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


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!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Behind 'The Edge' (and Teaser #3)

Yesterday I sent Dominic, The Edge producer, a write-up on what inspired the show. He's posted this on FB, so I figure it's cool to put it up here too. Question: What does a musical about a man about to jump off a building have in common with a still-running television series about two hot guys who hunt monsters, ghouls, ghosts, goblins and other thingies that go bump in the night?? Read on to find out:


Behind The Edge

After a successful university-level run of my Christmas musical Follow The Light at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, in 2005, I’d toyed with the idea of writing something more serious, avant-garde and minimalistic, as a contrast to the colour, vibrancy and eclectic musicality of the Nativity story. But it took several instant-messenger chats with an Australian friend, and the debut of a then-new television series, for the seeds of the idea that would eventually germinate into The Edge to come about. 

This friend whom I had known for several months had confided in me, while chatting online, that he’d contemplated taking his life because of his struggles with substance dependence. I remember the questions that had gone through my mind: How should I react? What of his closer friends, his family—did they not care, did they blame themselves? How did he end up in this predicament in the first place? And, most importantly, how could I help him? 

The good news is, that friend is fine today. And it is thanks to his story that I was able to start putting the pieces together that would eventually become The Edge. What happens when somebody near and dear to us decides to end his or her own life? What role did we play that led to this tragic choice? What should we do, or not do; have done, or not done? 

 I’d decided very early on that the central suicidal character would never be seen, and that instead the show would present the points of view, as well as recount the dialogue and interactions, of those affected by him. These persons would be emotionally linked to Josh—as the invisible protagonist was eventually named—in some way, and as I crafted the script, the mother, the best friend and the girlfriend emerged. But there was someone missing—a second solid emotional link. Who would it be? 

It so happened that 2005/2006 was also the year in which a television show called Supernatural had premiered, and it featured two characters who were brothers. In watching it, and recognising the bond between the characters and the protective nature of the older brother towards the younger, it clicked: This was what The Edge needed—an older sibling, a protector and guardian, who would be deeply affected by Josh’s suicide attempt in ways markedly different from the other characters. 

So thanks to this TV show, the inspiration was planted to introduce Josh’s older brother, who would serve to play the most crucial part in the story. 

The initial drafts of The Edge dealt with the very problem my friend had faced—substance addiction—but that was gradually phased out to explore other, arguably more relatable issues: depression, sexuality, affairs of the heart, faithfulness and betrayal. 

Rather than an exercise in doom and gloom, however, at the heart of The Edge is an attempt at exploring human relationships—how what we do can affect other people; how the decisions we make in life can have an impact on those who are close (and not so close) to us, without us necessarily realising it at all. And, ultimately, The Edge tries to ask: if we do manage to hurt someone, how readily or easily should we accept—and grant—forgiveness?

Of stressful songs, studio shoots and cute chiropractors

Hey all! Wow, has the clock been ticking down, and unfortunately I've reached a rather stressed-out point in the journey of this production. But I have nobody to blame but myself for leaving the writing of music scores till the last minute (though, to be fair, up until the middle of this year I wasn't in the right frame of mind, being unhappy in Singaypoo and all, but there's only so much milk I can get out of that cow, arf). Anyway, regardless, the show is going to happen, so I just keep swimming, like Nemo's Dory blithely says. La la la!

Anyway, some recaps: on Tuesday, the producers Dom and Ben, and cast-members Sean and Safia and I headed to the NTV7 studio in Shah Alam for our first television interview on The Edge, which also featured Sean and Safia singing a couple of songs from the show. Awesome stuff. I'll post up the interview as soon as we've got approval to put it up from the telly station (it's not going on air till the 25th, I think); but in the meantime, here are some pics of us at the studio, courtesy of Safia and Sean.

Aren't we pretty! Yes we are!! Daphne (second left) was our lovely hostess.
Getting ready to go on.
In the waiting room. Eesh, Nick. Thigh-ed much? That's Dominic
next to me; behind from left are Sean, Ben and Safia.
On the set.
Me on the keyboard. Sean looking like a supermodel behind me.
Only Ben, who took the photo, would have the perfect timing
to catch Safia giving Sean the stink-eye.
I'm going to end with something non-Edge-related. In all my distraction over the upcoming production, I'd neglected to mention that I'd been going to see a chiropractor since a couple of Fridays ago, at the nearby clinic at Centrepoint. So I walked in for the first consultation expecting just your regular ol' local doctor... and instead, I got Dr Chris, who's this Canadian jock and a really sweet, charming and hawt dude. (New readers of my blog, surprised at this revelation? Nick is gay. As gay as the Icecapades; as gay as a clutch purse at the Tony Awards, as dear old Jack McFarland would say.)

So chiro visits have been a bit... well, stressful, I suppose, because, y'know, you don't wanna go in for consultations and have your eyes (and mind) wander while you get into awkward positions and have his hands all over you and your knee occasionally in his crotch. Heh. And I found myself wanting to be more witty and charming, to make him laugh. Which I did, a couple of times, go me. But no, when you're kinda stressed out from other stuff (e.g. major theatrical projects), the last thing you wanna do is be distracted and further on edge (heh) when you're getting a back adjustment. So it's probably for the best that he's gone now. Yup: the sad news is that Dr Chris has left for Indonesia as he was just filling in for the regular chiropractor. We now take a moment of silence to grieve.

Still, it was fun while it lasted. And oh, the guy was funny. Here are a couple of instances that have taken place; you might have read these on FB already, but it's always fun to document these things here:

Dr Chris (with me lying on the treatment table, arms stretched down to the floor):  
I'm going to get you to move your hand just a little bit so I don't step on your fingers. (Pause) That's a mistake you make only once.


Instance #2:

Dr Chris: I'm going to turn you over on your side, but don't worry, you don't fall off. I haven't dropped anyone... (Pause)
Me: (Thinks) Don't giggle like a besotted schoolgirl!!
Now, I'm going to do something I don't do. Thanks to the wonder of knowing the doctor's last name, and doing a quick Google search, I was able to find a couple of pics of him online. And yes, for posterity's sake, I'm going to do that forbidden and totally unethical thing of posting 'em up here. Because, a) I wanna remember the guy, and b) I think you should all know just what exactly got away. Heh. But no, please don't do this, boys and girls. I do think privacy is important... but right now my overeagerness to share is overriding my sense of good judgment. Dr Chris, if you ever encounter this blog, know that my intentions are pure and good! Okay, maybe not pure. But good... well, to a point. Anyway, please forgive me. And add me on Facebook.

Here's the cutie chiropractor I was seeing:

And here's a photo of him less Dawson's Creek, more ... au naturel:

Okay that's the end of the chiro story. Let's all take a deep breath and move on. Run along, children. Run along. Till next time...

Monday, 14 October 2013

We All Need Somebody To...

Whew, another 12-hour day of rehearsing! Exhaustion galore as we inch closer and closer to The Edge! Here's a video of me leading the band this evening, as they attempt the title song, doing a cold play (i.e. an unrehearsed, on-the-spot performance, not to be confused with Coldplay, the band. Arf arf.) Try not to pay too much attention to me, the virgin conductor...

And here's an emotional scene between the characters April and Jarod, as rehearsed this afternoon. Sorry for the poor camera angle, right next to the piano, arf! More stuff coming soon, k! Keep checking in... and have you clicked on the Edgy poster on the right yet??

Monday, 7 October 2013

The Edge 2013: Say Cheese!

Here's a pic of me with the cast and production team! That's Dominic, the producer, next to me; and next to him is our supermodel director Sabrina! (Gawsh I look wide in this shot. I'm going to blame being on the edges of a fish-eye lens or whatever it's called. Yes, let's just go with that.)

Inching Towards The Edge...!

Am I bushed! It's been a 13-hour day of rehearsals for The Edge, and I'm exhausted! But also inspired and thrilled at the same time, because we managed to put the band together for the first time to run through six of the songs (out of about 25!), and I'm encouraged by how it's sounding! The downside is, the band members (naughty band!) want me to conduct them (oy!), and as it turns out, I suck at it (and not in a good way). But hey, looks like it's going to be a learning experience for us all! (Meanwhile, if I wanted to be a conductor, I'd stand on a bus. Or on the top of a very tall building.)

Anyway, some exciting developments. First off, we've got the Facebook event page for The Edge ready and going, so do check in on it for more info. More publicity efforts will also be coming up shortly, so stay tuned. In the meantime, here's a candid shot of our cast. Aren't they a pretty bunch?

If you do check out the event page for the show, one of my mates Johann posted this lovely little warm-fuzzy of a comment. It read:

"For whatever this is worth, I must say this. To everyone I know, and even people I don't who will listen: GO FOR THIS SHOW. It will blow your mind. Nick Choo is one of the most talented composers I know; interweaving such depth, meaning & emotion through his music and lyrics that you will be left spellbound by the whole experience. If you want a really rare & magical theatre experience, go for this show."

Awww!! Thanks buddy! You still have to pay for your tickets, though. Arf arf!!!

All righty, I'm going to go to bed soon since I'm so exhausted... but check back in soon for more exciting updates, k?? See ya then!!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

More Dreaming Outside The Box!

Here's another view of Dreaming Outside The Box, filmed on a different night. I later discovered this was actually the dress rehearsal, which accounts for the rawness of their singing (not a bad thing, given how emotional this show gets!), and for the minor bloopers in the music (whoops!). Nevertheless, enjoy!

Of Clowns and Celebrations!

Here are more pics from the final night of Short+Sweet Musical last Saturday!

Aaron receiving his prize for best actor!
With the rest of us
Party on, folks!
Whoohoo, was that a landslide victory or what!
Mum gives Tria a hug for winning best actress!  Dad looks clownish too.
With Terry!! (To those who don't know him: of RedFM DJ fame,
a.k.a. my childhood best friend! Aww! Corn.)