Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Star Mobile - We Are One

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We Are One
Another musical worth checking out is award-winning Musical On Stage's (MOS) Kita The Musical, being performed tonight atIstana Budaya in Kuala Lumpur. And if you're wondering whether it's inline with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's 1Malaysia campaign, it is.

"It was Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon who encouraged MOS to create a musical about 1Malaysia.After watching our earlier production Prince Siddhartha The Musical,he suggested a 1Malaysia musical collaboration with the Prime Minister's Department, Xi Yue Art and Culture and Istana Budaya," said Ho Lin Huay, who serves as Kita's script writer and director.

The musical reflects the vision of 1Malaysia where all races live in harmony, embrace unity in diversity and strive for the progress and prosperity of the land we hold dear.

The coming-of-age drama is about three friends, Rahman, Amishand Cheong from Teluk Intan, Perak. Set in the 1970s, it depicts their childhood dreams, fears, disappointments and colourful cross-cultural experiences.

Ho, 39, decided to set the musical in the 1970s as she felt Malaysians lived harmoniously in those days. "We were more united as a nation back then. And now, with the 1Malaysia concept, I believe we are heading towards a right direction. The campaign shouldn't be regarded as a slogan or concept but an important element to strive (towards) as a nation.

"I can't tell if there is better racial harmony amongst Malaysians since the idea was mooted but at least it is a right direction for us to take. We must give 1Malaysia a true meaning and this musical is doing that, hopefully," said Ho, a motion picture and theatre production graduate from University of Miami. Her credentials include directing Mandarin musicals Prince Siddhartha and Jewel Of Tibet (it clinched five awards in the 7th Boh Cameronian Arts Awards including best director for Ho).

The RM1.5mil musical showcases Ho's talents directing her first ever multi-lingual production.

"Kita is multi-racial and multi-lingual, which is a first for me. I have truly enjoyed the whole process so far. If not for this musical, I probably would not have the opportunity to work withartistes from different races."

Music-wise, it features over 20 songs in Malay, English and Chinese - all songs were composed by music director Imee Ooi.

"Echoing the uniqueness of Malaysia's multi colours, flavours and characters, the music was created from a free-spirited fusion of modern and traditional sounds, blending different harmonies of each musical culture while preserving one's individual identity. There are also musical influences from pop, New Age and orchestra," explained Ho,adding the musical features two classic songs - Joget Malaysia and Getaran Jiwa.

And like its title suggests, the musical features a mix castcomprising actors from different races and background. It features amix of fresh talents (Eric Lin, Michael Rao, Akademi Fantasia 7's winner Hafiz, Amy Wang and Nas Adila), as well as veterans like Datuk Jalaluddin Hassan and Sukania Venugopal.

"Since this is a musical, we were looking for singers with great vocal ability. The young talents fulfilled the requirement. Most importantly, these young artistes have great chemistry together and are passionate about performing in this musical. When we were casting, weknew Datuk Jalaluddin and Venugopal would be suitable.

"Although most of the new members did not have any experience in musical theatre, they were willing to learn. They worked well as a team and were assertive," said Ho, before pointing out the musical also features a combination of contemporary and traditional Malay, Chinese and Indian dance steps.

Kita The Musical will be staged from June 17till June 27 (3pm and 8.30pm) at Istana Budaya in Kuala Lumpur. Tickets are RM38, RM88, RM108, RM148, RM188 and RM288. For details, call 03-7711 5000 or browse

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