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Kota Kinabalu: Michael Parks Masterson, star of the Broadway hit shows Phantom of the Opera and Les Miz, will be in town to conduct a 10-day musical workshop climaxing in a concert from May 26 to June 5.
“All Broadway buffs know that Michael Parks is amazing and that this is a very rare opportunity to see a very famous and versatile actor, choreographer, stage director, dancer and vocalist all rolled into one superb entertainer we are bringing in to perform and train Sabahans,” said Peter Chua, Executor Director of the rock school Musical Theatre.
“Another dancer and vocalist will come to assist Michael who is renowned for his strong forte in musical production,” Chua said.
“This is essentially a youth programme. We are encouraging our youths to challenge them on stage, meaning after the 10-day workshop, we can showcase how talented these young people actually are, with a public Broadway Show here in Sabah of “guaranteed” worth, on June 5, at the new 2,500-capacity Tuaran Community Centre” he said.
“We’ll showcase and surprise the audience what talents Sabahans actually have through the concert, given the opportunity,” he added. “We actually encourage youths, students, teachers and parents in numbers, to look at this very noble project,” he said.
“More so, school teachers, especially young school teachers must come and learn the quality elements of musical production because all schools organise year-end concerts,” he noted.
“I think this will be a tremendous benefit to the schools,” he added.
“But since St John’s School Tuaran came to see us, we are now sponsoring 20-30 students of the school free-of-charge with the condition that the school take responsibility that the students they send in are serious and committed,” he said.
“We’ll make sure nobody comes and go as they like as in the past when we gave people free training or free tickets,” Chua said.
“Fifty percent of the ticket sales for the Broadway Concert on June 5 will go to St John’s Building Fund,” he said.
“I like to do it for the suburban areas because people in city areas like Kota Kinabalu have already a lot of benefits and opportunities that many of suburban teachers and youth don’t have.
For us, we want to bring musicals into the society of Sabah. I have the intention to bring a full Broadway musical production from West End, London which would cost RM1m but we must train Sabahans also.
“This is a case where we test the market to see how it’s going to work. We want to test and create the market at the same time but also encourage people who are interested, to form a musical theatre society in Sabah,” he said.
“This is actually all financed by us but being an entrepreneur, this is something we want to do – play our small part to build up art and music.
“Some kids are not very good in studies but are very good in art but the surprise is the majority of those who are good in music and art do well in their studies,” he asserted.
“So, the whole objective is to cultivate musical scenes in our State and also to help the youths,” he said.
Among the sponsors and supporters include the American Voices, Sabah Tourism Board, Sri Pelancongan Sabah Sdn Bhd, Universiti Malaysia Sabah and Daily Express.
Tickets for the June 5 Broadway Show can be bought at Sabah Tourism Board (088-212121) or Sri Pelancongan (088-232121).
Source : Daily Express