10 minutes too short? | Selangor Times
Issue 118


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10 minutes too short?
Writer: Basil Foo
Published: Fri, 07 Oct 2011

Sitting through two-hour song-and- dance performances is never easy, even for fans of musicals. The music has to be original, the plot engaging, and the vocals music to the ears.

So when the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPac) introduced Short & Sweet Musical last year, it was practically heaven-sent for non-musical mortals like me. Instead of one two-hour musical, audiences are treated to 10 10-minute performances, allowing even the least initiated fan to enjoy a variety without getting bored to tears.

And due to its popularity, KLPac had decided to increase the number of melodic skits from last year’s four to 10. For 100-odd minutes, the audiences got a mixture of musical tales about love, angst-filled teenagers, wedding stories to cannibalism.

KLPac’s decision to raise the number of performances was also rewarded as the four-day Short & Sweet Musical played to full houses every night from Sept 28 to Oct 1.

While increasing the number of acts ensured better attendance, one wonders if some quality was sacrificed to fulfill the quantity quota of 10.

Nevertheless, most of the musicals were well-conceived, and whatever shortcomings the handful of acts had were well compensated by the better ones. The sweet ones were 10 minutes short, while the sour ones were thankfully just 10 minutes long.

The silver lining to having 10 musicals is that more budding singers, writers, musicians, music and dance directors get a chance to showcase their talents without waiting for a generous funder.

Among the 10 musicals, three stood out for their originality, great acting, wittiness, lyrical prowess and musical flair. Unsurprisingly, they went home taking nine out of the 12 awards given.

Though familiar plot-wise, A Taste Of Love presented an interesting chain of events where a cannibalistic mother and- daughter team feasted on travelling men lodging in their home.

However, when the daughter was smitten by their latest dinner mate, she decided to fend off her mother’s gastronomic advances and convince her to change her ways.

Ending with the mother falling for another traveller, the musical left audiences humming to the catchy lyrics of the double-entendre theme song Licky Licky.

Besides being voted for the People’s Choice award, A Taste Of Love’s Aminda Faradilla Omar, who played the mother, also won the Best Supporting Actress award while Aaron Lo picked up the Best Composition and Best Libretto awards.

Coming in a close second with three awards was Oriental Takeout, which showcased the dilemmas of a geek and a sex worker.

Looking for his first feminine contact, the geek evoked sniggers as he attempted to put on protection for the first time before giving up and deciding that love cannot be bought.

The Broadwayish performance highlighted good acting by both the leads, and as anticipated, Nick Dorian and Karynn Tan bagged the Best Actor and Best Actress awards respectively. Oriental Takeout also earned the Best Overall Production award.

Another crowd favorite, Float N’Sync: The Rise N’Fall Of The Bad Streak Boys, was an easy choice for the Best Musical Director (for composer/lyricist Nick Choo) and Best Glitz & Glamour awards.

Using boy bands as a background for its plot, Float N’Sync delighted the gallery with the hilarious story of a band that must come to terms with a crossdressing member.

With lines lifted straight out of boy band hits like Bye, Bye, Bye, Seasons in the Sun and Quit Playing Games With My Heart, the musical wrapped up the night’s performance with gusto.

Other winners of the Short & Sweet Musical 2011 included My Prince Will Come’s Kevin Chong (Best Supporting Actor), Meanwhile...’s Tung Jit Yang and Banun Atina (Best Director), and Tweet About It’s Sachie Amira (Festival Director's award).


 Selangor Times



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