Last Sunday, I got free tix to watch Cuci the Musical: Last Kopek at Istana Budaya courtesy of my awesome cousin who is a dancer in the show. I thought I'd share my thoughts on the musical here. If you're thinking about watching it, maybe my review can help you decide. Head on over after the break for the full write-up.
The musical is an adaptation of the movie Cuci released a few years ago. It's now in its 3rd season if I'm not mistaken. The 'Last Kopek' in the title could signal that it will be its last season. It tells the story of 4 brothers who has a window washing business called 'Cuci-cuci Services'. They're trying to enter the Window Washing Olympics (WWO), that guarantees them a contract to wash the windows of the Petronas Twin Towers. The musical follows the ups and downs of their effort to get into the competition and win the ultimate prize. Along the way, they develop love interests and tested their sibling relationship when one is forced to sacrifice for the others.
The only other malay musicals I've been before were from Enfiniti productions, Puteri Gunung Ledang, P. Ramlee and the Secret Life of Nora. Compared to those, Cuci looks less polished in my opinion. There seem to be a lot of adlib-ing involved in the presentation of the dialogues, more from the 4 main actors. Understand that that's probably part of what made it funny but it also made it seem more like a comedy show than a theatre production. These also might've lead to the show running almost 4 hours, which I felt could've been improved if the time was managed better. The supporting actors were great. Story-wise, its very simple yet they try to put in a lot of unnecessary scenes to make it seemed like the plot is deep. Set design, choreography and music was good but making the acting more professional would've made the production tigher. I felt the 2nd act had more structure than the first.
If you're looking to have a lot of laughs from a show, you should give it a try. It has enough jokes to keep you entertained. Just don't expect to see a world class theatre production with a great story.