Saturday, July 03, 2010

Frigglive Review - Taming of The Shrew Bollywood Style

text Dave Avran images Johan Nasir

Firstly, Frigglive would like to say that viewers should not compare this production to the works of The Actors Sudio. That would not be fair as this production does not have the resources of TAS and it’s not apple to apple. If you go prepared to enjoy “Shrew” as pure wacky mayhem with an underlying serious social message then you will be thoroughly entertained.

Script writer Gavin Yap tweaked the original farcical comedy revolving around the courtship of headstrong Katherina, (the shrew), by Petruchio, a gentleman from Verona in 17th century Italy to include hilarious elements of over the top Bollywood drama but if you listen carefully there are moments of serious social commentary delivered via punchy one-liners.

In the original play Katherina has a father but in this play she has a mother, superbly played by Junji Delfino, who built up a successful Chinese family money-lending business.

ToTS also includes a new character played by Vince Chong, reminiscent of the iconic Emcee in the 1966 Broadway musical “Cabaret” Vince plays multiple roles with aplomb, hyperactive Emcee one minute, Charismatic Priest the next, followed by a lazy Indian butler, a very gay tailor and finally the bride of Hortensio. He is a delight to watch onstage.

Sham Sunder is his usual funny self, his years of experience in theatre allowing him to improvise with impunity and being generally very funny as Petruchio’s loyal butler Grumio.

Frigglive does not want to give the hilarious storyline away, so please do go and catch the show for yourself along with friends and family. Expect to enjoy side splitting moments with the shenanigans of Joanne Kam, Aanantha, Ash Nair and Wong Wai Hoong flashing his athletic bod to the oohs and aahs of the female audience.

Music director Daniel Veerapen reworked popular hits by Barry Manilow, Lady Gaga, and Kanye West into typical colorful Bollywood performance numbers to complement and develop the scenes. Jazz diva Junji is Vocal Director. Of the 11 songs in the show, two are original compositions

Reza pretty cleverly created funny moments to shift the audience’s attention from the sexist elements of the play, thus avoiding uncomfortable emotions. In the end, ToTS is really about working on a relationship, supporting and understanding the person who is most important to you.

The only downside was the dodgy sound throughout the production during this review. The sound engineer appeared to be either asleep or comatose.

TotS is directed by Reza Zainal Abidin, and stars Joanne Kam and Aanantha in the lead roles, Junji Delfino, Ash Nair, Joey G, Sham Sunder Binwani and Wong Wai Hoong, The chorus singers include Maya Tan Abdullah, Zalina Lee and Maria Gomez, while the dancers consist of Pamela Chong, Loh Wei Jun, Kellyn Cheah, Vito Yap, Casslyn Kek and Fawzi Sukoman. Choreographed by Pat Ibrahim, Costumed by StevenSunny, Set designed by JiaWei and produced by Joanne Kam, Angie Teoh and Meggie Teoh.

ToTS is A toniQ Production. Showtimes : July 1,2,3,6,7,8,9 & 10 at 8.30pm, July 4 & 11 at 3.00pm Tickets : RM55, RM85, RM105 Call box-office (03) 7960 0439 (11am-6pm)

Total Running time approx. 2hrs with 15mins Intermission. Rated 18PL - Mature audience.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked the hilarious aspects of it but the sound was really killing my ears, so loud, and with dialogue running from speaker to speaker.
The mikes picked up the actors' breathing, disturbing my enjoyment of the show.

Overall a good effort, but still a long way to go for the actors.
- NG

12:02 pm  

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