The third and final season of award-winning Cuci The Musical sees new cast members, including the scriptwriter, writes Dennis Chua
THE zany, yet inspiring and heartwarming Cuci The Musical makes its third and final outing dubbed The Last Kopek at Istana Budaya, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur from today to March 18.
Produced by Hans Isaac, it’s about four brothers, Fairil (Afdlin Shauki), Khai (Hans Isaac), Jojo (Awie) and C’ Tan (Nabil Ahmad), who operate Cuci-Cuci Services, a small window washing company.
They are a step closer to their dream to clean the exterior of the Petronas Twin Towers when they are invited to join the Window Washing Olympics organised by businessman Tan Sri Ariffin Zain (Harun Salim Bachik) and his daughter Citi Jasmin (Vanidah Imran).
Cuci The Musical reaped three wins at the Boh Cameronian Arts Awards 2009 for Best Performance In A Supporting Role (Adibah Noor), Best Performance In A Leading Role (Awie) and Audience Choice Award.
This year sees three new cast members — scriptwriter and songwriter Douglas Lim, veteran actor and television personality Harun Salim Bachik, and radio personality, singer and actress Dina Nadzir who won second place in reality talent show Malaysian Idol.
Lim takes on the role of antagonist Wira (originally portrayed by the musical’s director Harith Iskander), while Dina replaces Jaclyn Victor as Fara, Ariffin’s secretary.
Harith, who will be a dad this month, says while Cuci The Musical has entertained and touched the lives of thousands of Malaysians, all good things must come to an end.
“Since this is our last outing, we have roped in three popular names in showbiz who have their own following,” he says.
“It’s time to see Douglas play a character in the musical, and he’s just the right man for the greedy playboy Wira.”
Lim says he has “come full circle” in Cuci The Musical by joining the cast this year. “It’s great working with Harith, Hans and Afdlin, because they are great actors, comedians, producers and directors.”
At the end of the month, he and Harith will be touring Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne in Australia to perform stand-up comedy in a 10-day showcase titled The Best Of Malaysian Comedy.
Joining them is Lim’s fellow Malaysian Association Of Chinese Comedians (MACC) star, Kuah Jenhan.
Hans says having Harun on board is an honour, because the veteran comedian brings life and laughs to all his characters.
“He was hilarious playing Afdlin’s controlling boss in Papadom, and I’ll be starring with him in my new romantic comedy Lemak Kampung Santan at year’s end,” says Hans, who is both the film’s producer and director.
Dina says she loves the character of Fara, who is the brothers’ staunchest supporter.
“She plays an important role in getting them into the window cleaning competition, as she is the trusted aide of the female lead character CJ, the competition organiser,” says Dina.
Fara is also the love interest of the brawny and kitchen-savvy Jojo.
“I loved the first season where Adibah Noor played Fara. She and Awie had excellent chemistry,” says Dina. “While I’m loud and fun-loving like Adibah, I guess I talk much faster.”
Dina has appeared in television sitcoms such as Impak Maksima The Series, films as Jangan Pandang Belakang Congkak and musicals as Dreamgirls and Impak Maksima The Musical.
“It’s lovely to work with Awie. He is a sweet and fun-loving, despite his garang (fierce) look,” she says, adding that all her leading men have been hot. “I starred with Shaheizy Sam in Jangan Pandang Belakang Congkak, Tony Eusoff in
Dreamgirls, and Awal Ashaari and Zul Huzaimy in Impak Maksima.”
Interestingly, Fara is part of Dina’s full name — Faradina Nadzir.
Harith says that unlike most musicals, the dialogue in Cuci changes each season, with the addition of new cast members.
“The new actors develop their characters their own way, without copying their predecessors. This makes Cuci attractive,” he says, adding that the storyline remains basically the same.
Hans says ad-libbing occurs in every season, and audiences love the spontaneity.
“Every new actor brings new energy to his or her character,” he adds.
Harith says more people came to see the second season and expects to see a similar increase in number for the final season.
“Both the prime minister and deputy prime minister watched Cuci The Musical. So did the Information, Communication and Culture Minister,” says Harith.
The music composer is Pacai (Dr Syed Faizal Al-Attas) while Azwa Zakaria is its choreographer, taking over from Stephen Rahman-Hughes (first season) and Pat Ibrahim (second season).
Production designer is Raja Maliq, lighting designer is Ee Chee Wei and costume designer is Dominique Devorsine.
“The 30-member ensemble has been rehearsing daily since January. The main cast came in last month,” says Hans.
Three quarters of the ensemble are new. Afdlin’s protege in TV3 talent search Mentor 5, Ratnah Awal, remains in the cast and has a greater role this season.
“In one scene, we talk about her involvement in Mentor,” says Afdlin who adds that this time, the show will highlight major social issues such as pirated DVDs, the Facebook phenomenon, and the proper usage of English and Malay.
“Cuci The Musical is touching the hearts of Malaysians in more ways than one. It’s about family values, brotherly love, having a dream and working hard for it, as well as being street smart in the face of sweet-talking and dishonest people,” he says.