Home > Lifestyle > Entertainment > Arts
Friday August 23, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Friday August 23, 2013 MYT 12:17:20 PM
by terence toh
Staging of Side By Side By Side By Sondheim was simple but effective.
Let me entertain you, let me make you smile. Let me do a few tricks, some old and some new tricks. I’m very versatile!
Theatre fans will probably recognise these as lines from Let Me Entertain You from Gypsy, a popular musical by renowned American composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim. They are also an apt summary of Side By Side By Side By Sondheim, a musical revue recently staged by Pan Productions in Kuala Lumpur. The show proved to be a winning combination of Sondheim’s magical music with the voices popular musical theatre performers.
Based on the popular revue Side By Side By Sondheim, the production featured Aaron Khaled, Alizakri Alias, Joshua Gui, Nell Ng, Peter Ong, Stephanie Van Driesen, Tria Aziz and Zalina Lee. The show was directed by Ng, with musical accompaniment by Nish Tham.
Side By Side By Side opened with Ng performing The Worst Pies In London, from the musical Sweeney Todd. After some banter and a light-hearted introduction to the cast, audience members were treated to a showcase of songs from many popular Sondheim productions such as West Side Story, Into The Woods, Anyone Can Whistle and the movie, Dick Tracy.
The cast member were magnificent, technically and emotionally. Aaron was particularly impressive with his beautiful rendition of Losing My Mind from Follies, while van Driesen and Gui’s lovely voices complemented each other nicely on the duet No One Is Alone. The production was light-hearted and fun throughout, with Ng telling humorous anecdotes about the performers in between songs.
One of the show’s most memorable moments was the performance of Getting Married Today. The song, known for its rapid-fire, tongue-twisting lyrics, is not an easy one to perform, but van Driesen did a capable job of it, performing with a perfect poker face to boot. Adding to the hilarity were backup vocals by Aaron, Ong and Tria, who all donned habits to perform as a trio of nuns!
Equally hilarious was Everybody Ought To Have A Maid, which saw the male cast members donning blonde wigs and feather dusters.
The show’s emotional highlight, however, was Send In The Clowns, from A Little Night Music. Stirring and emotional, Lee’s heartfelt rendition of this jazz standard brought tears to quite a few audience members’ eyes.
Other wonderful performances (and there were a lot to choose from) were Children Will Listen performed by Tria and the ensemble, Somewhere by Alizakri, and Not While I’m Around by Ong.
The show ended with an encore of Old Friends (from Merrily We Roll Along), which saw all performers on stage for a tap dance number. While their footwork was slightly uncoordinated, the ensemble’s high spirits and energy more than made up for it, as evidenced by riotous audience applause and a standing ovation at the end.
Tags / Keywords:
Copyright © 1995-2013 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)