took the lines of Capulet. This was a good decision as she captivated the audience with her powerful performance during this scene, which left a lasting impression on me.

Qi Ying as Capulet captivating the audience with her powerful performance
Qi Ying as Capulet captivating the audience with her powerful performance

One of the most memorable scenes of the entire play was when Boon Kit (Mercutio/Montague) recited the lines “… I conjure thee by Rosaline’s bright eyes/By her high forehead and her scarlet lip/By her fine foot, straight leg and quivering thigh…” and groped Arief to illustrate his description. The sheer bewilderment of Arief’s expression during this scene elicited laughter from the audience and I think he deserves an award for brilliant acting just for this part. Boon Kit was also expressive and amusing in his portrayal of Mercutio and Montague.

Boon Kit and Arief eliciting laughter
Boon Kit and Arief eliciting laughter

My favourite character of the whole play is Friar Laurence who falls under the jurisdiction of Aaron. He somehow adds a personal touch to the character, making Friar Laurence a cute mixture of dramatic, nerdy, awkward yet wise and fatherly-friarly towards Romeo. His acting was perfect during Act 2, Scene 3 while smelling and licking a paper doily in his hands.

Aaron as the Friar and his paper doily
Aaron as the Friar and his paper doily

Unfortunately, Romeo and Juliet (Joshua Aeria and Nadin Norzuhdy) didn’t stand out like some members of the cast. Perhaps they were very much into character as the students they play, and the students can’t fully relate to Romeo and Juliet. Or perhaps it is because Romeo and Juliet have lines which are quite limited in the range of emotions they could have.

Joshua and Nadin immersed in the all-consuming love of their characters
Joshua and Nadin immersed in the all-consuming love of their characters

The choreography for the dance scenes were well-coordinated and served an underlying message for the scenes they were featured in. A memorable dance scene in the play was when Romeo, Mercutio and Benvolio sneaked into the Capulet ball which began like a 21st century style couple dance, but soon morphed into a comedic routine. Fighting scenes were so realistic that some members of the audience gasped when Arief was thrown to the ground.

Some members of the audience gasped when Arief was thrown to the ground!
Some members of the audience gasped when Arief was thrown to the ground!

As for props, the plastic chairs and tables prove to be very versatile, crafting all the scenes with just some assembly. The lighting serves as clues to the audience as to the transition from the play itself to the play-within-the-play.

Romeo, oh Romeo... look at the props!
Romeo, oh Romeo… look at the props!

Christopher Ling’s Romeo & Juliet is an absolutely splendid adaptation of the concept which makes Shakespeare’s version easy to understand for those unfamiliar with his work. It is certainly a masterpiece borne of painstaking effort and meticulous preparation by all means.

Kudos T4YP for a wonderful production of a classic.
Kudos T4YP for a wonderful production of a classic.

*A neophyte to theatre, Khoo Wei Cyn has just survived a thespian’s adventure at Short+Sweet Theatre Malaysia 2013 in Penang. She enjoys writing, reading and appreciating art in all forms.