see through me

A bit of my thoughts about life in general and things that keep it worth living...

12.7.05

About a musical...

Flashback Geneva, 1991.

I was behind a barong mask facing about hundreds or so spectators. No, it wasn't a dare or something like that. I took part in a show, a Swara Mahardika show more precisely. I never saw the real show though, for I was behind the stage and waiting for my 2 minutes of fame - which I didn't get, since I wore a mask and well hidden inside the costume, hopefully the audience noted my infamous walk- But what I've been told, the show was excellent, it was grandiose and glamorous. And of course, the westerners loved it, since it showed them the unknown culture of Indonesia.

Well, there is then, and there is now.

I went to see a new Swara Mahardika show last saturday. But, it was rather a musical theater. I expected a lot more, but in the end, it was really only a musical, nothing more, nothing less.

The show was called Mahadaya Cinta, a love story between two lovebirds, the man is a son of a corruptor and the girl is an student left-wing activist. You could see a pattern from that description only, right? The man is played by Tora Sudiro and the girl by Widi... uhmmm... AB3. The remaining cast consisted of Harvey Malaiholo, Dewi Gita, Dessy Ratnasari, Dewi Gita, few AFI's alumni and the one and only Aming. I'll get back to them. Let's break down the show first.

As I said, I wanted to see something spectacular, instead I got a really big blah. It wasn't as grandiose as I expected, because I know Guruh's works, hell, I was in one of his show. I waited for a big fireworks of spotlights, colorful costumes -Citra Subiakto did an awful work here- and of course, memorable scores. But what did I get?

Awful lighting... no really... it was that bad. It wasn't dramatic and I was kinda disappointed. They should've used the background elements a tad more creatively. The only good use of lighting was when they put a group of traditional dancers behind a curtain an use the yellowish spotlights to make silhouettes.

Cheesy costumes. Yeah, really... just imagine tight blue overall with a pink heart on the chest. It was like seeing a bunch of smurfs. And that was only the beginning. From then, apart from the casual clothes, things went downhill. The climax? Steroid-pumped half naked blokes with a giant heart on their back... arrgh, gave me nightmare the night after.

The score was ok, I like some of the song. Tora did give an effort for singing, although I suspect he only trained in karaoke lounges. But, well, I guess I'll have to admit he did try really hard. Widi... there is no question about her, her voice is always there, as powerful and melodious as it should be. But the show stealer was the one and only Harvey. The very moment he opened his mouth to sing, you would be petrified. You couldn't move. You stay still, afraid if you move or even breath, you would lose some of the notes. He is still one of the best male vocalist in the country.

Now, let's go to the story and performances. Well, there is almost nothing to say about the story, it's the usual problem-then-solution storyline not to mention a happy ending. I kinda regret the role that Tora had. It was a bit too dramatic and he became supressed by the part. He wasn't himself. Only in the last five minutes of the show, he was able to be the goofy Tora we always know. Widi should consider a career in acting, if only she could overcome her nervousness so she would not overdo anything. Dessy was comfortable playing herself, a rich spoiled wife. But the award went to Aming. He proved himself to us that he is truly a comedian. I couldn't hold my laugh everytime he made a joke, usually on himself. He was the reason why people stay awake during the first act.

Now, I know I said some bad things about the show, but I really appreciated it. It opened a whole new kind of entertainment for people like us, always starved for something new. In the end, it was a quite good show. Singing, comedy and laughs. I hope they would do more show like this instead of concerts. I want to see some musicals, hell give me some operas...

So how do I rate this Mahadaya Cinta?

For the sake of half naked men with a giant heart on their back... YMc out of YMCA

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