REVIEW: THE RETREAT (Theatre)

performing arts, Reviews

I managed to catch the last showing of this dark twisted and brilliant play on Sunday night. Now even with a familiar face in the cast, I promise to be completely honest in my review of this whodunit play.

I was unprepared to be mentally affected by the lights and sounds of this production. Kudos to the sound manager for the realistic storm that haunted the space, not to mention the use of the 360-ish stage and the film noir feel the production delivered almost too perfectly.

The setting of the stage itself was very simple yet it felt complex with the movement of the storyline.

As for the story, I loved that there was a clear difference in the mood setting between the acts itself to the thoughts being spoken by the main character, Gina.

This play was casted with 6 main characters, but the additional sound effects from a seated character made the anxiety within me jump and half await for the next screech she’d yell out in between the dialogs on stage – that being said, I noticed a pattern in the yelling that got old by the middle of the second act.

One thing was for sure, this play was not a family show. Profanities were a big part of the script. Frankly, it was refreshing… too many shows lately are censored or restricted to a point where the characters lose their spark. It was an interesting interpretation of PTSD and representation of mental illness patients, however the doctor’s character could have less of a biased personality when he appeared in flashback scenes. I felt that he was sneaky and sly in the way he talked to the other characters, almost as if he was judgmental towards them.

My favorite characters were the nervous patient named Grace, her outbursts and jittery personality somehow resonated at a personal level; and Charlie, the promiscuous companion woman in her lace corset and no filter one liners. As for Charlie’s love interest, Josh was a character I loved to hate – this sentiment was echoed by other members of the audience when I chatted with them during intermission.

I loved the diversity and the idea behind the storylines itself, but like a lot of my reviews, there are cons to this production.

I don’t know exactly whether it was intentional to have the time and place to be set so ambiguously – having the character’s being Asian with western-ish names was unsettling but this may just be my opinion.

Other than that I think the location itself at Twenty2two was a miss – even with the map out it was complicated to exit the housing area the show was surrounded by.

I think it’s safe to say that this was definitely a great show, unfortunately it only ran until last week – even though I would not watch it twice for my own personal mental health. Would I recommend others to watch it if it ran again? Yes, definitely.

I look forward to catch more works from the creators and cast!

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Tablao Flamenco: The Art of Gypsies

performing arts, Reviews

Enjoy a full bodied glass of wine, share small plates of olives and cheese with your lover, and feel the music run through your person as you hear the beat of the percussion complimenting the tapping sounds of the dancer’s feet on the floor board cause in that moment you’re living the gypsy life as you witness the passion and fury of the flamenco.

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Replacing the cabarets in cafes around Spain, the 1960s was the turning point to when the flamenco soared beyond it’s origin of Andalusia. To enjoy it is an activity that has been modernized even in it’s mainland of Spaniards; but to live it as an audience is an honor – an opportunity you can experience this week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia!

I was beyond excited to be given the chance to be seated front where my heart beat with every clap and string of the guitars played in the 8 artists ensemble. Seeing it for the first time live in front of me felt like falling in love with a dangerous lover.

Origen Flamenco was brought into town after a night of music among friends and was greeted warmly as Spain and Malaysia celebrate their 50th year of diplomatic ties. While I did not have the privilege to speak to the ambassador as he sat 5 feet away from my stool, it showed on his face that he felt at home while being thousands of miles away from his home country. I did however get a picture with him and the (very good looking) cast!

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I urge those who are art enthusiasts to go see them at KLPAC this Wednesday the 12th and Thursday the 13th of July 2017. Tickets are available http://www.ticketpro.com.my so hurry and order them online because the crew did let me know that it is an intimate setting as the art should be.

Join the gypsies in conversation while you witness the embodiment of passion! If you miss them in KL don’t fret they’ll be back in Malaysia at the Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival!

 

8 Weeks of Art and Therapy

performing arts

Another semester ends, and I am bittersweet about the separation. As always.

This semester was a much larger class than the one before, and I had the privilege to be there from day one.

I can still remember the wide eyes everyone had, both scared and excited. Those eyes were present again minutes before the doors opened and the audience sat in their respected seats.

Throughout the 8 weeks, I saw relationships and friendships building themselves within practice and exercises in class. Many opening up their hearts and taking the pain and oppression from their lives and molding it into a form of art, whether that be a dance, monologues or even their final showcase play. It was an honor to see the progress every week in class and even during practice. The passion they put into every step and dialogue is beyond the requirements for a grade.

When the lights go off and the show begun, from behind the curtain I listened to each one of them delivery their lines, with every gasp  and laughter from the audience my heart pumped for them.

 

It was truly a privilege to work with these 63 individuals, I hope to see them pursue their art in the future as well as have them a part of mine.

X.