Tuesday, March 23, 2010

showstoppers at mpo

I was surprised when KP emailed saying he wanted to give me a birthday treat at the MPO. Since I had just gone for the Family Fun Day just a couple of months back, and considering the "quota" I have for performing arts, I thought the earliest I'd pay a visit to the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas would be sometime end of the year.

Part of the Pops Series, Showstoppers featured music from Broadway with Stephen Rahman Hughes lending his vocal talents to some of the great numbers from Broadway hits.

I've only known him as the main actor of Puteri Gunung Ledang, our very own Malaysian musical production. Later only did I find out that he had also acted in other musicals such as Bombay Dreams and has his own male opera group, Teatro.

The programme for the evening:

My Fair Lady - Selections
I Dreamed A Dream
Journey Home
West Side Story - Suite
West Side Story - Maria
Luck Be a Lady Tonight


The Sound of Music - Selection for Orchestra
Music Of The Night
Over The Rainbow
Oklahoma! Overture
The Impossible Dream
Don't Cry For Me Argentina

I must applaud the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra for keeping up with the variety of music and especially liked Leonard Bernstein's Symphonic Dances which was a particularly challenging piece due to its technical difficulty and seemingly irregular beats. In some parts, the percussionist would stop what they were doing and snap their fingers, almost adding to the randomness of the orchestral work.

(the prologue which offers a sample of the Symphonic Dances)

Many in the audience were obviously delighted when Stephen sang Luck Be a Lady Tonight; it won the ladies over so much that he performed that as part of his encore. The purple glitter shoes he had added to the stage persona.

After the show was over, we went down to line up so that we could get his autograph. He was very good looking up close and he certainly had a charming smile. Too bad I didn't manage to get a shot together with him - he was either smiling when he looked up at his fans, or looking down when we turned to face the camera.

Still, I think it was a highly enjoyable show, and I'm glad to see that they have done much to improve the music scene in the country with concerts befitting the beauty of the hall.

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