Disclaimer: I attended the Gala Premier of Magical Musicals sponsored by AllMalaysia.info on June 10, 2011.
Now that that’s out of the way, we can start this report. :D
Met up with Tenta after work and we shot off immediately to Sunway. We got our tickets from Tracie pretty quick and went off to Carl’s Jr for dinner. Fish and Chips were yum, while Tenta was satisfied with the Classic Burger (it was her first time there!) :P. Once we were done with our semi-leisurely dinner, we took a casual walk to Sunway Lagoon. The entrance opened at 7.15pm, and then we realised.
This was the queue. It was so long, it snaked past the Sunway Lagoon entrance to the entrance of Sunway Pyramid the mall. For a Malaysian-made production, especially one in the open-air, that’s a pretty big crowd.
While waiting in the crowd, we met Onigiri, Dusty and Memerang Laut. That was some fun times. :D A few minutes later, they started letting people in, and so the line moved. At this point, Tenta and me nearly visited violence on an old guy who tilted his head back with no warning to look at the sky; he almost hit Tenta in the chest. When he realised what he had done, he shot us a dirty look, as though it had been our fault for not moving for the past few minutes whereas he was as jumpy as a bee (yes that is an exaggeration, but that bit about us not moving is not).
In any case, we went in, walked a bit according to the directions of the friendly staff, and the next thing we knew, we were on a train! Well, it was one of those vehicles dolled up to look like a train. I squeed. We managed to get into the last carriage and then we were off! Everyone else behind us had to make do with the buggies. :DDD
At this point, we hit another jam. There was a huge mess of people who were crowding the entrance, and Tenta and me thought that they may have started already, because we could hear voices through speakers from the outside and thought it had already started. It turns out that JD and Dilly from Mix.FM were hosting the Red Carpet, and they were accosting the audience and asking them about their favourite musicals and the like.
This was merely building up to the hype, so when it actually began, Tenta and me were more than ready to start critiqueing and criticising.
As it turns out, the end of the first half left us in fangirl-heaven. They performed numbers from Hairspray, West Side Story, Grease and Footloose. However, all of those were eclipsed by something Tenta and me were NOT expecting at all. The brochures and press releases had made no mention.
Stevie Tate-Bauer and Stephen Weller did a beautiful job of “As Long As You’re Mine” from Wicked. Or rather, Stevie sang and Stephen backed her up, because she hit all the right notes. The hint of desperation, the desperate clinging, the longing the song’s lyrics required. I really felt as though she wanted to hang on to him.
Then she sang “Defying Gravity” on her own.
SHE SANG DEFYING GRAVITY. FUCK YES DEFYING GRAVITY IF NOTHING ELSE I WOULD PAY FULL TICKET PRICE TO HEAR IT AGAIN.
I was in tears when the song ended. And I wished it didn’t.
Then Intermission happened.
And we had more Stevie Tate-Bauer. There was also solid performances from Stephen Weller, who had some fantastic duets with Tate-Bauer, including making Rihanna’s “Umbrella” actually palatable. The second half had more music that made me want to dance, like “Night Fever,” “If I can’t Have you” and “Dancing Queen.” However, it was marred by uneven singing by Amanda Salmon. While she was passable in certain notes, her performance was much weaker than the rest, and when you consider that I can’t tell a C-sharp from a B-flat and that I can pick out that she’s flat… you know we have a problem.
However, this was easily overlooked by some really great performances by the rest of the cast, namely Gareth Heesom, LJ Neilson, Stephen Weller, Neil Couperthwaite and of course, Stevie Tate-Bauer.
Special kudos to the dancers who were an integral part of the show! They were great in setting the atmosphere and I loved the fact that they all seemed to enjoy being on stage and dancing. There was this one Chinese guy who really got into the Saturday Nite Live dance segment; he was really, really enthusiastic and a pleasure to watch! Also, thank you guys for making me enjoy watching live dances. After my experience at Genting’s Dazzle show, you guys were a sight for sore eyes and traumatised memories.
Also, the set was wonderfully done and apparently it was done by an all-Malaysian team from Sunway Group. Congrats to them too, cause it was beautiful!
Overall, I highly recommend Magical Musicals at Sunway Lagoon. For those who’ve never had a taste of musicals and for those who would like to have a taste of having your favourite songs sung live, Magical Musicals are not to be missed. Details found here.
8.5 out of 10. :D