Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Frogway -The Musical (My views)


Been meaning to write y'all about the re-premiering of this brilliant musical written by Michael Veerapen and Marcel Nunis , one a leading jazz musician in this region, the other a Malaysian residing and working in the USA as the Artistic Director of Theatre J'Nerique in USA, the program didn't mention which part of USA, sorry...

Anyway, this is a brilliant musical of original scores written by this two gentlemen circa 1980
, first play staged July 30, 1980 and subsequently several other times including even in California. It has played to sold out audiences before and last Friday night was no different.

Long story , cut very short , this is a story a talented an ambitious frog who wanted to sing (think "Little Mermaid") but was ridiculed by an overprotective father , left home to search himself and do what he believes in , met some bad people...was successful and his own vanity and naivette nearly cost him his life and that is dear to him, and home to rescue a dying , his dying pond.

I thought the music and songs were very good...the singing by lead actor Vince (winner of Akademi Fantasia 2003) as Freddie ambitious bullfrog was good , somehow he fitted very well with the role. My friend thinks he should lose some weight , (never mind the relevance here)...but come to think of it.. .maybe bigger he seems more "bullfroggish" compared to a common toad...

The play somehow came across as amateurish acting, but with some brilliant spots like when Chelsia Ng, who plays the role of Shirley The Frogette , with a very Japanese accent....described the rat race to romantic interest, Freddy the Toad(Ash Nair)....her screeching brought thunderous applause from the audience. Her naivette, accent and silly big-eyed, giggly Japanese doll yet somehow sensible is very endearing and kinda you know, stole the show!

The lead female vocalist is Ina Fabregas (Helen the Fish), love interest of Freddie , the prodigal son and small pond bullfrog made good in "Frogway" aka Hollywood. Her melodic voice led most of the songs . Although she was a bit off tune in the beginning song but really minor in view of the bigger scheme of things. Her sister Marielle , only 14years old gave an amazing performance as well as one of the three Frogettes.

Then there is of course the role of the scheming and "Smiley" snake and Suzannah "silly" stork played by Harith Iskandar and Elaine Daly respectively... something very liberating about playing a dumb bird and just showing peek-a-boo feathered butt, I think. Thor Kah Hoong as Horatio was unfortunately a little pallid compared to the rest of the cast, but then he is submerged in his own little world of the small pond...
Ash Nair (Malaysian Idol 2 finalist) also gave a very good solo singing performance ...

This show is really a showcase of singing talents with some strong support in acting by veteran actors and actresses like Thor, Elaine, Harith and Chelsia.

But, it is an enjoyable play, and if you aren't going away for this long weekend , definitely worth spending a couple of hours to hear some witty and funny dialogue. Sure sometimes they are a little off key, sure even the lead actor gets confused after one too many "drinks" and mistakens the "pick me up" sunflower seeds and the more dastardly (I believe) "pumpkin seeds"don't want to give away the plot here.. but all minor details really... still great for a good laugh!Check out www.theactorsstudio.com.my

2 comments:

lecram said...

Thanks for the review. Oh, and it's Fresno, California - from "the other a Malaysian residing and working in the USA."

Cheers!

Yetmee said...

Hey, lecram, gud to hear from you! How's the weather at Fresno? Hope you get to watch this play some time