I (I believe I seldom start a post with I because it sounds so self-centered) caught the Smash Hit Musical, Mamma Mia...
I'd wanted to go the moment I read that it would be playing in KL - without having seen the movie, nor any idea what the musical was all about (it is a smash hit, afterall, and there must be a good reason that it is one)
It was my first time at Istana Budaya (I think...). The size of the crowd was impressive, considering that even the cheapest tickets cost over RM150 (for seats that were so high up that Mee Mee said they were not for the altophobic). I saw families, complete with pre-teen children, and I can't help thinking if it was worth it to spend 1 or 2k for a family of 4, 2 of which were perhaps too young to had even heard of ABBA. But then, many are not as stingy as (and a filthy lot richer than) me. There were so many people that we had to take turns to pose by the huge boards there.
The show was scheduled to begin at 8.30pm. Slightly after 8pm, the doors opened and people took their seats. It was very dark inside and impossible to get any proper, nice shots.
We basically sat right next to the wall, but still got a tolerably acceptable view of the stage, at a tolerably acceptable distance (I could see the cast rather well, down to the details of the costumes and cleavages - but not their facial expressions, perhaps due to my not wearing my specs).
Right before the show began, an announcement on the prohibition of any form of photography or recording during the show was made, and Mee Mee and I got our cameras ready (surely the reader didn't expect us adhere to that).
"You take the stills and I'll take videos, ok?"
And I agreed most gleefully!
The show began and the usher who showed us our seats earlier stood right at the top of the aisle, between the sections of the rows of seats. Fine, we would start up our cameras when he left. He never did. In fact, he was more diligent than the regular lecturer would be during a final exam invigilation. I saw him stopping others from using their cameras once or twice, and decided it wasn't worth the risk. I ought to just concentrate on enjoying the show.
The band was beneath the stage, in the orchestra pit, with their conductor in the open space, where he could see what was happening on stage, and conduct the musicians accordingly. The lighting, stage design, prop and costumes were overwhelming enough - include in the music, the singing, the dancing - the musical was simply intoxicatingly marvellous.
Towards the end, the audience were worked up enough to be clapping to the beat of the music. During the last few numbers, some of the ladies in the audience were so caught up in the mood they got off their seats, and danced on the aisle - not the crazy, unruly, disco-style dancing, but the I'm-seriously-enjoying-this swaying and waving. It felt great to just be a part of an audience with such spirit.
"Shall we stand up too?"
We got to our feet; we tapped our feet, we stepped side to side with the rhythm; we waved our arms in the air; we sang along; we enjoyed ourselves so much we didn't want the show to end (nevermind that our men sat like stones all-throughout, probably folding their arms and yawning).
What a great show it was! It lived fully up to it smash hit reputation, justified fully the sold-out shows status. Justified too, the ~RM1k the 4 of us paid, for the 2+ hours' performance! :)