Curiosity got the better of this writer when he decided to attend a locally produced musical show at the theater, based on a supposedly larger-than-life icon of a sport that he does not follow. Eager to learn about the late Datuk Mokhtar Dahari – a legend so big, they actually wrote a musical about him.
Having my handful share of attending musicals and theater productions, I would not go as far as to label myself an authority. Though I have been to amazing, goosebumps-producing, tear-jerking shows; my past experience also included the couple of high budgeted mishits, which I swore made me want to pull my hair off.
Fortunately, SuperMokh did not fall in the latter of sorts. As a matter of fact, it was quite the entertainment, with a fair bit of education included as well. My expedition to the Istana Budaya on a weeknight was tolerably well rewarded.
I went in guns blazing, with no clue who Mokhtar Dahari was, aside from a quickie crash course from the few videos in Youtube, a fan-like entry in his Wikipedia page, and an account of reminiscing adoration by my father as we spoke briefly before I made the drive to Jalan Tun Razak, post rush hour.
Featuring Awie, the frontman of famed rock band ‘Wings’, he commanded the stage with his wondrous rockstar vocal chords. Sporting a menacing mustache and a head of hair that was not too dissimilar to images of Mokhtar, the audience was often in trance whenever he belted out a solo with étude.
Next up on stage was Maya Karin, another person in my list of celebrities to stalk. In her starring role of the supportive wife, Tengku Zarina, she was very enchanting with her thespian charisma. Her sweet and sultry voice provided a needed balance to the on-stage dynamics between the two lead roles.
Douglas Lim was without a doubt the understated show stealer of SuperMokh. Being a very accomplished stand-up comedian in Malaysia, the delivery of his signature brand of wit and humor was simply effortless to beget the occasional roaring laughter from the audience.
Dina Nadzir and Radhi Khalid, as Nurin and Lan respectively were also worthy of mention for their performance.
The music arrangement was equally splendid. There was a spectrum of pop melodies, romantic ballads; with knacks of traditional Malay influences in between. I was enthralled with euphoric goosebump during some of the climactic high notes.
There were portions of the show that I find a little lackluster. I was lost in nebulosity within the many voices of the supporting casts singing; a motley of melody, without cynosure. Then again, perhaps it was a clever ruse to re-enrapture the audience; as it did whenever a member of the main cast reappear and own the stage. Certain comedic attempts by the rest of the cast fell short without Douglas. Then again, I was never a big fan of slapstick humor. The younger crowd in the audience seemed to appreciate it.
Locally produced shows may sometime come attached with the dilemma of budgetary concerns, however there was not a hint of that stigma here. Sets and props were well designed, bordering on grandiosity. The underrated surround sound, together with the captivating lights added noticeable value to this production.
If you are planning to attend SuperMokh, be sure to keep your eyes and ears open for a gratifying treat at the forty-fifth minute mark after the intermission.
Visit photo.kennee.com for more photographs.
Photos courtesy of HDJ CRTV Studio.
Show duration : 2 hours and 40 minutes, with a 15-minute intermission.
Runs from 6 – 18 November, 2013 at Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur.
Tickets are priced between RM45 – RM306 (Matinees – RM38 – RM246).
Visit www.ticket2u.biz for ticketing info.
Also published in The Malaysian Insider.