The Long Road to Chow Kit

By Jerome Kugan In the April issue of Klue magazine hype surrounding the Chow Kit Arts Fest earned cover status. It was touted to be a space where art would meet the public and vice versa. There was also a lavish 4-page splash inside profiling the Fest’s main movers and shakers. Tan Sei Hon, unfortunately (or […]

A Swinging History Lesson

By Greg Lyons Pianist William “Count” Basie took the helm of this band in the early thirties after the demise of the original band leader, Benny Moten. Already known for a particular Chicago style swing, the band founded its reputation on the “riff’ – or simple, repetitive but catchy motif that could be modified or even […]

Marvellous Marathon Of Mirth

By Antares Oh, it’s good to spend a Sunday afternoon guffawing non-stop (though 150 minutes did seem a bit excessive towards the end). With a suave Patrick Teoh playing emcee or umpire, Afdlin Shauki, Harith lskandar, Jit Murad, Jo Kukathas, Nell Ng, and Zahim Albakri treated KL audiences to another rousing round of theatre sports (where […]

SMORGASBORD: Filipino Films in the Age of Deconstruction

By Amir Muhammad I always look forward to the few Filipino films I get to see. Unfortunately, I only get the chance overseas because they don’t get released here. I don’t know why this is so; at the very least, I get a thrill whenever I recognize the words that Tagalog and Malay have in […]

Singaporeans as Dumb Animals

By Pang Khee Teik The most brilliant coup pulled off by Singaporean theatre icon Ivan Heng in his direction of George Orwell’s depressing political fable Animal Farm is his sheer refusal to be depressing. As the play gets darker, with good guys banished and innocents slaughtered, the laughter comes on thicker. But watching this manic depiction […]

… And The Show Goes On!

By Antares Having to cancel a RM200,000 production on the day it’s scheduled to open is not such a funny thing to happen, as Gardner & Wife can attest. Celebrity chef Redzuawan bin Ismail (better known as Chef Wan), who plays the wisecracking slave Pseudolus, reportedly burst into tears when he heard the tragic news. […]

The Angst of Malaysian Artists: Taxes and Permits

By Jenny Daneels The postponement of the launch for the musical “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” last Friday came as a strong reminder of the difficult conditions artists operate under in Malaysia. We are not even referring here to the complaints from local performers that the government offers them little financial […]

Schizophrenic Endeavour

By Clarissa Lee The theatre of the absurd mingles with episodic formulation, sometimes coherently threaded by a known theme but other than that, unintelligible in its interpretation. This is my conclusion after watching Shakespeare Schizophrenia. Spoofing Shakespeare’s plays and adding elements of The Black Adder (made famous by Rowan Atkinson) would have been a lot less […]

Mimpi Panas di Malam ASK

By Faisal Tehrani Jangan-jangan begitulah sebenarnya semangat pementasan teater yang dikemukakan William Shakespeare sekitar 400 ratus tahun lampau. A Mid Summer Night’s Dream antara naskah Shakespeare yang boleh jadi menggelikan hati bahkan bencana kepada pelawak yang tidak kena dan bahlol. Jangan tersilap, Mimpi Di Malam Panas, adaptasi A Mid Summer Night’s Dream di tangan Rohani Yousoff […]

SMORGASBORD: Learn From Singapore

By Amir Muhammad Should we laugh or cry? In the month where the most-publicised film event here was a Bollywood awards ceremony, our neighbours down south are pulling off the 15th and most ambitious edition of their international film festival. I have nothing against Bollywood movies except for their bum-numbing length, but the thought that our […]

A Night in the Life of Jo Kukathas

By Pang Khee Teik The waiter kept coming back for more. If it isn’t to pour the wine every half a minute, it is to smile goofily at the girls. I don’t blame him. At our table at Flams, Bangsar, are five of the sexiest and most sophisticated ladies this side of the sunset. On the […]

Winged Voices, Lightly Seasoned

By Antares Q: What’s a good remedy for road fatigue, neck strain, and (instru)mental clutter? A: An evening with The Choristers at the Australian High Commission foyer (or wherever they happen to be performing). I’d been driving a good eight hours (avoiding toll highways) after visiting my dad down south, with some anxiety towards dusk […]

PREVIEW: Puteri lntan Baiduri & Potpuri Malaysia

By Cheryl Lim The mystical wayang kulit takes on a more three dimensional form this weekend at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas as the Petronas Performing Arts Group (PPAG) brings to life the legend of Puteri lntan Baiduri. The story of a beautiful princess trapped in a spell by the evil Maharaja Bota will be presented in […]

Naked Dancers Fight Back

By Pang Khee Teik The Hong Kong Arts Festival, a spectacular international showcase since 1973, was on in March. And so I crossed the South China Sea last month to fill my soul night after night with nothing but hardcore touchy-feely stuff. The multiple award-winning Irish play, Stones In His Pockets, written by Marie Jones […]

Chef Wan: Dari Dapur Ke Pentas Teater

By Faisal Tehrani Chef Wan, siapa yang tidak kenal beliau? Lurah Dendam atau Soal Hati, rancangan Famili Ceria, buku-buku masakannya, kisah dirinya dengan peminat fanatik – itu sekadar beberapa perkara yang menyebabkan beliau dikenang, namanya lekat di kepala. Pemah diberi medal tertinggi oleh Presiden Perancis untuk masakannya, menyediakan makanan antara lain untuk bekas Presiden Amerika Syarikat […]

Drum Drama!

By Jeroma Kugan While it was no surprise that Hands Percussion would attract a full house on the opening night of their highly anticipated show “Ritual of Drums”, it was still a buzz as The Actors Studio hardly ever looked so packed. But then, of course, all who were there knew that Hands Percussion would not […]

SMORGASBORD: Meeting Garin Nugroho

By Amir Muhammad Last Friday something happened in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. There wasn’t much fanfare, but Garin Nuqroho was in town. As part of his visit, the National Arts Academy organised a screening of his latest feature as well as a dialogue session with him. The 41-year old Garin is the most garlanded Indonesian […]

Japanese Drums Make The Earth Move At The DFP

By Cheryl Lim With a majestic drum roll and a succession of grand fanfares, Kevin Field, Associate Conductor of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, signaled the beginning of the evening’s encounter between East and West. Performing with renowned Wadaiko (Japanese drums) soloist, Eitetsu Hayashi, in a series of three concerts from 22-24 March at the Dewan Filharmonik […]

Yusof Majid: Landscapes without Pretentions

By Michelle Woo In his third solo – Panorama – at Valentine Willie’s, abstract artist Yusof Majid talks to Kakiseni about his unpretentious, child-like perspectives of various landscapes, represented in oils on large pieces of canvas. This time around, Yusof has placed still life representations of nature – such as flowers and shells – onto […]

Drumming Up a Storm

By Jerome Kugan For most Malaysians, including myself, Chinese drums are inextricably linked to Chinese New Year celebrations. According to customs, noisemaking is a must during the celebrations to shoo away bad spirits. During the celebrations, the drums can be heard from far away signalling the impending arrival of Chinese lion dance troupes visiting Chinese houses […]