P Ramlee the musical: courtesy of NST
I love John Simm. I love Life on Mars. But I imagine, if I ever were John Simm/Sam Tylerâ€™s subordinate, Iâ€™d go insane from half admiration and half irritation with his cryptic ways and his incessant repetition of his beliefs. Like that one episode where Sam Tyler kept repeating to himself â€œGod is in the detailsâ€. Iâ€™d want to smack him as his subordinate.
But in watching â€œP Ramlee the musicalâ€, that was all I could repeat to myself. â€œGod is in the detailsâ€. P Ramlee the musical is produced by the same people who made Puteri Gunung Ledang the musical. As some of you know, I wasnâ€™t too crazy about PGL although, I do think itâ€™s mostly due to Tiara Jacquelina. But thatâ€™s another story for another day. This is about P Ramlee the musical.
I had a fair bit of trepidation before watching P Ramlee. I adore P Ramlee, absolutely love him. I have seen a chunk of his movies and sung most of his songs. He was essentially larger than life, and I was not sure if anyone could pull him off. But I was excited as well because Siti Nurhaliza was performing. And Siti can do no wrong in my eyes. Iâ€™d go gay for her.
No amount of Siti could have made up for the farce that was P Ramlee the musical. It was a long musical, about 3.5 hours long and to sum up my experience, it was one of the most tedious experiences Iâ€™ve had in theatre. I kept wishing it would just end and put me out of my misery. Felt a bit like JD in Scrubs, where he imagined himself in a noose as a chick kept rambling on about herself in the bar. Except this was me in Istana Budaya with a noose as Sean Ghazi played Sean Ghazi (not P. Ramleeâ€¦that man wasnâ€™t there that night) and the actors wore mismatched clothes from various eras. It wasnâ€™t as bad as Chess the musical, but granted, that was done by a bunch of inexperienced high schoolers who mumbled through the lyrics and stumbled through the dance steps.
My favourite part of the musical had to be this: the set. The set was bloody fantastic, and certainly comparable to some of the West End musicals I had seen. Incredibly creative and ostentatious, in a good way! I utterly loved it.
But it’s terrible to think that if the late Tan Sri P. Ramlee was still around, heâ€™d probably made this musical a smashing one. It says a lot about our entertainment industry that in 2007, we canâ€™t even compare to a man whose golden era was in the 1950s.
Since I have so many problems with the musical, I thought Iâ€™d break it up into points on what I thought was flawed about the musical if you’re still interested. Or you could stop knowing that it was a terrible experience (if youâ€™re still reading that is. I know how I tend to ramble on my blog). The rest of the critique is on my LiveJournal (which I really ought to revive).
But that’s just me. I have an insane desire to listen to some P. Ramlee songs now, because I feel so, so cheated. For those of you who had watched it, what do you think?
Posted 10/26/2007 at 10:11 PM
Friday October 26, 2007