Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Review: Beauty and The Beast - A musical that appeals to both adults and children

You need not watch the Disney cartoon to better understand the plot, though knowledge of some side characters and songs would enhance your experience.

The story of a country girl Belle falling in love with Beast may be fairy tale stuff, but fortunately the plot and the dialogue had enough meat to engage the adults.

The songs were catchy and were performed by a good cast ensemble, most had those old-school Disney cartoon voice.   The actress portraying Belle handled the role well, and she had a good voice.   The Beast was convincing in its role when he sang, but sounded too "clean" rather than husky when he spoke. The supporting cast provided good comic support to the performance.

True to the fairy tale setting, he production featured a beautiful set design.  At times however, certain scenes could not be seen properly if you were seated at the back as screens were placed in front of the stage.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Shopping and relaxing in Batam

Batam is so near Singapore and yet I have never thought of visiting until recently.  Joining a group of ex-colleagues on a day trip.  Ride from the Singapore Cruise Centre was smooth.  At the island, massage, shopping and more shopping.  The Polo shirts were not as cheap as I was told.

Not many sights.  One of them was the suspension bridge.

The shopping mall that we visited was really huge and bustling.  And of course, there was A&W Root Beer Float!   Always a soft spot for this.....

In terms of scenery, Batam may not satisfy.  It is however a place for a group of friends to eat and shop.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Review: Three Inches of Alive, and Serunding

Three Inches of Alive was the winning play of the 24-hour Playwriting Competition 2014 organised by TheatreWorks' Writing & Community Programme.  Written by Clarilyn Khoo, the play was about an archivist who did research on a deceased lady Leila who was considered a pioneer of Malaya.  The playwright presented it in a form of conversation between the dead and the living.  Interesting idea, but not much variation in the delivery of dialogue.

Director Irfan Kasban moved the production at a good pace and Gyan Lee and Siti Zuraida gave competent performance as the archivist and the Leila respectively.  The set design by Gerald Leow was realistic and beautiful.

With some re-writes, Three Inches of Alive could be restaged again for a wider audience.

In June last year, I had the opportunity to catch Serunding written by Ahmad Musta'ain Bin Khamis, another winning play of the 24-hour Playwriting Competition in 2010.

Aidli Mosbit was excellent as Safiah, a Malay homemaker and a devout Muslim.  Safiah was a typical mother, with a lot of expectations on her children and at the same time tried to get along with her mother in law.   Of course, things did not go well as planned, in particular her relationship with her daughter.

Set in the living room, we watched Safiah go through the daily routine while relating her story to us.  Reminded me of Emily of Emerald Hill, in a good way.

At the audience feedback session, some audience felt that the play could be extended to an hour or so.  The playwright replied that he was focusing on other projects and unlikely to rework on this script.  A pity, as I felt that this play has potential to be a good Singaporean work.  Nonetheless, a good play, a good production and good initiative by TheatreWorks in organising the playwriting competition.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Cofee Amo (KL): Beautiful latte foam design

Recommended by my cousin, Coffee Amo did a decent cup of latte.  More impressively was the latte foam design.   Located within the Kuala Lumpur Chinatown vicinity, Coffee Amo is a good place to spend a quiet time in the afternoon.

1st Floor, 54, Jalan Sultan, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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