Apa Sudah Jadi, P.Ramlee the Musical?

I know it's a little late to write this review on P.Ramlee the Musical considering this season's show is over.

It was purposely delayed as I am not going to write a really good review about the production hoping that if they ever read this it would give them time to buck up and think of a way for damage control (although I am pretty sure no one would read this and take it up seriously) From this now on you'd be able to guess that the review was written on a rather disappointing note.

What made the musical a disaster was not the fact that the Sultan of Perlis and Dato' Shafie Afdhal attended the show (Just a note: I attended Sheiila Majid's concert @ Stadium Negara and Dewan Philharmonik Petronas some Jurassic Ages ago with the Queen to the late Sultan Selangor while he was on the reign and with our then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir, bangga la ni konon) but the production had some really obvious hiccups, those that should have been tackled in the first season.

The musical started right on time, a very professional first impression indeed. The intro with Datin Seri Taiara's very pleasant voice welcoming guests and the intro gimmick by a member of the Infinitez had really brought me to think that P.Ramlee the Musical would be a good continuation to Datin Seri Tiara's marvelous production of Puteri Gunung Ledang. I was wrong.

First of all, I just could NOT relate the main actor to the late Tan Sri P.Ramlee - he may have tried very hard to impersonate the icon but to me he failed big time. I just think that he was trying too hard to become someone he was not. He lacked stage presence and was over shadowed by the other actors and actresses (the guy playing P.Ramlee's best friend, Sukardi, was so much better!) Even his supposedly similar-to-P.Ramlee's voice wasn't at all the same.

It wouldn't be fair to him if I concluded that he didn't sound at all like P.Ramlee. At times he did sound a little like the late Tan Sri but while singing on a stage for a nearly 4 hours show, please, before trying to sound like someone else, better make sure you are able to keep that impersonated voice throughout - he sounded P.Ramlee for a very short while and then returned to become Musli Ramlee for the rest of the show. My opinion - he would have been so much better sounding himself and concentrating on living the Tan Sri's character than just confusing his audiences by playing puppet to a voice that was obviously not his. I just couldn't relate him to the late Tan Sri, not that I have ever known or have met P.Ramlee in real life but I have a share of liking and enjoying his works, just like everybody else, I assume. What Musli had done was kill the main character of the Musical. I have overheard the Chinese lady sitting behind me commented the exact same thing to her friend during intermission.

Some technical problems occurred during the show. Musli's mike wasn't doing him a favour as well as I swear I could hear him panting (I knew it was him because he was trying to pant like P.Ramlee - just kidding there) and his microphone was making so much ruffling noises throughout the show. At one point an announcement was made telling the audiences there was a technical problem and that the show would continue in a minute's time - need they made it so obvious that there was a problem? I personally think that the show could have just been stopped for intermission while the crew works on fixing the problem.

During intermission, those who did not go out could listen to an accidentally broadcasted conversation from back stage and luckily it wasn't about anything sensitive. There goes their professional image, duh!

Of course, there were things I liked and enjoyed about the Musicial - I loved Melissa Saila and I definitely loved Liza Hanim - they both enjoyed being themselves but livened the characters they were acting. Atilia was good and the girl playing Atilia's sister too was amazing! What do I enjoy most? The dancing and the Broadway styled choral and backdrop/props used in the show made the tickets worth. However, I was expecting more P.Ramlee and Saloma's numbers being sung but too bad too many new songs were played instead.

I am sure the production is learning but I believe the learning curve shouldn't take too long. Technical hiccups and making the wrong choice for actors in the second season of the show was just unforgivable. I didn't watch the first season therefore I cannot compare notes on the two but I do admit, I have read more praises for this second season compared to the first but I just couldn't agree with the rest of the reviewers. Perhaps I was just unlucky (the Sultan of Perlis, and Dato' Shafie too) to have experienced the night's hiccups but Musli Ramlee? Furthermore only one miserable pakcik who happened to sit beside KN gave the production team and casts a standing ovation - unlike during the PGL nearly everyone stood cheering and sounding very satisfied. Well, again, I wouldn't be fair to say no one else stood, everybody did...but they stood, eager to leave the hall looking gloomy. Sigh.

Anyway, congratulations to the production team but I am honestly sure it could've been better.

With that, I rest my case..please don't hate me for being frank...

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Chedd eddie Yusoff said...

Thank you, but i wonder how did you manage to get some nice photos here?

Syahr-El said...

Thanks for visiting. I see you're close to Musly and the P.Ramlee the Musical Team - regards to them all.

As for the photos - they're from my spouse's collection taken during the performance we attended.

Chedd eddie Yusoff said...

i acted as Sukardi, PRamlee best friend in the musical :)

any nice photo of me?

Syahr-El said...

oh my! I feel honored - perhaps I do have some photos of u, kene check... camera kuar mostly after intermission bila orang2 dah a little relaxed. Syabas, you did very well (like I mentioned in my post ni la kan...)

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