Thursday, December 28, 2006

Broken Bridges The Musical - Ipoh

After the last show at KLPac, our goodbyes were not too dramatic as we knew that most of us would see each other again in two months. The Ipoh leg was a 'labor of love' in Joe's words, to honor the place that gave birth to the musical. Almost everyone was able to commit to the second round, and we had refreshment rehearsals that began less than two weeks before showtime.

The cast and ensemble met up at KLPac on a Thursday morning, and we shot off in several cars.

Ipoh, gloomy weather notwithstanding, was beaming with small-town hospitality. In its quieter moments it seemed to possess an impenetrable calm.

We had performances due from Friday til Sunday, so the whole of Thursday was devoted to getting acquainted to the new set-up at Taman Budaya. Many of us switched to adrenaline reserves as the day wore on, and it was tough to hide the fatigue during rehearsals. But we knew that once we were over the hill, there was time to enjoy what Ipoh town had to offer over the weekend.

Main entrance to Taman Budaya

Our rather early calltimes left some opportunity for us to get schmoozy before physical warm-ups, makeup and wardrobe.

It also allowed Douglas and Soon Yoon to rekindle their onstage chemistry. The rest of us sat and watched with tears of bliss.

This happened when Saasani and I were taking a picture of each other at the same time. Her flash went off while Tony E attempted to hamper her trigger-happiness. The result: Tony tasting the white-hot ectoplasmic representation of his mojo.

With Joanne K, Joanne P and new recruit Rebecca in the female dressing room...

... which by nightfall, turned into a sweltering glamour station.

The cast party was a blast. It was held at Indulgence, a swanky little spot located on the opposite side of the road from Taman Budaya. We probably broke the record for highest decibel level ever reached at the restaurant, and within a 5-mile radius for that matter. It didn't help that Douglas's personal cheerleaders from KL came by to crash the party. At least they were nice enough to watch our show twice while we were there, and squealed for their superstar from the otherwise wasted sovereign balcony seating.

With Rachel, Ky-Gan, Colin, Soon Yoon, Ben, Carol & Yen Lin

When the stress of breaking bridges is... broken. (Visit Wen Li's blog for the video clip)

The next day, Ky-Gan took some of us to Nam Heong, the coffee shop that inspired him to create the one owned by Uncle Wong in the musical.

Nicole, who has a bun in her own oven, sampling Ipoh's famed cuisine

Ky-Gan & Emily

On one of the leisurely afternoons, Colin, Ky-Gan, Nicole and I also embarked on a little field trip to Iskandar Polo Club.

Colin was chaffeur of the day. He's an amazingly well-read person, the enviable sort who knows at least something about everything. His worldliness distracted our minds from the midday Ipoh heat.

If you stood like this for hundreds of years, you'd get varicose veins too.

"The water here's crystal clear, that's why no pimples can you find on my face!" *cue impish giggle*

The Tard's elegant display of interpretive dance in a polo field

We found some horses grazing in a nearby enclosure. One of them frequently nuzzled Nicole's belly, as though he was extending his best wishes to both the expectant and expected.

Stallion legs are sexy, no?

The Heritage Hotel was a nice place to be put up in. It was just a few minutes' drive from the show venue, the room (which I shared with Nicole) had a wondrous view, and the breakfast spreads were nice 'n' wholesome if one woke up early enough to enjoy it in its entirety.

Everyone found their own ways of spending the nights in, including

Playstation and DVD madness in Nick and Tony L's room,

Board game strategy in Johann & Maybel's room,

And free stand-up comedy shows in Douglas's junior suite.

After the final show, most of us at a farewell meal at FMS, a humble but well-known steakhouse in town which, if it's not one of the oldest food joints in the country, could aesthetically pass off as it anyway. Few of the elderly staff have been working there since their younger days! The food is fantastic and affordable, and is a mandatory stop for anyone coming to Ipoh town.

We don't know if we'll ever get the chance to stage Broken Bridges again, but we know for sure that we've all taken something back for safekeeping in our hearts... whether it be friendships, learning experiences, or a good tight slap from a vicious pack of Cheong Soh wannabes.

For a more detailed account of the Ipoh staging, you can check it out in the upcoming January issue of the Living Arts newsletter, for which I will be a regular contributor from next year onwards.

Thanks to Saasani for the street pic of Ipoh.


Anonymous Ravin said...

you have such a gorgeous smile. love your new hair too : ) happy new year!

1:24 AM  
Blogger disco-very said...

thanks, haven't done anything to my hair apart from letting it grow out but if that's considered 'new' then that's cool with me. happy new year to you too!

10:08 AM  

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