MUD: Musical Review

One item from The Malaysian Bucket List (let me call it, TMBL from this point on) was to watch a musical. A live one, in a theater. We watched an Easter play once in one of the big churches near my house. But the last time I watched a musical-as-in-musical (i.e. one where the actors and actresses do the song and dance numbers for a living) was... never. And so I scoured cyberspace for shows around KL and found MUD in Timeout KL's list of things to do for the week.

At RM60 for a 50-minute show, it's quite pricey, but I bought the ticket anyway. Stingy introvert mode was on - I couldn't belanja anyone at that point and I wasn't too sure if I wanted to invite anyone to watch with me because I didn't know if the show was actually that good. The bottomline is I watched the musical alone. Well, I watched it with three other people in the theater, actually.

An audience of four. A Filipina, a German backpacker, and a Korean couple. Perhaps it was because it was a Saturday afternoon (maybe more people watch the evening shows?) but the truth was the Panggung Bandaraya looked desolate with only a handful of us congregated inside.

The show, however, was anything but desolate. It was still as lively as any performance done in front of a full house. Not only that, there was a personal touch (I won't give any spoilers here) which made me thankful that there were only a few of us there. After their performance, I had an epiphany: It's easy to put on a good show in front of a full house, but it takes another kind of showmanship to pull off the same thing in front of an audience of four. If I were in their shoes, would I have been able to do the same thing?

Back to the show. MUD was actually about the history of Kuala Lumpur (literally from the words muddy river - "kuala" is river and "lumpur" is muddy) told in a lively, dramatic way. It follows the journey of a 1Malaysia band of friends - how they overcame obstacles and how they rose up from all of the mud. It gave me a deeper appreciation of Kuala Lumpur, making the KL experience richer because now I know it isn't simply about snapping photos at the Petronas Twin Towers. For tourists who have an hour and RM60 to spare, it's a show I would recommend if they want to appreciate the city they are touring even more.

I probably sound like I'm being paid to do this (trust me, I'm not), but show times are 3pm and 8:30pm daily at the Panggung Bandaraya (next to Merdeka Square). It's quite short ("bitin" in my language), but time flies when you're having fun.

Hmmm. I wonder. Which musical should I watch next?

The cast.

I'm there!