Yes, the musical is in town! Not in Penang though (of course la, Penang where got place for stage musical one, somemore from Broadway!!).
I went to KL Convention Center on Saturday, Jun 28, to watch the matinee (3pm show). There were six of us: A, A's mom, B, JRoldan and MissG. For me, I was very anxious and excited about it. I've had a great experience watching The Phantom of the Opera in Singapore, and I was keen in watching another musical this round. And, knowing that this musical originated from the Disney animated movie of the same name, I was keen to find out how the animated scenes were portrayed live!!
I used to have a video casette (yes!! the one that needs rewinding one...) of the movie, dubbed in Cantonese. I used to watched it every other weekend, and yes, I watched it umpteenth times! So, I knew the story inside out. Nevertheless, when I watched the musical, I was completely marveled and overwhelmed by the ability of the crew to act, portray, arrange, and supply the music that once again re-capture the moments and feelings I had when I watched the movie last time. Moreover, I was watching in awe of the ability of bringing myself back to when I was a teen.
There were several scenes which were added into the musical, including:
1. Gaston singing while proposing to Belle
2. Belle singing while missing home, with Mrs Potts consoling her
3. Gaston and Lefou singing during the bribing of Monsieur D'Arque scene
4. Belle reading the story of King Arthur to Beast
5. Beast singing "If I Can't Love Her". Yes!! Beast can actually sing!!!
And scenes removed (I understand, not practical to act it out):
1. Snowballs on Beast, birds eating from Beast's palm.
2. Trapping of Belle and Maurice, and saved by Chip.
There are two scenes that touched me. The first one is, no doubt, the dance scene. Although interrupted by the crazy guy sitting right behind me (read below), I was nearly in tears, for Belle had given Beast a second chance. I did cry when I watched the movie.
The second one would be - in the middle of the show, Chip asked Mrs Potts in a very poignant manner, if he would ever be a boy again. And, when, at the end when the enchantment was broken, Chip appeared on stage as a boy and no longer a teacup, everyone cheered!! Chip, a minor character, stole all the limelights! I felt touched at the reunion of Chip and Mrs Potts as persons and not objects anymore.
The arrangements of props were truly amazing. I was brought to my senses that props in a skit or musical is equally important as the performances from my experience in "Watch The Lamb" played in church. I am further convinced that that was right. The props arrangement was flawless. Distinct scenes of the town, forest, and castle was shown on the backdrop and on the translucent cloth that covered the entire stage. The flashing lights showing the enchantment. The bar tables, couch, Belle's house, dancing cutlery during "Be Our Guest". The most amazing part is the transformation from Beast back to the Prince!! Awesome, amazing, and unbelievable!!!
I gotta agree that - Lumiere was the most dangerous character. He needed to control the jet of fire coming out from his enchanted handheld candles, synchronize the jets according to the music, and avoid the fire from actually burning himself and another character!!
The one that still puzzled me was the falling of the petals from the enchanted rose. I wonder... and still had not figured that out. A, any idea??
During in-between acts, I bought myself a T-Shirt, a programme book, and a CD of the Musical, performeby by original Broadway casts. Spent RM180 on the merchandise. Expensive, but worth the price.
There were only two setbacks:
1. The musical, scheduled at 3pm, was delayed for 1:10!!! Screwed up all our plans in the evening.
2. The crazy guy behind me. He was sitting on LL37, 3pm show, Jun 29, 2008 - I need to remember that, so that if he ever reads this blog post, he would need to be reminded what a nuisance he is. He laughed at scenes not worth laughing. He even laughed at a poignant scene. Lame!! And, just because of an accidental flash by my friend, he went berserk, yelled "Don't want!!!" and "LIGHTS!!!", and slapped on my friend's back and the head of another friend! He is TOO MUCH!! Well... I guess he is a bit not sane - and that's forgivable. But, if ever he did that because he was drunk - then may God bless him - he'd meet with someone who might actually beat him up.