Fourteen of the most gorgeous and talented girls take centre stage in a beauty pageant. Only one will become the ultimate Malaysian Girls. And with any beauty pageants, there is drama, suspense, back-stabbing and of course, lots of smiles. That is the premise of the new musical by The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac), at klpac’s Pentas 1 from 20-30, December 2011. Led by director Joe Hasham, producer Dato’ Faridah Merican and with a script written by Mark Beau de Silva, you should expect catchy songs, explosive dance moves, and glitzy costumes. Ahead of the opening night we catch up with three of the cast members to get a sneak peek of what to expect.

Aananthan, a radio DJ at THR, plays the flashy Ray Sanjay.

Tell us about your character.
He is mysterious, confident, a ladies’ man, focused but not without his flaws. He also has a softer side to him.

In your own words, what is Malaysian Girls all about?
It’s a feel-good musical! Expect a lot of original songs, dances, laughter and tears!

The best thing about being part of this production?
It has always been a dream to work at klpac and with the likes of Joe Hasham and Dato’. We have a fantastic team and we get along wonderfully. Sometimes, they even think I am one of the girls. Hmmm….

The hardest part?
Rehearsals are very engaging physically and mentally. Also, as it finishes at 10:30pm every day, I have to then think about my radio work that starts at 6am!

Opening night is just around the corner. Thoughts?
Really excited! It’s going to be a lovely journey. Tell your friends and family!

Your definition of a true Malaysian Girl?
She is beautiful, has a lovely heart, is your closest friend and your confidante. She is constantly searching for herself but she doesn’t need to, for all she needs is inside her. She needs to trust herself more.

Anything to tell the public?
There are a lot of hot single ladies in this production! If you want, I can introduce you to them!

Beauty pageants are…
A test of a woman’s capabilities and a rush in a man’s capillaries!


Min’z, one of the five songwriters for the production.

In your own words, what is Malaysian Girls all about?
If you are glued to the TV when it is the finals for a beauty pageant or when America’s Next Top Model is on, well, this is the super local version of that. The best thing about it is that you get to watch it live, onstage! You can’t get anymore Malaysian than this.

You wrote some of the songs. Which is your favourite?
Definitely ‘Death of Beauty.’ Anything that is dark is lyrically satisfying for me. Just like how dark chocolates are so satisfying and feed the craving one can have. But don’t worry – I am a happy well-rounded child in person.

The best thing about being part of this production?
Like car drifting, you are out of control but in control at the same time. The best thing is that we are free to do whatever we want and yet we still have to stick to what we do.

The hardest part?
How to say no to Joe Hasham! It is my first attempt at writing songs for a musical. I was a little worried at first because I was afraid my lyrics would not fit into the storyline.

Opening night is just around the corner. Thoughts?
I am really excited to see everything come alive. It’s a great honour for a singer songwriter like myself to have my music up on stage and performed by the very talented cast.

Anything to tell the public?
If you had a good time laughing at the ‘Booms’ and the ‘Prings’ (yeah, you know what I am talking about), believe me, Malaysian Girls can pull any ‘Prings’ and ‘Booms’ better!

A Malaysian Girl is…
All-you-can-have buffet dinner.

Tabitha Kong, plays Serenity Billion, she has also acted in ADAM The Musical and The Last Five Years.

Serenity Billion sounds like an interesting name. Does it mean anything?
I’d love to tell you but maybe I shouldn’t. Watch the musical and find out!

In your own words, what is Malaysian Girls all about?
It is about Malaysian Girl Power. It is about knowing your identity and believing you can be who you are and make a difference without trying to be someone else. It is about being proud of whatever has made you who you are today.

The best thing about being part of this production?
We all have at some point in our lives wondered what it is like to be a beauty queen. This is the closest thing we can get to actually experiencing that feeling!

The hardest part?
Wearing heels the whole time throughout rehearsal and performances. Kills my feet! I am a ‘love-walking-in-flats’ sort of girl.

Which is harder – the singing or the acting?
They both have their challenges, depending on the role or the song. But because this is a musical, you are expected to excel in both. I strive to give the best I can in both areas.

Your definition of a true Malaysian Girl?
She is proud of her heritage, of where she comes from, of who she is, and unafraid to use the best of who she is to give her best to everything she does.

Everyone should come and see Malaysian Girls because…
We have the hottest, truly Malaysian Girls in town. The real stuff!


Catch the glamorous Malaysian Girls from 10th to 30th December 2011 at klpac, and 10th to 15th January 2012 at penangpac. Tickets are sold for RM32 to RM110. Weekday promotions are available. For more details, call 03-4047 9000 or visit mgirls.klpac.org.

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Great restaurants near VivoCity.

After a full day of shopping in mammoth shopping mall VivoCity, restaurants outside the behemoth may be called for.


More Vivocity restaurants


The Orange Lantern Vietnamese Cuisine

HarbourFront Centre
VivoCity > restaurant: 4 mins walk

The Orange Lantern legacy seems to be going strong. Replete with orange lanterns, bright-hued Vietnamese paintings and orange walls, there are value-for-money set meals here and yummy signatures like the special beef noodle soup and rice paper roll with chicken at this Vietnamese restaurant. Unpretentious chow at its best.

The Orange Lantern casual restaurant

The Orange Lantern is a 4-minute walk from VivoCity

Empress Jade

The Jewel Box
VivoCity > restaurant: Cable car

Empress Jade is one of the restaurants in Singapore that does old school Chinese food with modern class. Perched right atop The Jewel Box, this restaurant’s full-glass enclosure offers a dazzling vista, and the menu, which is inspired by traditional Singapore Chinese cuisine, features timeless, delicious dishes such as soy smoked fish; fried king prawns “har lok;” and the pork liver with spring onions and ginger in claypot.

Empress Jade's soy sauce smoked fish

Empress Jade is a cable car ride away from VivoCity

Chinois by Susur Lee

Resorts World Sentosa
VivoCity > restaurant: Monorail, 1 stop

Situated in Resorts World Sentosa, this is famed celebrity chef Susur Lee’s fusion (contemporary Chinese with a western twist) restaurant. This menu is an impressive selection of Chinese staples and local favorites (they even have chili crab here). Dishes to try include the crispy Peking duck skin with five-spiced foie gras and shredded duck, and steamed eggplant roulade, sprinkled with bonito flakes and flash-fried mei chai (preserved vegetables).

 scallops

Chinois by Susur Lee is 1 stop from Vivocity by monorail

Baits

The Forum, Resorts World Sentosa
VivoCity > restaurant: Monorail, 1 stop

Baits is one of the many great restaurants at Resorts World Sentosa. The large space and high ceilings were built for dining in large groups. A stunning dish that you simply must order is assam style fish cooked in a mouthwatering assam (tamarind) gravy with eggplant, pineapple, ladies fingers and tomatoes. The zesty chili crab and BBQ stingray are also good bets.

Baits restaurant at Resorts World Sentosa

Baits is 1 stop from VivoCity by monorail


More Vivocity restaurants


VivoCity Restaurants PrivePrivé

Marina at Keppel Bay
VivoCity > restaurant: Taxi, 5 mins

This port of call has a nice ambiance and is one of the best restaurants in Singapore for power breakfasts by the marina. Never mind its rather inaccessible location, as it's a short taxi ride away from VivoCity.

Takumi Restaurant

Marina at Keppel Bay
VivoCity > restaurant: Taxi, 5 mins

Already a success in Tokyo, this robatayaki and teppanyaki restaurant is filling up tables every night. Here’s why—the food is amazing, the service is fantastic (then again, this is the Japanese we’re talking about), and the harborfront view is serenely beautiful. The à la carte menu is extensive and one of its star dishes is the sizzling rock shabu shabu, although you’d be hard pressed to find something on the menu that isn’t good. If you really want to be blown away, call ahead and have executive chef Nishi prepare a 12-course kaiseki menu for you. Trust us, you’ll be impressed.

 grilled fish

Takumi Restaurant is a 5-minute taxi ride from VivoCity

Osia

Crockfords Tower (FestiveWalk)
VivoCity > restaurant: Monorail, 1 stop

Australian celebrity chef Scott Webster has designed an innovative menu inspired by fresh Australian produce that combines Asian influences and western culinary techniques with flair. Signature items to bet on are the espuma of papaya “Iced Brick,” polenta-crusted foie gras, duo of Tasmanian milk-fed lamb and Valrhona hot chocolate soup.

Osia at Crockfords tower interior

Osia is 1 stop by monorail from VivoCity

L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon

Resorts World Sentosa
VivoCity > restaurant: Taxi, 5 mins

The more “casual” of Michelin star-studded Joël Robuchon’s two Singapore restaurants, L’Atelier has the same distinctive red and black décor as the others around the world, as well as the same elaborate gastronomic creations and sky-high prices.

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon is a 5-minute taxi ride from VivoCity

Anar

Resorts World Sentosa
VivoCity > restaurant: Monorail, 1 stop

The newest and only Middle Eastern restaurant at Resorts World Sentosa, Anar is all very full on. Expect elaborate Persian decor and traditional Arabic and Persian food.

Anar restaurant at Resorts World Sentosa

Anar is 1 stop away from VivoCity by monorail

Peony-Jade Restaurant

The Keppel Club
VivoCity > restaurant: Taxi, 7 mins

We love authentic Chinese cuisine, and Peony-Jade passes the test. The menu is extensive, and highlights include the Szechuan camphor wood smoked duck with fragrant tea leaves; Peony-Jade Szechuan hot and sour soup; and deep-fried cod with oat cereal.

PeraMakan

Keppel Club
VivoCity > restaurant: Taxi, 7 mins

PeraMakan is a pleasant Peranakan restaurant that actually lives up to its namesake by imbuing it with nostalgic elements, while adding modern touches to keep with the times.


More Vivocity restaurants

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As the cool months approach KL enjoy the breeze alongside some great drinks and breathtaking views at these iconic rooftop bars in Kuala Lumpur.

Sky Bar

[33rd Floor Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Kuala Lumpur, 2332-9888]

Engage all five senses with a visit to SkyBar. Located on the 33rd floor of Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur it offers some great views of the Petronas Twin Towers at this striking open air pavilion. There’s nothing not to love about this rooftop space which recently landed the Best Hotel Bar title at the Best of Malaysia Awards 2011. Relax at one of the poolside sofas under the soaring double height ceiling and enjoy a well mixed cocktail as you admire the city’s movers and shakers.
Opening times: Sun-Thu: 11am-1am; Fri, Sat + eve of public hols: 11am-3am
Website: www.skybar.com.my
Nearest train: KLCC (LRT)

Luna Bar

[Level 34, Menara Panglobal, Jalan Punchak, off Jalan P Ramlee, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, 2332-7777]
Perched on the top floor of Pacific Regency Hotel Suites, Luna was one of the first rooftop bars in the city but it remains one of the best. The truly alfresco ambience, the amazing 360 degree views, the multiple levels offering different bars and intimate spaces all help keep this space at the top of the skyhigh drinking charts.
Opening times: Mon, 5pm-1am; Tues-Fri, 5pm-3am; Sat, 10am-3am; Sun, 10am-1am
Website: http://www.luna.my/
Nearest train: Raja Chulan or Bukit Nanas (LRT)

View Rooftop Bar

[Penthouse, GTower, 199 Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur, 2168-1881]
The latest arrival to the rooftop drinking scene the View is fast making a name for itself and not just for the spectacular views of the KLCC Twin Towers and beyond. Situated over 30 floors up in the custom-built rooftop of the hip GTower Hotel Kuala Lumpur, join the city’s elite crowd at a choice of three main drinking sections— the GH Mumm Champagne room, the Glenlivet single malt whisky lounge and the al fresco ABSOLUT Bar. The signature cocktails whipped up by award-winning mixologists are a speciality.
Opening times: Sun-Thurs 6pm-1am, Fri & Sat 6pm-3am
Website: http://www.view.com.my/
Nearest train: Ampang Park (LRT)

Aristo & Roof Garden

[113, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, 2171-1997]
After undergoing a million dollar revamp back in 2008, the Aristo & Roof Garden at Zouk Club KL now boasts a spacious alfresco balcony overlooking the club entrance and a more laidback rooftop garden. This verdant, tropical open air space is flanked by two of KL’s most iconic buildings in the KLCC and the KL Tower making it a great spot for pre-club drinks.
Opening times: daily, 6pm-3am
Website: http://www.zoukclub.com.my/
Nearest train: Bukit Nanas (Monorail)

Rootz

[Roof Top, Lot 10 Shopping Centre, 50 Jln Sultan Ismail, Bukit Bintang, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, 2782-3555]
For a rooftop experience like none other in Kuala Lumpur head to Rootz club on the rooftop gardens of Lot 10. Inspired by the decadent Russian palaces of the 18th century Rootz has a Baroque decadence from its ornate ceilings to its extravagant hanging lights. There’s no view to speak off but you’ll be too busy on the huge dance floor occupies almost half the space to care. It’s Ladies Night every Wednesday and Thursday; walk in for free with two drinks on Wednesdays and a free flow of apple martinis and cosmopolitans until 1am on Thursdays.
Opening times: 10pm till late from Wednesday-Saturday
Website: http://www.rootz.com.my
Nearest train: Bukit Bintang (Monorail)
 

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We sent the same questions to comedians Paul Ogata, Joanne Kam and Vivek Mahbubani, three of the five comic acts that will be performing live at the event Kings & Queen of Comedy 2, to find out who’s the wittiest of them all. You be the judge. By SC Chua

Originally from Hawaii, American comedian Paul Ogata, has been a regular stand up circuit, made numerous TV appearances and was crowned the winner of the prestigious TakeOut Comedy Competition in 2004.
THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON I LEARNT AS A CHILD Fasten your safety belt! I fell out of a moving car when I was 9.
NEVER BELIEVE SOMEONE WHO SAYS They can pull their arm out of their socket.
MY BEST CHAT UP LINE “I bet you can’t do this with your arm.” And then I pull it out of its socket.
WHAT ANNOYS ME People who don’t know the difference between than and then, your and you’re, or too and to. On the other hand, I keep mixing up Dylan McDermott and Dermot Mulroney.
WHEN I’M NOT MAKING JOKES, I’M Travelling the planet to get to the next place where I will once again make jokes. And if there’s time, I will eat some ice cream as well.
I THINK I AM FUNNY BECAUSE I’ve sent two people to the hospital and caused several chairs to be broken. Either I’m funny or I’m a minor earthquake.
WOULD LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED AS Better than the best sex you’ve ever had.
IN 10 YEARS TIME, I WOULD MOST LIKELY BE 9 years older. (At some point I’ll find a temporal vortex that transports me a year ahead in time. It’s pretty much the worst form of time travel, since you can’t place bets on previous sporting events to which you already know the outcome. Also your bills will have piled up. So I’ll be younger than you, but don’t envy me.)

Regular headliner and host at The TakeOut Comedy Club Hong Kong, Vivek Mahbubani also find’s time to run his own design firm when he’s not doing stand up..
THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON I LEARNT AS A CHILD Never, ever do an exam left-handed when you’re right-handed. The person marking won’t get the joke.
NEVER BELIEVE SOMEONE WHO SAYS “I have a joke you’ll love…”
MY BEST CHAT UP LINE Can I buy you a standard drink?
WHAT ANNOYS ME Waiting in line at the buffet and watching someone pick at food.
WHEN I’M NOT MAKING JOKES, I’M Web designing.
I THINK I AM FUNNY BECAUSE I get bored when life isn’t funny, but I’ve not been bored in a looonnggg time.
WOULD LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED AS The guy with the goatie (not the receding hairline).
IN 10 YEARS TIME, I WOULD MOST LIKELY BE Very, very bald but still very, very hairy.

Her acid tongue has earned Joanne Kam the nickname Diva Queen a reputation for being the most notoriously funny lady on the Malaysian comedy scene.
THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON I LEARNT AS A CHILD Never let your mother enter you in fancy dress contest with your cuter younger 3-year-old sister because she will always win.
NEVER BELIEVE SOMEONE WHO SAYS I know everything.


MY BEST CHAT UP LINE: Just google me.
WHAT ANNOYS ME People who whine about their life.
WHEN I’M NOT MAKING JOKES, I’M Scheduling the rest of my life.
I THINK I AM FUNNY BECAUSE I tell you things you want to hear but you’re too afraid to say it yourself.
WOULD LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED AS The Wonder Woman of comedy – I already have the costume.
IN 10 YEARS TIME, I WOULD MOST LIKELY BE Still working and making people laugh but hopefully with a small empire of my own.


Catch Kings & Queen of Comedy Asia 2 18th November and 19th November 2011, at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. Tickets available at www.ticketpro.com.my or www.airasiaredtix.com.

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As Malaysia celebrates the Hindu Festival of Lights, Deepavali, we round up some of KL’s best Indian restaurants. By SC CHUA

SARAVANAA BHAVAN

52, Jalan Maarof, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel:
03-2287 1228
Open daily 8:30am- 11:30pm
If you are looking for a traditional vegetarian fare, then Saravana Bhavan is a great choice. Already a popular restaurant in India, this international restaurant also has locations in Canada, UAE, France, the UK, Singapore, USA. The menu is endless with starters, local and regional offerings, dosa, set meals and more all making an appearance. To top it off are Indian delights like gulab jamun, rava kesari and carrot halwa, just the sweet touches you want for Deepavali meal.
Must try: The SPL Executive Lunch, which lets you sample a host of classic dishes like soup, roti, appalam, dhal butter fry, plain palak, vegetable butter masala, vegetable pulai, raitha and ice cream. There’s a limited number per day though so get there earlier.

KANNA CURRY HOUSE

29, Jalan SS17/45, Section 17, 46400 Petaling Jaya
Tel:
03-7958 4814
Open daily 7am to 10pm
When it comes to ‘banana leaf rice’ most agree that Kanna Curry House is one of the best in town even if the service is a little bit slap dash. The food more than makes up for it, which is perhaps the reason why this is place is jam-packed every lunch hour. The highlights have to be the choice of curries – fish, chicken, dhal, mutton – all made using delightful heavenly spices. Add on the requisite side dishes and papadum, and what you have in front of you is a meal worth the potential wait. For an added treat add in a serving of fried-on-the-spot squid with a massive dose of fried onions?
Must try: Everything! You might suffer later but it’s worth it.

CHATMASALA

295G, Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur
Tel:
03-2260 3244
Open: Thursdays to Tuesdays, 7:30am to 11:30pm; Wednesdays 3:30pm to 11:30pm
It calls itself the perfect place to enjoy hot, tasty, fresh vegetarian food in the heart of KL’s very own Little India, Brickfields and we’re not about to argue. Since 2004, ChatMasala has been serving the city with South and North Indian food like pani poori, dhal poori and cauliflower gopi 65 as well as chicken and mutton dishes made from authentic Indian recipes using mock meat. Maybe it has something to do with the Indian and Nepalese chefs here that make the dishes so original.
Must try: Forget the main meals, check out their traditional chaats (Indian savoury snacks). Typically served at roadside tracks from stalls or carts in India, try the popular dahi aloo puri for a more unique Indian food experience.

SPICE OF INDIA

LG9, Feast Food, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel:
03-2141 7857
Open daily 11am to 11:30pm
With a luxurious choice of Northern and Southern Indian cuisine, Spice of India offers one of the town’s best Indian fine dining experiences. Forget noisy crowds, forget rude waiters – at Spice of India, you’ll be treated like a Maharajah. Specialties include malai kebab, jhingga tandoori, kulcha do pyaza, roomali roti and more. Make sure to order the homemade Indian ice-cream (mango kulfi and pista kulfi) to end a perfect meal.
Must try: Nothing like a mixed tandoori platter to meet your tandoori cravings. With a combination of specialties, bite into skewers of perfectly cooked tender and juicy meat.

ARYAN

Lot 1-10-11, Level 1, The Weld Shopping Complex, 76 Jalan Raja Chulan, 50200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel:
03-2031 4211
Open Mon to Sat, 12pm to 10am; Sun by reservation only
Chic décor with truly authentic Northern Indian cuisine – nobody does it better than Aryan, located. Enjoy both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, all created with the signature style of its chef, Nandu Lal. Favourites include murg lahori, daniya goshy, mutton achari and more. There for lunch? Don’t miss out on the Executive Set Lunches (from Mon to Fri, 12-2:30pm) where you can select the best of Aryan with its chicken or mutton briyani set, tandoori chicken set and more. A lunch buffet is also available. Can’t get enough of Aryan’s food? Check out its website (www.aryanrestaurant.com) for recipes online.
Must try: The Aryan Feast, where you will be served tiger prawns, crabs, chicken tikka, mutton kebab, fried fish with salad on a hot plate.

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