Thursday, April 26, 2007

An Interview With The BPL's Director Brian McIntyre.

Hello everyone,
I had a chance to interview the Director of "Broadway Parodies Lah!" Brian McIntyre about the musical.

Check out the interview below:

Me: What inspired you to write this musical?

Brian: Actually it all started with a trip to the dentist in late 2002. Long time dentist friend Jason Cheong, who has appeared in numerous stage productions, knew of my writing song spoofs from shows we had done with accapella group Six2Eight. In the USA, a group going out under the name "Forbidden Broadway" would spoof songs from the musicals. During a visit for a check up and filling by my long time musical collaborator Edna Tan, he wondered to her why someone couldn't do a similar thing in a Malaysian context. That sparked in me a list of possible spoof titles, and before I knew it a handful of songs had been written. About ninety percent of the songs were written across an eight week period whilst others came at various points over the subsequent four years. That was a real burn time for writing!

The show itself is a revue, so it's all songs with no story (unlike a musical which will have a plot and characters who develop throughout the show). Each of the songs looks to tell a story about some aspect or character that is quintessentially Malaysian. There's the Karaoke Datin Datin keeping surgically young, there's the Tai Tai wannabee looking to avoid the NS camp, there's a Manglish language teacher, there's the businessman wondering why the share price won't go up and what to do about it. There's songs about the uniquely Malaysian love of food, and the hazards (and delights) of business life. And naturally, the neighbours down south come in for some hantam. But it's all sought to be done in a spirit of good natured ribbing and fun. Don't take so serious one!

Me: What would you like to see being achieved though this musical?

Brian: Not really sure how to answer this one.... I got inspired to write the songs, they got written, friends who heard them said they liked them, and Joe and Faridah said let's get it on the stage because it's entertaining and should appeal to Malaysian audiences! So I guess the simple answer is that I'd like to see large audiences to reward the faith that everyone has shown for the show! We have been hugely blessed to have attracted the high calibre of talent that will be performing. To date, Douglas Lim (actor, comedian of Kopitiam and Broken Bridges fame), Joanne Kam Poh Poh (also Broken Bridges and veteran performer and comedienne), Doreen Tang (delightful voice! M! The Opera, In The Mood, many corporate shows), Ho Soon Yoon (actor, singer in Broken Bridges, conductor In The Mood), Sabrina Hassan (Anjung Budi, PGL), Kyra Dani (Each Other, Forum), Cheryl Tan (Six Characters), Glamorique Arshad (Mikado, Stand and Deliver, Jalan Impian) have signed on, along with a tremendous new stage and vocal talent Ivan Choong. We'll also have piano accompaniment from musician and vocal/choral coach Melvin Ho and additional music sequenced on the computer by me. It's pretty humbling when you have the confidence of Joe and Faridah of Actors Studio along with talent of such a tremendous standard coming forward and so keen to do the show. What I hope is that the audiences will feel entertained and the cast and crew enjoy their involvement in the show. That's achievement enough.

Me: To feed the curiosity of Malaysians, how would you describe Broadway Parodies Lah! in one sentence?

Brian: Reggie Lee and C W Kee's world cartoons set to Broadway tunes lah!

Hope you guys enjoy reading it! See you guys at The Actors Studio for "Broadway Parodies Lah!".
Thank you for supporting Malaysian Theatre!

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