Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Review Cuci (Malay Mail)

THEATER REVIEW: Good, clean fun

Monday, October 26th, 2009 03:08:00


ENSEMBLE: The cast of Cuci delivers a surprisingly enjoyable performance

THE only possible downer to Cuci The Musical is that it threatens to be more of a lengthy stand-up comedy routine by the funny leading cast, who have set their reputations as people who are able to tickle the funny bone.

Expectations weren’t exactly soaring for Hans Isaac’s effort, when the curtains first raised. Considering he is more well-known for film roles, and that Cuci the Musical is based on his directorial debut ‘Cuci’ last year, it would have been shrewd not to go into Istana Budaya with high expectations. However at the end of the night, when the cast came out for their final bow, it was evident that any preconceptions of how the show would turn out, had been totally obliterated. It might have been almost unthinkable that a contemporary musical theatrical presentation based on a popcorn movie, unashamedly laced with pop culture references in its comedic dialogue which refers to everything from a telco’s mascot to Star Wars - could be this enjoyable.


Anyone who has caught Cuci The Musical however, including the most hardened of critics, would definitely admit it is one of the most refreshing local efforts to be staged at Istana Budaya.


HIGH NOTES: Hans and Vanidah proved their singing prowess in Cuci the Musical

Harith Iskandar

SCENE STEALER: Harith Iskandar at what he does best

It is indeed a guilty pleasure.

Tall Order Productions Sdn Bhd’s maiden theatrical effort is a success - with hopefully the box-office takings justifying it at the end of the day, as it definitely has taken the local theatre scene to new heights, if you can excuse the pun. Cuci The Musical, is based on the film. With the leads Afdlin Shauki, Hans, Awie and AC Mizal reprising their roles as Fairil, Khai, Jojo and C’Tan respectively – the musical still revolves around the dreams of their family business in the small outfit called Cuci-Cuci Services (M) Sdn Bhd in being the best to count the Petronas Twin Towers as one of their contracts.


A chance meeting later, the quartet are invited to participate in the Window Washing Olympics (WWO) – a competition run by, Citi Jasmin or better known as CJ played by Vanida Imran who takes over from Umie Aida who played the character in the film version. Cuci-Cuci are eventually pitted against team Wira Maju, a company owned by CJ’s boyfriend, Wira (Harith Iskander).


Cupid claims some massive overtime with hands full of not only pairing CJ and Khai, but also Jojo with CJ’s personal assistant, Farah – otherwise known to us as Adibah Noor. While the As of the cast in Afdlin, Awie, AC and Adibah are known to be more than able to belt out the tunes and were undoubtedly responsible for many of the high points of the show, it was a pleasure to see Hans and Vanidah pleasantly surprising with their vocal chords and rise to the occasion to complete the star-studded line-up. Hans may not be recording his debut album anytime soon, but he was definitely able to hold his own against the stellar cast, as was Vanidah – who left many longing to hear more of her.


While at times, you get a feeling that someone may have forgotten their lines and decided to throw in a few more jokes of their own, the setting more than allows for such liberties to be taken without compromising or jeopardizing the show. Supporting actor Harith Iskandar is in his element as well. The only problem in the whole cast would have been the unnecessary addition of Reefa’s character (and his bad acting) as well as the questionable casting of Ramli Hassan as CJ’s father. He plays a Tan Sri who seemed to overdo everything to appear more of a Liberace impersonator at times. It didn’t fit in with the excellent efforts of other members of the cast.

Great Sets

GREAT SETS: Raja Maliq with yet another ‘epic’ set design

Songs were catchy and sing-a-long courtesy of Pacai, though there were suspiciously some interesting melodies that sounded familiarly recognizable. Without dragging down the whole production, it has to be stated that there were a few downsides to the production. Minor technical glitches aside (including whoever manning the lights appearing to doze off at times), the ensemble cast were a letdown – and occasionally an irritant instead of complementing most scenes they appeared in.
Choreography by Stephen Rahman-Hughes was hardly memorable, and for most parts appeared disjointed from the actual feel of the musical that was being presented. Still, there were so many high points to the show, these minor downers did little to kill enjoyment for a musical that definitely deserves more hype for being a brave venture that paid off.

Which has to be pointed out, included the interesting sets conjured up by the one and only Raja Maliq. While the media rave about the period pieces that venture into productions of this scale, Cuci The Musical proves that lavish costumes and extravagant sets and epic storylines are hardly needed to prove that Malaysia could actually have a musical theatre effort that would do the country proud.


Congratulations are in order to co-executive producers, Hans and Datuk Yasmin Yusuff as well as director Datuk Zahim Al-Bakri for the effort as well. If you haven’t watched Cuci The Musical yet, don’t miss out on the opportunity to watch something that actually
deserves your Ringgits, your attention and your applause.


Who would have thought Cuci could be so much fun, despite not having wet t-shirts? CUCI THE MUSICAL is now being staged at Panggung Sari, Istana Budaya until Nov 8 2009. Showtime is 8pm daily, with extra matinee show at 3pm on weekends. Tickets are priced at RM253, RM213, RM193, RM173, RM153, RM113, RM63 and RM43, For ticket reservation or more information, surf to www.axcess.com.my or call 03-7711 5000.

1 comment:

saypOOL rafhtello said...

congratulation to all..
great job..!!!

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