Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Puteri Gunung Ledang - The Musical

On Monday evening, we were fortunate to attend the popular musical drama - Puteri Gunung Ledang (The Princess of Mount Ophir) at Kuala Lumpur's Istana Budaya (Palace of Culture).

The musical attracted full-house audience daily when it opened on Feb 7 and was scheduled to end on Sunday (Feb 26), but overwhelming response saw two extra performances on Feb 27 and 28.

Long queues of theatre lovers were seen outside Istana Budaya (Kuala Lumpur's version of the Sydney Opera House) as early as 7.30 a.m. to buy tickets for the two extra performances. Tickets were sold out three hours after the box office opened at 9 a.m.

The performance was produced by Enfinity Production and co-directed by Zahim Hisham Albakri and Adlin Aman Ramli (who played the role of Sultan Mahmud of Melaka), with music composed by Singapore's "shop till you drop singer-composer" Dick Lee and featuring Tiara Jacquelina as Puteri Gunung Ledang, London-based Stephen Rahman-Hughes as Hang Tuah the Melaka Admiral, Sukania Venogopal as the the nanny and rapper-actor A.C.Mizal as the Majapahit ruler.

Enfinity Production's managaing director, Tiara Jacquelina a.k.a. Gusti Putri Retno Dumilah the princess of Majapahit (in Java), said there have been several invitations to stage Puteri Gunung Ledang abroad, including in Singapore and she hoped to bring the production to the island republic next year.

The production was based on a popular Malay legend on love epic, blind loyalty, betrayal and "political" manipulation, which sounded familiar with the current Malay political elites.

My only complaint - the music (beating of drums) was a bit loud and the chorus was too loud. Overall, it was a good and entertaining performance.

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