Musical Review: Aladdin the Musical @ Sunway Lagoon

Aladdin Musical Sunway Lagoon

It’s slightly better than the Peter Pan Musical they had around the same period last year but still RUBBISH. With the same concept they went with as before, once again I found myself sitting through over an hour-long Sunway Lagoon live commercial. Almost everything about this apparent West End Production seemed mediocre and cheapskate.

Here, Disney‘s version of Aladdin is taken up, shortened and improvised into an utter garbage, a Sunway Lagoon musical. I have no idea who wrote the play for this musical but that fellow needs to be stoned to death. He or she obviously didn’t take the job seriously. The whole show is such a rush, it’s like they just want to do the important parts of the classic magical tale and hope that the Malaysian audience would be fooled by their cheap sense of humour. The progress of the story is undetailed, impatient and absolutely heartless. Wait, what the fuck am I talking about here? There IS no progress, there isn’t any intention of giving the crowd a ride of emotions with the great tale itself. The dialogues are pretty short and simple as well.

Aladdin Musical Sunway Lagoon

As though that’s not bad enough, irrelevant names, culture and elements are incorporated as well.

“How can I trust someone who looks like Simon Cowell?”

“Okay lah?”

Those are some of the lines used on the play and that is just the first sign of the horror. The genie is a hip-hopper, the Slave of the Ring looks like Lady Gaga with a voice that sounds like the flirty cats in cartoons, KLCC makes a background appearance, Sunway Lagoon can be heard and seen a couple times as well, and… Star Wars. Only one Disney Aladdin song (“A Whole New World“) is performed whereas the others are the mainstream crap like Bruno Mars’ stuffs and so on. I totally understand their intentions of being more modern and creative, but this is just insulting to me.

The singing is not entirely live, I believe, because they sounded pre-recorded at times. It’s definitely not fully lip-synced either because the vocal volume consistency and the timing of their singing were not perfect. The music, like before, is not played live. The midi-sh quality of the beats made me feel like I was at a RTM (Radio Televisyen Malaysia) concert. And being seated at the side or the back of the amphitheater gave me an idea on how poor the sound system is there. At times, I just couldn’t hear the dialogues clearly.

Aladdin Musical Sunway Lagoon

The dancers look quite hot, and from afar, they look hotter than the chubby Princess Jasmine. The dance and action choreography is nothing amazing, in fact the sword fight scenes were like kids playing in slow motion, and yet a few of the dancers seemed very unconfident throughout the evening.

There was a 15-minute half-time interval break for the crew to change the environment of the stage (and for some F&B and merchandise sales). During the interval, there was an uncle telling the audience to interact with the actors to have “more fun”. There were interaction attempts by the actors from the start to the end of the play and instead of just staying put on the stage, they’d bring the action to the audience’s seats, giving the people a real 3-D experience. Now now, at a genuine musical or theatre play, there are no interaction and the audience have to be strictly silent throughout the show (but are allowed to laugh and cry at the right moments of course). But in this case, as long as the crowd is responsive, it’s most probably positive.

Aladdin Musical Sunway Lagoon

There are a few things that are commendable to me. In spite of being in
costumes that seem like they’re from a cheap rental shop, some of the
actors’ performance were quite enthusiastic and lively, especially the
one who plays the genie. The poorly written stage play doesn’t stop them from playing their roles well. However, there were times that their singing were inconsistent and seemed that they were unsure of the lyrics. The stage environment set-up is pretty decent (although the magic carpet looks more like a hanging bed), considering amphitheater is obviously not an ideal place for a musical. Good lighting effects as well. They also used some real animals for the show, I thought that’s cool (but Disney Aladdin‘s monkey, Abu, is completely cut from the story here). There was also one part of show I actually really liked – the one right after the interval with the circus thing going on.

Aladdin Musical Sunway Lagoon

This Aladdin the Musical will be performed at the Sunway Lagoon Amphitheatre until the 2nd of January next year. Tickets price range is RM50 to RM300. Seriously, why would anyone pay that much to watch a profit-driven and effortless ingenuine live musical? Decent if it’s free of charge for it may be amusing for kids. To me, personally, it was a complete waste of time because I’m the type who’d only appreciate an authentic theatre musical. If I were to choose, I’d rather pay to watch the same Disney animation again at a cinema.

Aladdin Musical Sunway Lagoon

“Why don’t we go and have fun at Sunway Lagoon?!”

“During Christmas period, it will be snowing at Sunway Lagoon!”

Oh, shut the fuck up.

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Comments

  1. CleverMunkey ®

    more entertaining than Magical Musical but singing and dancing for this musical were pretty poor compared to the previous musical. The hip hop genie was kinda funny and yeah, Princess Jasmine is fat! I noticed the flying carpet wasn't too smooth and I can see the "wtf?" expression of Princess Jasmine when she was on it! XD

  2. Nana Eddy

    OMG. such bad review~ hahaha. I am more horrified at the experience getting to the place than the show itself – seeing I missed half of it. Will definitely rant about it soon!

  3. ken

    commend your honesty.. changed my mind on whether to watch or not.. haha.. i watched the original animation recently, so nostalgic.. 🙂

  4. Isaac Tan

    one thing which i found rather disspointing was that i had expected better props and costumes. the lines carrying the magic carpet I was told would be invisible to the audience, but it was so obvious! But the cast really worked hard at getting it going.

  5. Merryn

    🙁 I'm just a mother to a 4 year old kid. Went there as a family outing and had a great time. Maybe it's because we did not put high expectation to it as you know, having a 4 year old kid, what we were looking forward to was for the show to be entertaining enuf for him to be able to sit through it all, which he did. This is definitely better than Magical Musical and Peter Pan. Anyway, i dont mind watching it again 😛

  6. Bella Enveeus

    I think the location is not very strategic. Stage shows don't work so well in open air. It should be in an enclosed place, for the sake of the sound system if not anything else. But I have to admit I did have some fun because I love musicals no matter where they're at.

    But yeah, the reference to "Sunway Lagoon" a few times did get a little annoying.. 😀

  7. Eric Lee

    LOL…like the last part…

    true…i found it pretty rushed especially the ending…was hoping for more songs besides from aladdin and jasmine

    but i think training a monkey to act as Abu is a tough feat…actually the original tale, Abu is actually a human and Aladdin best friend…however, Aladdin is actually a Chinese Muslim in the original folklore

  8. SOTR

    I'm really upset to hear you feel that way about the show? I wonder how many professional shows you have seen. As the Priciple Roles are from London's West End and YES the singing is all LIVE. Really not sure why you would waste your time in writing such rubbish as this. A huge team work very hard to put this show together and we all happen to be very proud of what we have achieved. Next time I'd save your money, we certainly don't need people like you in the audience. OH and of course the dancers HOT, it's MALAYSIA!!!!!!!!!

  9. Tony Teh

    1. I'm sorry that you're upset.

    2. No, I am very sure the singing were not entirely live.

    3. Your team worked very hard for a production with no heart but only the purpose of profiting.

    4. I watched the show for free. I've done this review to save others' money.

    5. I was actually referring to only one particular foreign dancer.

    6. Learn to accept criticisms and improve from there. If you disagree, just be professional and shut the fuck up.

  10. CC

    Well Tony Teh,
    You want to stone me to death do you? You sound like such a bitter and twisted person. I was reading your 'review' of Aladdin which lost all credibility when you became very personal to the actors and totally incorrect with regards to the live singing. And then to include swearing doesn't make you clever. It makes you very sad. You have no idea about the scope of live theatre and you are an utterly disgraceful human being.

    I know you think it's really clever and funny to write such garbage but I say this – It's not about accepting criticism. All theatre is not for everyone. We all like different things – that is what makes the world such a colourful place. But do not use this so called blogspot of yours to mock people. If you don't like something fair enough. But do you really have to be so nasty and rude to people that you have never met?
    You are a disgrace to your fellow Malaysians and the blogging community.
    CC

  11. CC

    Also….this is NOT disney's Aladdin! It doesn't pretend to be and doesn't say it is. Disney does not have the world rights for the story and in the UK there are about 40 versions of Aladdin performed at this time of the year….again none of them Disney's!!!! Your line 'at a genuine musical or theatre play, there are no interaction and the audience have to be strictly silent throughout the show' really shows your complete ignorance of live Theatre.
    CC

  12. Tony Teh

    1. You already said it – we all like different things and I hated it.

    2. How can you possibly call this fair when people have to pay to watch a commercial?

    3. You are a disgrace to yourself for not knowing that blogging is for people to voice out their own opinions in their own ways.

    4. Did you know that the character names "Jaafar" and "Princess Jasmine" are from the Disney's version of Aladdin? That version is also the only one that sets its story in an Arabian City instead of China.

    5. Okay fine, audience are allowed to laugh and cry at appropriate moments during a genuine musical.

    Can't believe I got trolled twice in just a few hours!

  13. CC

    So if we name characters Princess Jasmine and Jafar, then it MUST be the Disney version? There are also many versions of Aladdin set in an Arabian City. Your exposure to live theatre is so limited I cannot see how you can comment on this, but you still do.

    'The audience are allowed to laugh and cry'…… again your exposure to live theatre is so limited. you think there are set rules.

    Your response to the comment by SOTR was so unprofessional and rude. You, again, show yourself to be so ignorant and rude.

    You must be so pleased with yourself…….well done for being an amazing human being and such a nice person.
    1. 2. 3. 4. and 5.
    Get a Life1

    Oooh so excited you've been 'trailed twice'……well done. That must male it all worth it. How sad…..

  14. Tony Teh

    @CC I pity you. Sounds like you've been going to the wrong musicals and plays your whole life till you think this is common.

    Have you actually seen this musical or the animation yet? I have confirmed that only the Disney's version had Jasmine as the name of the princess. But never mind the names, the costumes, characters and story sequence are very similar to the Disney version. Not to mention that they performed "A Whole New World" at the magic carpet scene.

    I don't have to be professional and polite. I'm just a blogger sharing his thoughts. So what more do you have to say? I guess it's time for you to troll on another post with a different name. And get a life, you say? Look who's talking.

  15. Anti-troll brigade

    In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

  16. CC

    My last response is this:-
    I think my experience is a little more than yours with regards to musicals. I have worked in this field in the UK and Internationally for 26 years. The Performing Arts and Theatre takes many different forms. If you could see Christmas shows in the UK right now, including London, then you would be appalled if you hate this production of Aladdin so much. This is a family show and so far I have watched the 14 performances and the audiences love it. This is thousands of people.

    The story sequence is similar because that IS the story!

    I can take any criticism but I draw the line at your personal rudeness to the cast, your inaccuracy, and the language you use when describing this production.

    I am not trying to provoke any emotional response and I merely putting right what you have said. Personal attacks against people are very brave from your room on your computer…..I am not sure you would like the same done to you….

    I have a life thank you. One where I care about people and their feelings, I am not ignorant to peoples likes and dislikes and I pity people like you who must feel such arrogance and disdain for others.

    I won;t be checking this blog again, so no need to waste your time with a reply…

    CC

  17. Tony Teh

    Yeah and I am the Chief Executive of Broadway. I may be bullshitting your ass but hey, at least I have my name and face on the line here.

    Its story sequence and everyone else are similar because it follows Disney's version! How come someone of your experience still cannot comprehend what I'm emphasising here? If you watch other versions of Aladdin, you'd find that some have their own unique way of telling the tale.

  18. Anonymous

    the comments were more interesting n entertaining than the poorly written blogpost. i wonder why you blog so rudely when all u did was attend the musical at no cost. maybe you're the cheapskate. hahahaha…

  19. Anonymous

    Yo Tony, chill lah. I think everyone is entitled to their own opinions, yes. But seriously, personal attacks are not necessary lah.

    Anyway, I watched the show too and sure, the show had its flaws – as with many other shows in this blue planet, but again this is subjective lah. What are flaws in one's eyes may not be in another.

    I thought the show was a light-hearted, fun way to past time on a Saturday night! And I took all the Sunway Lagoon name-dropping & colloquial additions to the script in a light-hearted manner and laughed! 🙂

  20. emily

    I just watched the show. and I was totally traumatized by it. I felt cheated. That was not a Aladdin musical at all! It was so bad that I was shocked how can others still laughed at the horrible choice of songs.I totally went WTF???? (the chubby jasmine's singing was pretty bad too, I feel sorry for her) How can they sing nonsense and make it look as if it is a Aladdin musical?? NOT FUNNY THAT IS CHEATING!

  21. Anonymous

    Loved this show.
    Fantastic set.
    Amazing costumes.
    Great singers.
    Brilliant dancing

    I could go on and on without the F word too!!!!!

  22. Dila Ariff

    Like seriously, how many overseas musical have you been to to say that no musicals are like this one? I admit I've never been to any musicals overseas, but I think that I've performed in quite a few and been to a few to know that this was a good job for a performance practised and put together in just two weeks.

    And I asked Mr. Aaron himself when I went to meet the cast if there was going to be a monkey to play Abu and he said they can't bring in a monkey coz those people who defend the animal rights (I have no idea what's their name lah) would sue the show as it's illegal to use monkeys in any way.

    And they can't directly take the show from Disney without tweaking it around. No show can take anything directly. Even when I did Moulin Rouge and Sound of Music, we changed a few things. Even if it's an adaptation it'd be different.

    I'm a blogger too, as you are, and I understand that this is your space to voice out your opinions and whatnot. But you honestly didn't have to be so rude about it. I don't know how young or how old you are, but the very least you could do about the review is be mature about it and respect the people that have worked so hard to even come up with such thing, if not for your entertainment, for others.

    And just so you know, the commentor CC, I think he's Chris Colby, the producer of the show himself, so he knows what he's talking about when he talks about the shows in the UK.

  23. Tony Teh

    @DilaAriff Hi, fellow blogger who didn't even link his comment to his blog. Since you don't sound like a trolling coward, I shall try my utmost not to give you a rude response. If there are plenty of musicals like this in overseas, there are not genuine. But not that I'd mind if the production was good.

    And I think you're not getting my point. I hated the fact that they didn't try to do an adaptation of their own instead of stealing Disney's version (yes 'cause I don't remember them crediting Disney) and turn it into such a rubbish. I would be pleased if they were original or just stick to Disney's. About Abu the monkey, it's not a big deal. It's just another character from Disney's adaptation. If you seen Lion King's musical, they didn't actually have lions, you know?

    I don't care who this CC is. It might really be the real producer who commented above (with quite a local grammar and I'm not saying my English is better), but all I know that this so-called musical is not the musical that I was expecting and I am utterly pissed off with it, especially for charging people that much money with hopes of them not knowing how an authentic musical is.

    @emily Reading your comment makes me feel that there's still hope for this world. Thank you *sobs sniffles*

  24. RcKs

    My two cents. It's overpriced. I've seen better local musicals, cheaper and with better quality. The author maybe a bit harsh in his words, but what he said was true, sadly.

  25. DannyBhoy

    Hey Tony,

    I totally agree with you & CC is just plain wrong. Anyway, since this was the second you got blown off with such a horrible musical, I hope that you would not have it in you to go watch another Sunway Lagoon Musical installment this year.

    Cheers,

    DannyBhoy

  26. Post
    Author
    tony

    Hey, all.

    I wish to apologise for my rude manners. I think I was just very pissed off with the production. I should've replied all your responses calm and well mannered without adding oil into fire.

    Apologies again.

    – Tony

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