Sunday, 22 December 2013

Movies, Theatre, Wedding Feasts and Drunken Shenanigans

Hey all! Wow, time sure flies, and I can't believe we're only a few days away from Christmas! No big plans in the pipeline for me this year, but that's okay. I think, hopefully, cautiously, that this might be the first Christmas since 2010 where I'm actually feeling more optimistic. I mean, 2010, post-FTL, was a downer; 2011 was the worst; 2012 was all right but I was getting ready to leave to Singapore (and to be honest I don't really remember what I did for Christmas Day last year)... so God willing, this year will be pretty good, even if it's a quiet one.

The past few days have been filled with more catch-ups with friends. Last Sunday I checked out Enfiniti Academy's production of Seussical at PJ Live Arts (my first time in the theatre since FTL), and enjoyed that very much. Saw Frozen on Monday at Tropicana City Mall and really liked it; I thought it had a mix of good and forgettable songs, but those that stuck with me still stick with me, which is exactly what songs should do. On Wednesday caught the second Hobbit movie (too long, slightly more tolerable in my opinion than the first one), and on Thursday checked out a local musical, Marrying Me, at KLPAC (my dear friends Steph and Fang, in particular, knocked it out of the park). Today I headed to Damansara Performing Arts Centre to catch Miasma, a collection of four intriguing plays, even though I was mostly in a hungover haze (see below). So it's been quite a 'cultural-immersive' kinda week, if you get my drift, heh.

And last night... well, last night was... interesting, to say the least. There was a party, and there was drunkenness involved. But before that, the more civilised festivities: Josie and Trevor's KL wedding dinner, held more than a year after their wedding in Perth! Little Jo (who's in town from Singypoo) and I made our way to the restaurant in Subang Parade at about 6pm; chilled out and wandered about the mall till about 7, and then joined the table of strangers for the eight-course feast. The people at our table were actually pretty interesting to talk to (except for one guy who stuck both Jo and me as being, well, really annoying); and Jo and I hit it off particularly well with a lovely girl named Nancy and a guy named Joel. All in all, it was a good night, with good food, copious amounts of booze, and a hilarious moment with Josie's drunken brother. Tra la la. Here are some pics from last night:

The bride and groom make their speeches!
Yaaam seeeeng!!
Because everything's prettier in black and white.

Selfie with the bride!
After the wedding, Jo and I gave Nancy a ride home, and we were meant to hang out at Jo's hotel when I received a call from a friend reminding me of a little Christmas party that was also being held. (The conversation kinda went like this: "FUCKAA! WHY AREN'T YOU HERE?! COME NOW!" **click**) So I decided to head over to join some of my mates at Phileo, where we chatted and bitched and flirted and did all the things theatre folks do, while one of my friends Aiman served up concoction after concoction to get me well and hammered. Long story short, I don't really remember what happened towards the end of the night, though I did (cough) manage to drive home safely, oy. That's the good news. The bad news is that I forgot about a cooler bag filled with ice cream that I'd left in the back seat of the car... and only remembered this morning, while the car was parked by the street in the scorching heat of the sun. Whoops.

The crazy crew at Sparky Dawg
Me drinking a potent brew called 'My Mother'. i.e. 'My Mother sure tastes strong'.
'My Mother isn't easy to swallow'.
Will try to update over the next few days, but if I don't before the big 2-5, here's wishing one and all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! See you all soon!!

Letting Go of Pain Self-Created

Here's a new song I wrote a couple of days ago and recorded yesterday, which will likely end up in a musical sometime. It reflects some thoughtful thoughts I've thought:

When you like someone who's not attainable, you sometimes become your own worst enemy, judging yourself for simply having emotions. Shouldn't there be JOY in feeling for somebody? Is it absolutely necessary to kill that joy by allowing negativity, self-judgement and resentment to take control? Perhaps there's something to be said for holding on to the positivity of just being able to FEEL. Don't overthink it, don't overcomplicate things.

This is a song about realising that it's okay to admire from afar and to learn to relish that moment of happiness in liking someone, no matter how fleeting. Because the alternative would be to end any hope of connection with that person. And that would be the bigger loss.

Hope you enjoy this. Just a demo, a work in progress. Lyrics below.



JOY OF KNOWING YOU

Music & lyrics by Nick Choo © 2013

I’ll let go of the pain that I’m going through; this hurt in my heart caused by me
I’ll hold to the joy of knowing you, though I know this is all it can ever be
And I’ll hear you laugh, and I’ll see you smile – my feelings, perhaps, unabated
But I’ll hold to the joy of knowing you, and let go of this pain self-created

I’ll let go of this pain that I’m feeling now: the damage I cause to myself
I’ll acknowledge the joy that I’m stealing— how I am the victim here and nobody else
So I’ll watch you smile, and I’ll hear you speak, and try to relax, now unweighted
And hold to the joy of knowing you, letting go of this pain self-created

I’ve been weary, frightened and wary of overthinking unnecessarily
It’s turned me into my own adversary— Let me now accept what I can’t change
Embracing what will clearly remain

As I let go of this pain that I tend to feel when I’m trying too hard to be friends
I’ll hold to the joy that could be real in accepting the boundaries, where they start and end
So I’ll hear you laugh and I’ll see you smile; now fearless, emancipated
As I hold to the joy of knowing you, letting go of this pain self-created

Help me learn to enjoy each moment ever-fleeting
Understanding, accepting things that I can change
Embracing truths that clearly remain

I’ll let go of the pain that I’m going through: this hurt in my heart all my own
And hold to the joy of showing you the meaning of friendship, as it should be sown
So I’ll watch you stand and light up the room, and carry a tune, serenaded
I’ll hold to the joy of supporting you; hold to the joy of admiring you
Hold to the joy of knowing you, letting go of this pain self-created

Friday, 13 December 2013

Shattered

So I accomplished this today, for reasons that shall be largely kept to myself.


The good news is, it gives me a good reason to get a new phone, and I did! Tonight I went out and got a Galaxy Grand. An older model, I think, but it's affordable-ish and does its job. So yay. I guess.

Last night I went to see a dance theatrical performance, Flatland, and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it even though I didn't really understand it (but my friends who accompanied me did... which makes me think that sometimes, Nicky's not the brightest bulb in the bunch!). Then I joined Terry and Debs for a late supper, one of the rare occasions these days that we've supped; before Debs and I headed to Mines, 30 minutes away, to partake of the 24-hour Big Bad Wolf Book Sale!! 

I'm not sure if it was because I was tired or what, but sadly, not too many of the supposed three million books on sale jumped out at me... but I did come away with, among other things, a couple of Far Side anthologies, so it wasn't a complete loss! Got home circa 5am and hit the sack at around 6, which is something I haven't done for a long time either! Oy vey, am I ageing!

Anyhoo. That's that for now. More updates as and when. See ya!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Snoozy

Just the slightest bit spoiled.


Fly Away, Flu!

Urgh. I'm sick.

Homemade chicken veggie soup for the win.

The Tale of the Cranky Poopyhead

I forgot to blog about this from a couple of weeks ago, when I was walking Ashley and some woman made a big loud and ugly fuss, screaming from the back door of her house and accusing me of letting my puppy make a mess in the alley behind her home. Subsequently I wrote this letter, which I dropped into her mailbox. Since it was signed anonymously and left there without any trace, there has been no follow up, but I hope she and her ilk have read it and feel the least bit chastened. Here it is:

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Dear Madam of the House,

I hope you will read this letter in the spirit with which it is written. I refer to tonight’s incident where you stood at your back door and rudely shouted directives at me, and, worse, accused me of being an irresponsible dog owner. I wish to advise you firstly of these points:

a) That my dog is trained and does not do her business in public unless she is under duress (e.g. an upset tummy); she knows that she can only do it, as you said, in the back of my own home.

b) That in the event of any “accidents”, I always walk my dog with newspaper and plastic bag to clean up after any messes.

I found it highly incredulous that you would start berating a neighbour you don’t even know, without even being able to see me clearly, without having any proof my dog making a mess, and with full accusation that the only reason I was walking in the back lane was because I wanted my dog to do her business there. Even more incredulously, I was nowhere NEAR your house.

This whole incident, dear Madam, is regrettably very offensive. Had you stopped even briefly to consider, it might have occurred to you that at that evening hour, the main road was filled with cars, and it was safer for me to walk my dog in the back alleys, which I often do and which I have every right to do so. To make matters worse, the man in your house warned me to “watch my tone” – highly ironic, given that you, dear Madam, was the one who took on the uncourteous and strident tone (may I use the word "obnoxious"?) to begin with.

(Could I kindly ask, are/were you a teacher? Because the way you talked to me, a complete stranger, was reminiscent of a tired educator in a government school. If I am correct, could I kindly remind you that educators—and parents, mothers, sisters—should educate? If I am off-base, I apologize.)

And then, of course, dear Madam, you had the audacity to say (bark, even) that you were merely trying to inculcate ‘civic-mindedness’.

Dear Madam, this isn’t a letter intended to threaten or insult or intimidate. Rather, it is a gentle and respectful call for you to please watch your own tone when talking to others; to please be mindful of the accusations you hurl in other people’s way; and to, overall, practise the civic-mindedness that you so loudly preached. (May I suggest that preaching, in general, isn’t the best approach when wanting to convey a message to someone else, and that a courteous and civil discourse would, indeed, bring about better results?)

Again, I hope you will take the contents of this letter bearing in mind that I have fully good intentions in writing it. Please, dear Madam, consider other people’s feelings just as you called on others to consider yours. Please, dear Madam and Sir of the house, watch your own tone just as you warned others to watch theirs. And please, dear Madam and Sir, learn that you should always talk to your neighbours with courtesy and respect—yes, even complete strangers— for only then can you expect the same to be returned to you.

I thank you for reading this.

With neighbourly sincerity and affection,
RESPONSIBLE DOG WALKER

Monday, 2 December 2013

A spontaneous Singypoo sojourn!

Hey all! Greetings from my final night in Singapore, arf. Yeah, I did a rather spontaneous trip down on Thursday, the plan being to meet up with some friends here and also to spend time with Little Jo and her family. It has been pretty relaxing and pretty fun catching up with some mates, including Siti and Aiman, who were both coincidentally here on holiday as well; met them for a brief but productive 20-minute discussion on Friday over beers before meeting up with Derrick to discuss some theatre stuff.

Then Friday night it was out-and-about with Jo and Ju and their grandma (aunty!) and their folks, which involved dinner, coffees at the hotel I was initially staying at (Value Hotel Thomson, small but very pleasant, a ten-minute walk from Novena MRT), and an even more spontaneous decision to extend my stay till tomorrow (today, really, since it's already past midnight) so that I could meet up with Trevor and Josie, who are both in town!! Whew, that was a long sentence!!

The extension of my visit involved me booking a second, similarly priced albeit marginally higher-end hotel in Lavender, the aptly named Aqueen Hotel, where I am right now. Comfy enough. Here are some pics of the room... sorry that I forgot to take pics of the earlier hotel!

Bed and bay window!
Oddly angled bathroom and toilet...
Another viewpoint. Try to ignore the pants.
Before I share pics from tonight's seafood dinner at Geylang, here's a pic of me and another dear friend, Aaron, who starred in Follow The Light and whom I had not seen since 2011. We spent the better part of the afternoon catching up yesterday, over lunch at Paragon which led to coffee and beer and more coffee, since it was raining cats and dogs. Here's a selfie of us:

So cute laaah, these two.
So tonight, Trevor, Josie and I met up for a scrumptious dinner, which would have been made even more enjoyable had poor little Jo not fallen sickypoo and had to stay home, doh!! That's irony for you. But we had lots of yummy seafood — salted egg crab, chilli crab, steamed fish, veggies, oatmeal prawns, the whole nine yards — plus some good catch-up and conversation.

Afterwards we decided to take a walk through Geylang, a.k.a. the scary part of Singapore, where all three of us felt like real tourists experiencing a culture shock in a faux third-world-country setting. At one point Trev and Josie wanted Chinese tea, so we embarked on a hunt for some good ol' authentic tea in a teapot, only to get befuddled looks from the ladies in the coffee shops who didn't understand that we wanted authentic tea in a teapot, dammit!!! So we finally settled for some teabags in a glass (good enough, I suppose, but... still...) before all three of us hopped into a cab, which dropped me off first before heading to their hotel.

My bus leaves at 10am, so I shalt bid thee all good night for now! But before that, here are the pics from dinner tonight. Aren't they the sweetest couple evaaah?? You know it!

So cute laaah, these two.
So cute laaah, these three.
Josie: "Mmmph! Mmph mphhmmg!"
(Translation: "Nick! I'm eating!")
Okay, now they're just overdoing the cute.
All that foooooooood!!!!

Monday, 25 November 2013

Birthday of a King (Soon)

One month to Christmas, and in the spirit of the season (as well as of vanity and thick-skinnedness), I recorded this. Because... why not? Arf arf.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Catch Ups and Big Life Lessons

Hey all! Sorry for the long silence - for the past couple of weeks, I've been recuperating from the drama that was The Edge (heheh!), and basically been chilling out, going to the gym, meeting up with old friends and spending a bit of time reconnecting. I probably can't recall everyone I've met up with over the past fortnight, but among the highlights was a meeting with my old friend Jonathan, whom I'd known when we were six to ten years old! We were best friends then, and then he and his family moved away to Adelaide and we lost touch for many years. Then, by chance, we encountered each other on a (cough) website (prompting us to go, "Ohhh, no wonder we were best friends!)... and when Facebook came about, we managed to keep in touch.

Anyway, he was recently here with his partner, and wouldn't you know it, considering we hadn't talked in, like, 23 years, we settled into an easy camaraderie and basically had a good time hanging out and trying to share the pertinent moments that had come about over the past couple of decades. I met them at Berjaya Times Square and then took them to KLCC, where we had lunch and did the usual shopping walkabout. Here are some pics of us!

At lunch! 
Me and Jon!
Other peeps who I'd manage to catch up with included Patrick, a journalist friend who I had previously considered moving in with after moving out of my apartment at Bandar Utama; Shern, with whom I'm embarking on a collaborative musical venture that should prove rather interesting; Colin K, who directed Follow The Light three years(!) ago and who has further aspirations for our Christmas musical; Diane and Johann, who got married right about the time I left for Singapore; and the lovely Janet, who declared our conversation space a "non-judgement zone" and proceeded to cackle wickedly like a witch as my stories unfolded before turning supportive.

I'd also managed to catch up with Mikey and Bella, whom I'd first met while doing A Christmas Carol back in 2008, and it was great to spend some time with them. On Friday night we caught up for drinks and snacks at the George and Dragon in Bangsar, where, inebriated, we took silly photos, as one does.

What happens when crazy people get hammered.
Friday I also caught up with my dear old friend Tony Leo, and we had lunch at Publika and caught up on the latest dramas in our ever so dramatic lives:

Awww! Sweet!
And last night I joined the lovely and vivacious Nicole to catch a play at KLPAC, which turned out to be a lot of fun, though it resulted in me squeezing in the back seat of her Myvi which was otherwise filled with empty pet-food bags, tin cans and rubbish galore. Still, it was a lot of fun, and the show (a double-bill featuring the awesome Jo Kukathas) was very enjoyable.

One thing I've learnt over the past few days/weeks/months is the importance of community. I'm now seeing, more than ever, how crucial it is for me to expand my social and professional circle, to reconnect rather than distance myself from those in the industry, and to be able to get past my issues and really learn to look at the big picture. I've been spending a lot of time with my old friend Juan, too, who is really quite good at being the motivator, helping me to strategise for a brighter career in the arts... as well as a brighter future, mentally and emotionally, all round. So the past couple of weeks has been a time of healing and further growth, I think, with me learning more about myself, realising the folly and hubris of my past ways in which I'd thought I could accomplish things in isolation, and really embracing the way things are and the way things could (will?) be.

So that's about all for now. How are you?

Monday, 11 November 2013

Off The Edge (For Now!)

And it's a wrap folks! The end (for now) of three months (give or take!) of hard work, rehearsals, music scores, tears, emotions running wild and hugs! What a crazy ride it's been, and I'm so, so proud of the show we put on. Based on the feedback we've received (sadly, no media reviews), the audience loved it too. The standing ovations at the end of the final few shows definitely proved what power The Edge had to move those who were fortunate enough to witness it. Here's one FB post from an audience member, Azizan:

Damn man. It's not okay to make someone cry with words and music. The Edge was unbelievably amazing. If I had the chance, I'd definitely watch it again. Unfortunately, it's not showing anymore. Nevertheless, I truly enjoyed the one show I watched. This musical is definitely going to be very difficult to top on my list of most emotionally moving stories/musicals. The Edge had the best storyline, accompaniment music, and lyrics in a musical out of all the others I have watched. Congratulations on this! I hope you are proud of this, because it's perfect damn it. Thank you for The Edge.

Thank you, Azizan!

I couldn't be prouder of this show, though it's had its painful moments for reasons creative, professional and personal. (I know that's a vague-ism, but I shall leave it at that.) I've said before that there were bumps in the road; sources of turbulence, as it were, that made this journey a little less than stellar all the way; but in the end, it has nevertheless been exciting and the destination was simply wonderful. And in the meantime, I shall look forward to the next journey and aim to eliminate these sources of turbulence. This isn't an easy task as it means, as our gay character Ryan says in the show, "ending relationships that cause more harm than good"... but you have to do what's right, don't you? Yes, yes, more crypticness (and yes, that's a word). Though if you know me well enough, you'd know it's not that cryptic, all in all! Anyway!

Here are pics of the final day on set, with the cast, crew, musicians and those involved.

With the terrific Jarod, Peter Ong!
Ryan, Ryan, what's your game? (Joshua Gui, you rock!)
Tria Aziz in the house, making everyone bawl!!
The supremely sexy Deanna, Safia Hanifah!
Our lovely and talented director, Sabrina Hassan!
Me with the cast, on set.

Plus musicians and our producers, Dom and Ben (far left)!
Plus everyone!!
Me and the musos, what an awesome bunch!
With our stage manager Keilly, and our sound guy Alam!
Waving mah baton for the last time (for now!)
And here's a final bye-bye, for now, as the musicians and I did a run-through of the one of the songs:


In case you didn't get the hint from all the "for now"s, we've got further plans for The Edge coming up in the not-too-distant future! More info as and when this develops folks... but in the meantime, I'm looking forward to a good rest, and to focusing my efforts on other projects in the pipeline. Thanks for joining me on this journey... there'll be more to come!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

The Edge Out Front

Here's a view of the display at the stage door!

Pic by Leo Selvaraj

The Big 'O'

Standing ovation during The Edge tonight! Whoo-hoooo! More to come...

Pic by Sabrina Hassan

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Edging Towards The End... For Now!

Yo wassup peeps! Okay, I'm mostly over the funk that prompted me to write the previous post (though the issues certainly still remain!)... but for now, what's important is that I hold on to the positivity of this show, which is (at time of writing) approaching its second last performance. The audience's feedback has been tremendously encouraging, and the number of people who have been moved by this story of depression and suicide serves as a reminder that what I've done and what I'm doing can make a difference in people's lives. So I shalt aim to hold on to that and not let things that are out of my control get me down. Easier said than done, of course, but hey. Baby steps.

Again, I wish I had more photos and stuff from the show to put up, but oddly that's slow in coming (and I'm busy conducting, leaving me with no time to snap away!). But until this is sorted out (fingers crossed), here's a little "review" from Colin Kirton, the dude I co-produced Follow The Light with in 2010. Thanks, Colin!!

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Seven years ago, I was approached by an unknown then-fresh-out-of-uni composer named Nick Choo, who showed me a musical he had written called "Follow The Light". I was blown away by Nick's obvious talent with words and music, and in putting together a great musical. Even more praiseworthy was Nick's humble and gracious willingness to further workshop his work with input from me.

 Four years later, I had the privilege and honour to co-produce and direct "Follow The Light" as Nick's first fully-produced professional musical. In spite of all the hurdles we faced getting that show to stage, I still look back with great fondness at being a part of this project and part of what I consider to be a landmark in Malaysian English language musical theatre.

 Last night, I went with great expectancy to catch Nick's second fully-produced musical, "The Edge". I was certainly not disappointed. "The Edge" is very different in style and tone from "Follow The Light" - a testimony to Nick's versatility - but once again, Nick showcases his genius not just at putting words and music together brilliantly, but also in injecting a huge amount of heart into the stories he weaves.

"The Edge" tackles themes of relationships - how our lives are intertwined, how the words we say or don't say and the actions we do or don't do affect those around us, and how we need to learn to deal with our hurts and issues and give or accept forgiveness before it is too late. There's no ensemble/chorus, no dancing and no lighting pyrotechnics. Think of this as a dramatic story (with some doses of humour too!) almost entirely sung by the six actors, very much in the vein of Jason Robert Brown's "The Last Five Years".

The cast all have amazing voices and do a great job of bringing the story to life, under director Sabrina Hassan's able hand and minimalist set. The five live musicians, under Nick's directorship, beautifully interpret the music, some of which is extremely complex if you take a moment to pay attention to it!

Yet the complexity of the music never for once distracts or detracts from its appreciation. "The Edge" runs for only FOUR more shows. Don't miss this! This is an entirely local musical theatre production worthy of any Broadway or West End stage, and I foresee it featuring strongly in next year's Boh Cameronian Arts Awards' nominations and, I dare say, winners.

Friday, 8 November 2013

History Repeats...

Hey all,

Just taking a break from all the Edgy updates. Actually, just so I don't forget, I'll do a brief recap - shows at night, which have been going very well, including standing ovations; media interviews on Wednesday with Capital FM and BFM; all in all, smooth-sailing and the crowd seems to be picking up, which is great.

But I just thought I'd interrupt all the positivity to report on some negativity. Unfortunately I seem doomed (a word that might be a tad dramatic) to repeat the same mistakes of the past, and I'm finding myself in a similar sort of pickle that I found myself in post Follow The Light. And I'm not entirely sure what to do about it, except acknowledge that this must stop. For my career to go any further, this absolutely has to be nipped in the bud. Though I'm not entirely sure how, though Little Jo reckons it's time for the therapy to resume. Oy.

Anyway so that's my latest update for now. I'll come back later, hopefully in a better frame of mind and mood, and report further on the show and its peripheral goings-on. Four more shows remaining, and a part of me is thankful it's going to be over soon, so I can truly get a rest, and so that distance can make the sticky situation go away...

Take care, all!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Dark Days, Seafood Nights and Testimonials

Hey all! Today (well, yesterday) was our day off, following a third run of The Edge on Sunday. So I earlier met up with Little Jo, who had bussed it in from Singypoo and will be catching the show tomorrow, and we hung out at her hotel and 1Utama till afternoon, when I drove into the city to meet up with another mate from Sg, Derrick. It was a little bit of a comedy of errors as Derrick, Peter, Safia and I tried to coordinate dinner plans, but in the end we got it together and ended up at a pretty awesome seafood place in KL, where we had steamed fish, salted egg crab, veggies and prawn noodles (gawsh yummm!!). Here are some pics of us at dinnertime!

Somethin' fishy goin' on with Peter and Safia!
Group shot!
Pete doing his best Popeye impression!
So the show is well on its way, boys and girls, and tonight (Tuesday) it's going to be an important night as it's our gala/VIP evening, with bigwigs and celebrities and media (hopefully) in attendance. Not to mention Little Jo, of course, arf. So here's to an awesome show!

In the meantime, I do apologise that we don't have much in the way of photos and stuff to share of the performances (we're gonna rectify that this week, believe you me!); but in the meantime, check out this promo clip I've just put together, which includes snippets (not entirely the best quality) of live performances:


And here's another testimony from an audience member who was in tears after watching the show on Sunday. Gosh. (The final line refers to one of the characters.) Here it is:

So I was really scared at how the topic of depression would be handled when I went to watch The Edge. But I really had nothing to worry about. Nick Choo handled the issue with empathy, honesty and sensitivity and had me relating to so much that was happening. 

I was punched in the heart and torn to shreds and picked up only to be torn up again. It was beautiful. I left with puffy eyes and a runny nose and full of so much emotion, but yet, so alive. I felt. And feeling is always a wonderful thing. 

Tria Aziz and Joshua Gui were brilliant. They each gave honest, truthful portrayals and were absolutely beautiful to listen to. Thank you to everyone who was a part of the show for making this medicated bipolar girl feel understood and accepted even. Not once did I feel judged. Thank you so much for that. It is a rare thing for (so called) sensitive issues to be handled with such compassion. Thank you. 

Have a wonderful, wonderful run. P.s. I need an April of my own.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

We're on The Edge, folks!

Hey all!! And it's 2 November (at least, it was), which means we've reached the long-awaited milestone: the full staging of The Edge, opened!! And because we've done two shows today, I'm absolutely knackered and will post more about opening day/night later. But for now, here's an Instagram pic I've stolen from Facebook, featuring some blurry scenes from the show:


And I'm copying and pasting my FB status. It reads as such:

Opening day/night has come and gone... and eight shows remain! Whoooo, what an exhausting, exhilarating, exciting show! Here's a beautiful review from Janet Lee, who was part of the 2008 workshop production, as she reflects on the show she saw today. Thank you, Janet!

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On a cool Deepavali day like this, I witnessed an important history being made, it made me feel fantastic to be in the audience this afternoon in Pentas 2 KLPac. Five years ago I was part of the workshop production of The Edge the musical by Nick Choo, a beautiful script that deals with the less pleasant things in life - death and suicide.

It felt surreal and marvelous to see that short-lived workshop production came back on stage, in a full scale form, reworked, re-staged and better in every single technical and spiritual aspect. I have heard important voices on stage this afternoon, moved by the music arrangement and dramatic direction.

Though I had left the 2008 workshop production feeling slightly inadequate as an actor and singer, today I sat there watching the brand new cast of The Edge taking the issues and stories of Josh to a new level, provoking and reminding us of things we take for granted - and I feel proud being part of the workshop production after all.

This is an important milestone in the Malaysian music theatre scene, to have an original script come back to life, bigger and better, from its past life at the workshop. The Edge is intense, witty, dark, humorous, clever, closer-to-home (than you care to admit), important piece of work to look out for. Please get yourself a ticket and go in with your senses fully open. They run till November 10th in KLPac pentas 2. A Must watch this year.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Open Your Eyes! (And Ears!)

In case you're wondering, just how strong, vocally, can a cast of six people be? Well, here's a sneak-peek from tech rehearsal of The Edge tonight. Six people and a musical ensemble of five = a whole lotta powerhouse. (PS: Nobody's out of tune at the end there; it's called discordance. It's deliberate.) ;)

And you know what? The audio/video definitely DOES NOT do it justice. Want to be blown away? Come to the show, opening this Saturday!!

Ready, Set, Go!!!

So we moved into the theatre space today for our technical run (a long, arduous but very necessary process), and we managed to get a glimpse of the set for the very first time! It's pretty awesome, if I may say so. Here's a sneak-peek; there's more to it than meets the eye, folks, but I don't want to give everything away too soon! Here are the boys from The Edge on set:

Pic by Nadia Aqilah
More media have been appearing promoting the show; here's one of a web series called The Backstage Life, which chronicles local arts goings-on. Thanks to Nick Dorian for doing the interview and sharing this with us and the internets!

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Mo' Media!

Here's a write-up in The Malay Mail (which, thanks to the convenience of having an insider i.e. my Dad, I was able to do quite a bit of editing and accuracy clean-ups):

Right-click and open in new tab for full view!

And here's a photo of Sabrina, Dominic, Nadia (who plays April), and yours truly, with Terry and his co-host Azura during an interview session on Red.FM earlier this evening (thanks, Terry!):

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Previews and Promos!

The preview articles on The Edge have started emerging, as we head into the home stretch before opening night on Saturday. Check out these articles below:

Hype.my: A brief interview with yours truly. Not a fan of the too-large photo (in more ways than one!), but hey, publicity is publicity!

postkod.my: Thanks to my friend Terence Toh, who did this informative write-up!

And here's a second promo video that I created earlier today, with music from the show:

Monday, 28 October 2013

Sweet

One of the best pics from last night at Publika, methinks; courtesy of our gorgeous 'Deanna', Safia Hanifah:


One week (or less) to go... plus, Publika!

Wassup peeps! I know it's been pretty quiet lately, but things are heading to an awesome boil as we're less than one week away from opening night of The Edge! So as you can imagine, it's been really busy and rather stressful, with rehearsals every day and music scoring that had to be completed... but I'm so pleased to announce that as of earlier this week, everything score-related has been done and we're now neck-deep into the swing of things!! What a relief! From music scoring, I'm moving into conducting, which I'm not terribly good at but am getting better (methinks), as I work with the band to get the songs into shape. Still rather messy here and there but I'm thinking it's getting tighter and tighter each time we do it (umm that sounds vaguely dirty, HAW HAW), so I'm fairly confident we'll get there!

So after a long day of rehearsing today (where I got to meet choreographer Pat Ibrahim, who has done brilliant work on shows such as Puteri Gunung Ledang and P Ramlee, and who said he was blown away by just our runthrough of the show, not even the final product!), the cast, Dominic and I headed to Publika for the first We Are Malaysian Made (WAMM) festival at The Bee, where we performed excerpts from the show! A lot of fun, though I'm rather tipsy right now, arf arf... and it was also great to be able to meet up, once again, with old theatre friends, some of whom I'd not seen since before the Great Depression of 2011, oy vey! (I've got further reflections and realisations stemming from the Great Depression - things I've recently just discovered - but I shalt merely mention this as a reminder to delve into this at some other, more appropriate time.)

But moving right along, here are some photos from tonight, courtesy of friends from FB as well as my own pics:

The cast rocking it up on stage!
With Janet (next to me) and her parents; Nicole (kneeling), and a spooky character.
Our beautiful cast. All of 'em.
And there's me with them!
Whatcha doin', peeps? (Sean's got his male model look on again)
Pretty ladies. With Tria, Dom and Pete (right).  Meanwhile, how
befitting that the quote behind us reads: "Only those who will
risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."
And here's the Edge medley from earlier tonight, with the cast and yours truly on piano!