Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Zak'd Out! (Pt 1)

Whooooooooooboy, has an update been a long time coming!! Yes, I'm still up and about, LOL. Just been superbusy lately. What with, you ask? Well, apart from recuperating post-dengue, there were the intensive rehearsals and performances of the Malaysian premiere of Zak Zebra's African Safari to contend with! Whoooo! We did the show from last Tuesday until Sunday, 12 shows in total, including an excruciating three performances on Friday, which was a killer (but an enjoyable one!).

The audience turnout was pretty good; I'd go so far as to say very good, considering this was our first children's theatre show at KLPAC. Meanwhile, I'd also discovered that the deadline for local theatre grant was due on the same Sunday when Zak closed, meaning that on top of everything else I had to hurry to get all the documentation and submit it (which I did, whew!). Sheer madness! Anyhoo.

We had near full-houses for most shows, including attendance by several schools and music institutions. In fact, somewhat to my surprise, the best audience of the entire run was a bunch of teenage school kids from Pahang, many of them dressed in hijabs. Serves me right for being presumptuous: they were the most raucous, enthusiastic, supportive, excited, game to chime in when the story required (which it does frequently). What a blast! Here's a pic:

The Pahang kids laughing their hearts out during a workshop after the show
All in all, I'm hoping the powers that be at KLPAC will consider this a success and opt for more to come!! Thanks to Omar and Mark, the directors, and to those behind the scenes, not to mention the awesome cast: Siti, Freddy, Aiman, Fara, Ching, Nabs, Annabelle, Vale, Ping, Kevin and Dom! Ooo, here are a couple of live performance videos! The first is the opening dance sequence, which incorporates a dance track from District 78 as the cast had rehearsed with it for weeks and there wasn't enough time for our choreographer Lex to teach them new moves by the time I'd come up with my own dance opening number. As a result, the music that we used for the show was a mash-up of both original and unoriginal music:

And here's one of the more popular songs from the show in terms of audience participation: the devious Lord Fauntleroy (a behobbled Freddy Tan, who injured his knee in real-life prior to the run of the show) and his hapless sidekick Japie (Aiman Asmawar) are told off by the sharp-tongued Ms Severity (Siti Farrah Abdullah) for their mischievous ways. Well, actually, she tells Lord F off, while Japie (and the audience) end up agreeing with her...

And here's a quick vid of the overgrown kids singing The Epic Journey from the Finale of the show, as seen from the vantage point of my keyboard:

As soon as I have more time to process more videos, I'll post 'em up here, k? :)

Naturally the moment the show was over, my body kinda gave way and now I'm feeling under the weather... but work is ongoing on the next project, The Dollmaker's Daughter. As of now I've completed 98% of the songs for Act I (just one more small section to go!), and have begun work on Act II. A whole 2-hour-plus-long musical in about six weeks. If and when I get this done, it will be quite an accomplishment indeed! Here's an instrumental preview I just cobbled together:



Awright, boys and girls... stay tuned, for I'll be back soon with more pics and stuff from Zak! Til then!

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