Contributor: Nathalia Kasiha (@sad_eyes0211)
Presented by SMA Labschool Kebayoran’s Skylite Musicals, Umma Kitathe Musical held their performance on Saturday 3rdAug 2019 at Teater Besar – Taman Ismail Marzuki. The show was performed in Bahasa Indonesia, including around 19 original songs which were accompanied by live band and orchestra.
Inspired by a traditional Sumba folk tale, Umma Kitatells a story of a pompous city boy who got sent to do a research in a small village. Accustomed with glamorous city life, he struggles to adjust with village life and traditions. However, as the time goes by he was able to make friends, helped the village kids with books and educations, and even helped the village chief to fix the broken water turbine so the village could finally get a proper water supply after suffering a drought for so long. The storyline spiraled when he stole the village’s sacred clothes for his research, which cost him the consequence of getting outcasted from the village.
The first thing that caught my attention with the production set. For the opening, their backdrop was a city view. But as the scenes went on, we were welcomed with beautiful village set with a massive tree decorated with traditional Sumba clothes at the center of the stage. Furthermore, they even had a traditional Sumba house for the set. All the details were stunning and I could tell that they were very well-prepared. It’s also worth addressing that Skylite Musicals managed to incorporate traditional Sumba outfits in order to keep their appearance accurate to the context of Umma Kita.
I’d also like to point out the flawlessness of the sound in this production. All the cast members were using clip-ons, but there was no single crack throughout the entire performance. Among all local productions that I have seen, Umma Kita was the first one to have left me in awe of the sound. Huge respect to the sound department for setting the bar so high. I hope there will be a way for other productions to learn from Skylite Musicals about sound management in a musical.
Performance-wise, all the cast and ensemble did an astounding job in delivering their performance through singing, dancing and acting. It was apparent that they were familiar – comfortable, even – with the stage. It was really refreshing to see them perform with such high spirit. If any of them was nervous about the show, they sure did an excellent job in hiding it. The dances were performed beautifully in sync, proving that 8 months long of practice surely did pay off. I didn’t get to say this often about a performance, but Umma Kita managed to make everything look flawless to me.
Overall, I really enjoyed the show as a whole, in every aspect of the performance. The cast, ensemble, band, orchestra, costume, sound, set, and lighting were all smooth, but the presentation of the story could use some improvement. The plot itself was interesting, but there could have been better choices in the scriptwriting and directing aspects. I would have loved to see the city boy taking the audience on a journey of doing his research, instead of just being told that he was doing a research. I believe it is also important to map out each scene and minimize any repetitions so the show could have more efficient storytelling and could incorporate more perspective and/or element to the story.
However, seeing that this show was produced by a group of high school students, it truly impressed me how well-prepared and well-executed the production of Umma Kita was. I believe that Skylite Musicals has set the bar for any other local productions in the future. With that, I would like to extend my greatest appreciation for everyone involved in the production of Skylite Musical’s Umma Kita.Having been some sort of a passing school tradition, I genuinely wish that the evaluations from the most recent production could be a note for the next productions to work and improve on. I have great hopes for Skylite Musicals’ future and honestly can’t wait to see what they’re doing next.