My family is pretty much modern and we don’t really observe the Chinese traditional culture that much apart from Chinese New Year and Mid Autumn Festival. More often than not, we do it merely for the sake of filial pity and out of respect towards the elders in our family. But these days, I’ve taken some interests in the traditional cultures in Malaysia, all thanks to JKKN’s musicals and Traditional Malaysian Orchestra’s series of performances in MaTiC that I’ve been attending, where they made cultural stuff not only fun, but free to learn.
I’ve been attending some of JKKN’s free performances regularly with some expat friends every now and then. It’s really fun. We get to dance traditional dance along with the dancers on stage and get to make more friends along the way, and so, when wonderful folks in Resorts World Genting presented me with the opportunity to watch Ge Tai- The Musical, I knew that I wouldn’t want to miss it for the world.
So, what is Ge Tai? Well, for those who are not from Chinese background might not be familiar with this term, but here’s a brief definition of what Ge Tai is. Ge Tai are open-air concerts set up in various locations throughout Malaysia during the Hungry Ghost Festival in the seventh lunar month. One spooky thing about Ge Tai is that they are not only performed for the living beings to watch, but it is performed to entertain the dead. The Chinese believed that the soul of the dead came back every Hungry Ghost Festival and roamed about pitifully, and therefore these performances are to entertain them and make them happy before they go back to the underworld once one month is up.
In the olden days of our ancestors, Ge Tai used to feature puppet shows and Chinese operas but now, these have been replaced with dancing and singing shows, mostly in Hokkien dialect. The performers usually wear glittery, vibrant-coloured costumes. Besides singing and dancing, they also perform comedy skits in rapid-fire talking.
The real Ge Tai usually spooks me. It made my imaginations runs wild, but Ge Tai The Musical that’s being showcased in Resorts World Genting is different thing altogether.
The high energy of a Chinese live concert meets the drama of musical theatre in “Ge Tai – The Musical”, a fabulous new show written by Jonathan Lim is a very touching thing to watch. It is not just singing traditional songs all the way like the regular Ge Tai I’m familar with but I could actually feel the heartbreak and joys behind the bright lights of the Getai stage.
Ge Tai -The Musical tells the story of how an unknown amateur performer in the 1980s goes through different trials and obstacles and ultimately blossoms into a getai star.
The production boasts a colourful set, evocative lighting design and over-the-top costumes and it is really interesting to watch with plenty of life lessons about love and kinships.
No spoilers on the storyline but here’s sharing with you some of the scenes from Ge Tai-The Musical.
Catchy scene in Ge Tai-The Musical
Conflict brewing on stage
The glitz and glams in the musical
A performance within performance
Face-changing master fascinating the audiences with his skills.
Ge Tai-The Musical is a must watch for all musical and cultural drama lovers. No fret about not being able to understand the story though it is delivered in Chinese dialects, as subtitles is available for you to refer to throughout the whole performance.
Ge Tai – The Musical will be held at Genting International Showroom at 9pm, from 1 to 4 October and 8 to 11 October (except on Saturday when there will be two shows, at 4pm and 9pm).
Tickets are priced at RM530 (VIP), RM230 (PS1) and RM120 (PS2). For more details, visit www.rwgenting.com or call 03-27181118.