Cultural Index: What to see and do this week (March 9-15)

A round-up of the best shows in the city.

For one night only, some of Asia’s funniest women will take to the stage in KL

These are our top picks for the week of March 9 to 15. For more event listings and reviews, pick up a copy of Options at your nearest news stands.


Beethoven: The Early Symphonies
The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra presents Beethoven’s Symphonies 1 and 2, and Romance No 1 and 2 in this concert that celebrates the German composer’s earlier works. They offer hints of Mozart’s and Haydn’s influence, as well as the Viennese music tradition Beethoven was immersed in at the time, which has a more overt, tender and rhapsodic quality compared to his strong symphonic compositions later in his career. The MPO will be joined by 33-year-old German-Korean violinist Clara-Jumi Kang. Having made her concert debut at age five with the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, the illustrious and sought-after musician with two solo albums under her belt has performed extensively with leading European, American and Asian orchestras. The MPO will be led by conductor Jun Märkl.

Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, Tower Two, Petronas Twin Towers, KL. March 13, 8.30pm. RM56, RM84, RM113, RM141. Buy tickets here.


Queens of Asia Comedy Special!
For one night only, some of Asia’s funniest women will take to the stage in KL. Putting the “power” in empowerment, it promises to be a no-holds-barred night of hilarity and debauchery, hosted by the one-and-only Joanne Kam Poh Poh.

While Kam is familiar to Malaysian audiences, the other three ladies are a treat for stand-up comedy fans. There is Singapore’s Sharul Channa, a rising Asian comic known for her brand of acid-tongued humour. Born in India but raised in Singapore since she was a baby, Sharul was the first Singaporean woman to be chosen for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, which led to a sold-out tour across Australia and Asia.

Aditi Mittal is a trailblazer in the Indian comedy scene, being one of the first women to venture into the male-dominated stand-up community. Also a writer and actor, Aditi has been featured extensively in the international circuit, which earned her a coveted Netflix special, Things They Wouldn’t Let Me Say.

Vancouver-based Japanese comedienne and actress Yumi Nagashima’s sweet, docile delivery belies her witty, often shockingly funny and irreverent commentary that plays on the stereotypes of Asian women. Thanks to her YouTube channel, Nagashima has garnered significant interest in the last few years internationally, making her one to watch.

Kam, who is also the producer, says the timing for an all-female comedy show is ripe. “Comedy scenes not only in Malaysia but the world over remained male-dominated for the longest time. Male comics were the main feature of comedy shows while female comics were restricted to add-on roles merely to fill the gaps.

“In the last few years, [we have] witnessed a number of female comedians stealing the limelight and winning hearts all over the world. 2020 is a year to celebrate women and their achievements and my aim is to amplify this through an empowering showcase of Asia’s top comedy queens performing on one stage for the first time ever, in conjunction with International Women’s Day.”

HGH Convention Centre Sentul, 475 Jalan Peach Ave, Sentul, KL. March 13, 8.30pm. RM80 , RM130, RM180, RM300. Buy tickets here.


Arab Blues
In this feature debut, French-Tunisian director Manele Labidi presents a comedy centred on the clash of cultures. She tells the story of a young woman who returns home to Tunisia after several years in Paris, with the improbable mission of starting a psychotherapy practice on the roof of the building she lives in. Her family and neighbours are far less enthusiastic about the idea but, surprisingly, her services prove to be in demand. Famed Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani stars in her first comic role.

GSC Mid Valley, GSC 1Utama, GSC MyTown. March 19 to April 6. Price TCB. For more info, see here.

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