Monday, March 28, 2011

Michael Buble in concert

A late post...

The banner announcing the concert was up a day before
Michael Buble came to Malaysia, performed and captured the hearts of his fans (mostly women) with his performance on 13th March 2011. I was there, I enjoyed it and I think he did managed to connect with his fans on a different level than a few other artistes I have attended their concert before. And this was on a rainy night and at a venue rarely used as a concert venue in Malaysia (though very much near my own house)

Only a fan like my wife would want a picture with his poster even in the rain
Expensive concert t-shirts anyone?
The first I heard of him is when he was to release his first album and the joke was on how to pronounce his name. Buble? Bubble? I even got his first album for free in some obscure press conference which I actually forgot as soon as I attended it. That was either in 2002 or 2003. As I said, I only remember it obscurely...

The lighting was amazing
At the concert that day, he walked from one end of the stage to the other end, he tried to reach a few of the fans sitting in front, he comes down from the stage and walk to a mini stage at the centre of the hall. When he introduced his band, he named the band-member and then he make jokes, while explaining how and why that particular person is on the band. He then let the band play a jamming session. His band is like the big band of old. 

He was up there....

...then he was down there
The opening act of Najwa is also a good one and although it was raining that night, the hall was totally full. Michael Buble also announced that he will take a break after the concert and as he is already engaged, rumor has it that he will be married soon.

He was at this stage...

...then he walked to this smaller stage
All the best to him either on being a married man and on his musical journey....

Friday, March 25, 2011

Women : 100 - 100 years celebration of International Women's Day

This weekend is the final weekend for the celebration of Women : 100. An initiative by the newly revamped Kakiseni is now led by Low Ngai Yuen who is of the 3R fame but now turn film director and activist, especially any initiative geared towards women empowerment.
Ngai Yuen (in the jeans jacket) meeting the celebrities
The Women : 100 celebration is a 100 hours celebration of performing arts (among others) and there is only less than 48 hours left. I think it is a good initiatives which reached out to a lot of people and they are currently being held in a few places around like the Annexe Gallery, Celebrities Club and The Actors Studio on the rooftop of Lot 10.

Calista and Nadia ready to bang some pots

They are also organising flashmobs which has dancing and like last week the one that I participate with Nadia Heng, the current Miss World/Malaysia. We were at Pavilion and we banged pots and pans to a percussion sounds to show that cutlery are not to be used for violence against women.

The celebrities that day

Chelsia Ng being interviewed

Check out Women : 100 Facebook page on what has been done and what will this weekend has to offer. I was told the final one involves some stripping. And go participate. You will have a great time and be changed of your perception about women. Even if you can't find the time, please read all the activities they have done and why they did them.

The social media team : Harinder, Kal and Callista

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lat, the Kampung Boy - The Musical

When I heard of this project for the first time, it was through the comedian Kuah Jenhan of the Malaysia Association of Chinese Comedians fame. He was co-writing the musical with Harith Iskander. I was tempted to see it because I have grown up with Lat's comics like I did with Dandy and Beano, both British comics of old which I was told is his influences. I was expecting to see the story which I have seen in this comic comes to life.

Lat, the Kampung Boy - The Musical is what I expect it to be and a bit more. It did bringing the character of Lat and other characters, which I have read in the comics more than 30 years ago, to life and it also tell the personal story of Datuk Mohamad Nor Khalid. So, it has to tell the story which you expect to see and then wham!, it hits you with another side of the cartoonist.

The characters can be seen at two places when you enter Istana Budaya, the place they are staging the show. It is in every nooks and crannies of Istana Budaya lobby. The father, the mother, the school, the kampung house and a few scenes which will make you just want to snap a few pictures, like so many fans did. The cartoon is also used on the set but not that many of them (which is a shame). Then you will see the characters being embodied by the actors on stage. It is surreal up to a certain point.

I love the cast. Awie is great as an adult Lat. The kid who played Lat when he was in his kampung, Kota Baru and then in Ipoh, both in Perak. Frankie was there when he made the transitions from his tin mine laden (where monster lives!) kampung to the town where he learned about his musical inclination. Atilia, whom I always love hear her sings, is great as his wife, Pae, short for Faezah.

My only complain is the timing. Either they didn't planned it well or there are too many sets for them to manage. It started a bit late (at 8.40pm), has a 1 hour and 30 minutes of 1st Act, has a 20 minutes interval (which I personally think is too long) and then a 1 hour 2nd Act. I was already bored by the 2nd Act as I am not watching the cartoon anymore but the real life of the persons (Datuk Lat and his wife were there on that third night) who were actually sitting 3 rows in front of us. It is not that the musical is bad or the acting is bad, mind you, but it did feel a bit dragging in a bit.

I consider Douglas Lim is the saving factor which brings comic relief whenever he is on stage as the adult Frankie. He did put in a few snide remarks with reference to politics and will be familiar for those who have seen his stand-up comedy before.

However, as a musical goes, it is well executed and the sets are amazing. At the end of it, I know more of Lat than I have known before and I am amazed how someone from a rural kampung in Perak can be as popular of him. I consider him to be brave enough to allow his name to be used as he is still alive and well (some of the musical did touch on his characteristic and some conflicts in his life). And the merchandising is great. I even get myself a t-shirt which I consider to be cheap.

Go watch this musical which is still being staged until 5th April 2011. Experience Lat, the Kampung Boy and know the story of this national treasure.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I Mas Travel? Where?

I consider for this year, this is the best piece of branding I can find. "I Mas Travel", which sounds so like 'I Must Travel'. A fan website for those who travels using MAS, Malaysia Airline System. The original Malaysia air carrier.

The place : Neo Luxe Lounge
Last few weeks, MAS invited bloggers from a few blog companies to come for an event where it was touted as MAS Bloggers Party. I was surprised to find the two warring blog advertising companies there (I know, I make it sound so confrontational) at one event. As I was there under the invitation of Advertlets, I just let you guys decide the name of their competitor. MAS must have organised the event themselves without actually using one or the other blog advert company.

Some of the bloggers
Jojo Struys introducing the entertainer with his kompang like drum from Africa
Anyway, it was held at NEO Luxe Lounge in Jalan Sultan Ismail and it was an entertaining event. We got some goodie bags, we played some games, was entertained with some Haka dance and were feted with some good food. 


Wannabe sumo wrestlers

We were also briefed about what is iMas Travel website is all about and a blog contest which you can find our more at MAS Traveller website. Why not join Mas Traveller now and join in the fun. 

MAS Golden Lounge in KLIA

Inside MAS airplane when we were off to London
As someone who has been travelling with MAS for sometimes, I can say, they are at par with so many other airlines. I just love it when I was from London and Sydney last year and I get to eat my favourite nasi lemak and read my local newspaper as I board the MAS flight.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Merong Mahawangsa

Let me be brief....

I love the movie as I would love a Hong Kong movie (and yes, I know that they get all the help they can from there). Hollywood doesn't have nothing against Hong Kong and Bollywood movie.  In my opinion, film like Wanted was a glorified Hindustan movie. Kamal Hasan did it much, much better. Or Shah Rukh. Or Jackie Chan. What Hollywood has is beautiful people who are sculpted into what we see when there are award shows.

That is where I think Merong Mahawangsa has fail. The casting. Not the acting, mind you. I think there are better actors out there. Not nit-picking everyone's acting but I think someone else can be a better Merong. Just the Batman sounding people who try to sound graft and wise while not doing their voice any credit. 

And Dato' Rahim Razali hair. Come on.....Why must it be that ugly? Thomas & Guys can't help you izzit?

Anyway, do go and watch it. It is an epic and commendable effort from KRU Studio. The juggernaut in entertainment breakthrough in Malaysia, if you ask me. Enough to make Metrowealth a run for their money.

And thanks to Beautiful for hosting us on 12th of March 2011. Review from this great Malaysia entertainment website about Merong Mahawangsa can be found here.

Bro Nara giving his thumb up

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sunday trekking

It seems that on weekends, thanks to a few Twitter friends, we have been going around the Klang Valley to trek across some bush/forest/jungle (depending on the area) and although it may not be much, it does make one sweat. It may not be effective as a healthy lifestyle as we eat quite a huge helping of Malaysian street food once we finished the trekking.

Bukit Gasing overlooking PJ

For the past two month, I managed to join them on excursions through Bukit Gasing, Bukit Cerakah (which entrance is just 500m from my house and Bukit FRIM. As we comprise of over-achievers who walks as if there are gold on top of the hills and those who walk as if each step is an effort in itself, we make sure everyone reached the top of the hills that we are climbing at that particular moment.

On top of Bukit FRIM (1000 feet)

There are so many pockets of greens in the Klang Valley and we are planning to climb a few more in the next months. I was too judgmental before in my assessment of these places as I thought we have too few places to trek/jog/appreciate nature but it seems we have quite a few. And after all these times, I only give barely a glance by nature conservationists on their fight to keep these places but now I understand the need.

On top of Bukit Sapu Tangan, in Taman Pertanian/Taman Botani, Shah Alam