So I got tickets to the preview of PGLM.
In case it makes a difference to you, *SPOILERS AHEAD*.
If you loved PGLM last time, there is no doubt you will love it this time, but this show has gone beyond expectations in so many ways!
There's a Fabulous New Vehicle. Disney On Ice eat your heart out!
It's Magical. And there's fireworks, the best being the tiniest.
Ida Mariana as Bayan is a witch-goddess beauty, and the producers have made her role more dynamic, to the benefit of the story and of course, showcasing her wondrous ability to make you fear and fall for her character.
AC Mizal puts the "wwwwaaaaa!" back in "dewa". He truly personifies Adipati. His performance is less blustery and more nuanced, making Ningrat more human. But somehow he has managed to keep the character slightly elevated, always a heightened being, and gosh does that make for great theatre.
What does lemak sound like? Stephen Rahman Hughes. What's a curry without the santan? What's a voice without resonance? When he sings, it's like buttah. Milk, honey and buttah. The girl next to me kinda squirmed and threw her head back and sighed "God, he's hot."
Tiara as Puteri. This one's interesting. Parts of the show have been changed a little. Numbers that used to be extremely upbeat have been toned down a little, giving interesting tones to the overall story. Bits that were left out in the last run (and I described my peevishness here) were put back in, to my utter excitement! When it comes to Puteri this time around, it seems that not only have the producers given her space to perform, but also more space to act - and this is great because 1) it shows more of Tiara's talent and 2) it gives the character of Puteri so much more depth that I didn't realise was actually missing in the last runs.
The final confrontation between Puteri and Mahmood was so much more moving this time, because of two things. One, Mahmood's reasons for almost sacrificing his son were articulated, making it more obvious that he was not only angered by Puteri, but evil enough to risk his son's life just to spite her. Ooooo, kejamnyeeeeee. Two, Puteri's final plea to Mahmood is so much more urgent than before, making her sacrifice of her pride even more meaningful - she does it because of her love for Hang Tuah.
Before, the scene pretty much played out as, Superficial Sultan Mahmood is about to stab his own son, and Puteri descends from the heavens to stop him. With total dignity she "Requests" that he forgets everything and lets her and Hang Tuah go. I simply took it as a given and never really gave that much thought.
But now, Mahmood says why he will go through with it as he prepares to make the sacrifice, thus making him cruel, psychotic, and you really realise the rage that must be coursing through him. Then she rushes forward and a tussle ensues, which I totally loved!! After the relative high dramatic performance all the way through the second act, this part of the scene still manages to top it with the drama. After this, she realises what a monster she is dealing with, and begs for Hang Tuah to be spared. I thought Hang Tuah was the hero, but no, she truly is.
ANything I wish they hadn't changed? Yes, one particular dance scene which showcased the physical prowess of Tiara and her dancers. It has been replaced with something altogether more sensual or spiritual. But, I must admit it did wonders for heightening the burgeoning awareness between the two star-crossed lovers. The batik-flick was such a fantastical, visual moment of attraction because it was bracketed by the slower, calmer dance. Before, I guess that moment was obscured by the flurry of activity the faster dance brought with it.
I'd go a hundred times if they'd let me.
Go see it at Istana Budaya beginning 6 Feb.