Friday, March 04, 2011

Terima Kasih Cinta - Reviews & Video Interviews

Terima Kasih Cinta is a 3 hour musical based on the 2006 Malay movie “Cinta” by Kabir Bhatia and is told in the style of GLEE, with popular retro songs given new arrangements courtesy of none other than Music Director Roslan Aziz. The production is directed and choreographed by Pat Ibrahim with Megat Shahrizal as assistant director; the duo also adapted the script for the stage. Pat crafted the nifty choreography to go with the songs.

The production stars Latiff Ibrahim, Safura Ya’cob, Tony Eusoff, Norish Karman, Anding Indrawani and singers Vince Chong and Deja Moss to budding new artists Diddy (of Akademi Fantasia) and Faradhiya.

Expect to hear favorites like Dia, Gemilang, Cinta, Perpisahan, Sejati, Dunia Ku, Selanjur Bercinta, Janji Manismu, Itu Kamu, Seribu Impian, Belaian Jiwa from Aishah, Alleycats, Sheila Majid, Zainal Abidin, Search etc. To hear these songs reinterpreted by amazing singers like Latiff Ibrahim, Diddy and Anding is a delight indeed. While the males were strong singers, the females didn’t really stand out except for Faradhiya who really got into her role with gusto.

Terima Kasih Cintais a series of 5 tales of love set in modern day KL and features three happy endings and two heart-wrenching sacrifices told in 6 square structues not unlike a Rubik’s Cube. Executive Producer Boudeng Edruce explained that Istana Budaya’s regular stage equipment had been under repair and they were forced to think outside the box for solutions.

Hamzah Tahir, a set designer, came up with the idea to place actors in boxes narrating their story.Characters being tangible by where they are and how they interact, paralleling life itself where we often box ourselves in difficult situations.

The characters in the five stories are also "color-coded", which is a brilliant way to distinguished them. If all of them were to wear white as in the promo poster, those at the back of the theater would have a problem identifying them. Thumbs up to the producer for being proactive.

The pink couple. (Shajiry Damery & Faradhiya)

The yellow siblings. (Anding & Deja Moss)

The bluesome threesome (Latiff Ibrahim, Safura, Diddy Hirdy)

The green couple. (Vince Chong & Nadia Aqilah)

The orange family. (Tony Eusoff, Norish Karman and Arrisa)

Latiff Ibrahim, who plays the role of Rahim Razali in the movie version,not only still has it, he has actually improved with age. His natural and easy going presence on stage certainly stood out. It was good to see him back at performing.

The chemistry between Tony Eusoff and 9 year old Arrisa as father and daughter singing and dancing team was endearing and entertaining.

Vince Chong had the part of half mild mannered Clark Kent and half Peter the Family Guy pat down andgot loud applause when he sang his solo. While he excels in portraying the bumbling character, he should be careful not to paint himself in a corner playing such parts only. Remember him in Taming of The Shrew?

Terima Kasih Cinta is an excellent effort from the best of our local Malay creative talents. Although a 3 hour production, it is fun, entertaining and engaging and eventually thought provoking. It is sad that it does not enjoy the local support that it rightly deserves.

The production is running without any corporate sponsors. I wish I could tell you the frustrations they have gone through in terms of finding sponsors and broken promises, but I am not going to because the point is they did not give up. I have the highest respect for the production team for deciding to carry on with the show despite the lack of financial support. They could have easily wrapped but this is really about embracing the arts and what you really believe in.

As Boudeng aptly puts it, CINTA is expected to be a platform to enhance the growth of players in the industry of theater production. The whole idea of this exercise is to inject new blood into the industry and give opportunity to the many local talents that we have and develop them to be involved in the fast growing industry of theater.

Terima Kasih Cintais as much a tale of love as it is about the resilience of the people who bring it to you and their passion and self-confidence. The only beef we had was the blinding fluorescent lights turned on after the emotional scenes. It was too bright for our eyes.

TERIMA KASIH CINTA runs at Istana Budayauntil Sunday 6th March 2011. Tickets are priced from RM30 – RM300.

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