Food, life, and fun in my "kampung,"(village), KL (Kuala Lumpur). Did I mention "food?"

The Girl From Ipoh

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

I feel like such a culture vulture.

First, Jose Carreras on Tuesday, then The Song Company on Saturday, and tonight, "The Girl From Ipoh."

The Song Company was polished, fun, a tight blend, and something that The Wicked Pitches aspire to be. Enough Said.

The Girl From Ipoh, directed by Low Ngai Yuen, starring Carmen Soo, Lee Swee Keong, Tony Eusoff, Season Chee, and the girls of LIT.

Ostensibly a story of about being Chinese and the crossover from the traditional to the modern and how both are still clashing in Malaysia. Loved it.

One could nitpick and say that some of the harmonies could be lusher and tighter but basically, the girls and Ngai Yuen stick to what they do best. Simple 1,3,5 stacked harmonies with a backbeat, LIT made the story into simple but effective Musical Theatre. They have improved tremendously and their blend is far tighter than when Allan and I saw them a couple of years ago.

Special mention needs to be mentioned of Lee Swee Keong who was powerful as Carmen Soo's Dad. Carmen was perfect in the role of chinese challenged banana. And Season Chee...I'm not certain if he has performed before but he played the role with some panache and daring. Especially the condom scene. Tony Eusoff and his usual ebullient characterisation was a treat to watch.

All in all, a very entertaining show and it was obvious that the producers had the audience in mind when they did this! More please!

Jose Carreras in Concert

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

I was not about to pay a minimum of RM280 to sit in the Gods to watch Jose Carreras sing.

I felt the ticket prices were very expensive and something I did not value enough to plonk for.

Then on Sunday, I get this message from a very good friend that she had scored 2 extra tickets for the concert on Tuesday night. Would we like to go? And oh yes...they're complimentary.

Naturally, I jumped at the chance. Its one thing to pay RM280 but another entirely to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Allan and I donned our suits and made our way to the venue and met up with our friends.

Jose was in fine voice and yes, you could nit pick and say that he's past his prime, but all in all, I felt that his technique was as good as ever and I learnt a lot just from watching him.

I even got to shake his hand and get his autograph. Fabulous.

All in all, a very fun and fine evening.

Did I mention we also had champagne at a post concert party?


By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy


After 4 years of faithful service, my Nokia 5210 is being given a well deserved break. It’s still in good working order (more than can be said of Allan’s new Nokia which pretty much started giving trouble on the 3rd day of use) but I felt that a change would be nice. Brought on of course, by the fact that Allan had to get a new phone because HIS 4 year old Nokia 3310 decided to call it quits.

So after a bit of shopping, I plonked for a Motorola E398 with as many bells and whistles as anyone could hope for. At a price which definitely represents better value than the 2nd Nokia that Allan bought in as many weeks. I also decided to go with a Bluetooth earpiece for those pesky times when I have to avoid being seen talking on the phone…like when I’m driving. ;-)

I used to try and hide the phone and make it look like I was resting my head in my hands when I was driving around. I’m not certain how successful I was in actually duping the cops but I must say that I haven’t been stopped for chatting on the phone while driving for some time.

Here’s a pic of it;

Critique, review and personal happiness

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

It’s amazing how most people look at life.

It’s almost like our happiness is predicated on someone else’s actions. If someone says or does something wrong (wrong in our eyes) we feel unhappy/cheated/hurt/disappointed etc.

Why is this?

I mean, we all subscribe to the notion that we are individuals in charge of our own destiny (by the grace of God). So why is it that we ALLOW other people to have this power over us?

For example, I wrote the critique/review of “Pygmalion.” (See post dated 23 Oct 2005).

I also posted it on Kakiseni (http:/www.kakiseni.com) under my own name of course. I feel that the opinion is pretty much worthless if you don’t back it up with your own name. That of course, is a whole other issue.

Anyways, the “review” got a stinging reply from someone by the given name of “NUMS.” To all intents and purposes he/she sounded very defensive and hurt.

The question is, why did they allow me (a solitary audience member who feels that if I sit in that seat that I have the right  of comment) to get to them like that. They sounded like they took it very personally and that meant they must have been close to the play/musical somehow.

In any case, I need to do what I feel is right (according to my conscience) and them feeling defensive or taking it personally is not going to stop me from saying my piece. I feel I phrased the review very politely and civilly. In a very balanced manner. But yet, he/she took offence. And he/she will probably continue doing so.

He/she MUST realise that they cannot stop people having their own opinion so why even waste energy by taking it personally and being defensive against something that is inevitable. People will have their own thoughts and comments.

I agree people should learn to phrase reviews nicely because at the end of the day, bitchy and caustic reviews do not pass on the message that they espouse. People’s defensive walls come up and that’s it! But on the other side, people need to learn how accept critique which is uncomfortable as well.

Otherwise how do we improve as people or as performers?