After the very porky dinner, we adjourned to catch my first musical since I came back. It has been, what, 5 years since I caught one in Malaysia. I did think of watching one of the many they have in Japan but they were in Japanese and I figured it would be weird to hear beloved musical songs being sung in a language other than English.
However, I did treat myself to My Fair Lady while holidaying in Brisbane 2 years ago. Surprisingly, there weren't that many people then. Maybe because it was a matinee on a weekday afternoon.
So anyways, it was nice to be at Istana Budaya again. I still remember the last time when I went there with the 7D4 grrls and I was doing an Amazing Race stunt leaving a company training in PD halfway just to attend the musical Fame. It was supposed to be just a bus ride, but as with my many adventures something had to come in the way like a traffic jam or delayed schedule and I ended up having to rush a cab all the way back to KL with 5 minutes left to the show.
This time we had plenty of time, in fact much more than expected since we skipped dessert thanks to the scrumptious meaty dinner. So we took lots of pictures outside the hall. (Yes I'm kinda proud of the bag they gave coz we purchased some goodies)
To be honest, one of the reasons I was very hesitant in going for West Side Story was because it was too darn expensive. The price for the highest ticket is more than double for what it was for Cats. When Cats was staged in 2002, the most expensive was RM250, whereas it seems like people have no qualms paying RM590 for a show now.
I don't get it, salary has not increased and yet cost of living has more than doubled since I left. So yes, maybe price of a lot of things including musicals have gone up the roof, but yet people can still afford to splurge - where do they get the money from?!
See why I took ages to write this, I wasn't very happy with many things and my mind derailed for a moment there!
Thanks to KP for his generosity (I owe you one!) I managed to indulge a little, though I must say the show could have been better. We got the highest tier seats, though not the cheapest ones. Still YL and I couldn't help but lean forward at times to properly catch the expressions of the actors on the stage.
My favourite parts were the dances especially since the story does revolve around migrant Puerto Ricans who are first-generation Americans having to make a living in 1950's America. They are taunted by working-class white group who consider themselves true Americans. In a modern version of Romeo and Juliet, it tells of two very different groups who must go through a tragic love story before they can be reconciled.
This is one of the parts which YL and I really liked though we couldn't catch much of the words except for the word "America!"
I'm not sure if it's because of where we were seated but sadly many times we couldn't catch the conversation as if the actors were just mumbling along eating their words. It was a good thing I bought the programme book so we managed to read the synopsis beforehand.
YL decided to get the CD, which was also a good thing because on the way back we were able to listen again to the songs with much clarity.
The diagonal shadows which make up the West Side Story poster is also the fire escape stairs where most of the action is centred around on stage. Simple as they were, these made up the set when rotated in as and when the situation called for it. I only managed to sneak in a couple of oddly taken shots. Think you can get better ones on YL's blog!
Without having to further dampen the evening which ended in a pour, all I wanna say is for the amount of money that people pay for this sort of show, I expected more elaborate stage props, better pronunciation more so when they're not dancing, and at least some sort of interaction with the audience (well, I got the cheapest ticket for Cats and yet was tickled when the furry creatures came up to play with us!).
Thankfully, YL and KP were such sports and it was a good evening of catching up nevertheless :)