Katharine McPhee, left, and Megan Hilty belting out 'Let Me Be Your Star' on the set of "Smash." Don't expect big stars but the choir of the Philharmonic Society of Selangor will definitely please its young audience as it has added 'Let Me Be Your Star' to the setlist of 'Music From Movies & Musicals 5.'
The fifth edition of Music From Movies & Musicals is all about crowd-pleasing treats.
It was nearly two decades ago that the choir of the Philharmonic Society of Selangor (the Phil) performed the first ever Music From Movies & Musicals, a melodious showtime affair that featured favourites from classic movies and musicals.
The idea back in 1996 was for the Phil to raise money for various charitable organisations through the power of music. After all, nothing lifts our spirits to great and ethereal heights like music.
And who better to do it than one of the oldest performing arts societies in Malaysia?
Today, the Music From Movies & Musicals series, which returns to the stage next month for its fifth instalment, has grown in reputation and promises to enthral audiences with songs that speak of hope, love, dreams, death and ambition.
Music From Movies & Musicals 5 will run for four shows at KLPac, starting on Aug 15.
“This year has been a very busy year for us. Since our orientation in February we have welcomed many new members and this is particularly noteworthy as we are an inclusive community choir where we welcome anyone and everyone who wants to sing,” says choir director Cheryl Teh.
With Teh directing traffic on the busy Pentas One, KLPac stage, the Phil – with more than 100 singers aged between 10 and 82 – is set to perform songs and revues from Broadway, movie soundtracks and even a TV show in the upcoming Music From Movies & Musicals 5. Talk about all-age entertainment!
“In terms of staging and the direction we took with Music From Movies & Musicals 5, it is pretty much the same as the previous ones because there’s just a lot of people involved! But we have different songs, songs from newer shows and we are reviving some songs from from the second edition of this show series like the My Best Friend’s Wedding medley,” adds Teh.
“I personally chose the songs, taking into account the demographic of our audience and the popularity of the songs. We want a bit of something for everyone to enjoy and songs which are recent.”
Spanning memorable tunes from the 1970s to the present day, this show series will be backed up by a live band led by Nish Tham and choreographed by Callista Chuah.
Tham has been with the Phil since 2010 and is a noted pianist and music director who has worked on musicals like Cabaret – The Musical and performs with her band Thing One.
The two-hour Music From Movies & Musicals journey will take audiences through a set spanning 30 musicals.
Get ready for a blast of Give My Regards To Broadway, throwback songs (including Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, December 1963 [Oh, What a Night), Who Loves You and more] from the internationally-acclaimed Jersey Boys The Musical, Children Will Listen from Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods and The Impossible Dream from Man From La Mancha.
Not to forget a medley from the children’s musical, Athena Emu At The Olympics, an original score by Malaysian composer Nick Choo.
“I had never met Nick before this but I did know of him. So, I approached him and asked him if he had anything that the choir could perform. He told me about this small musical performed in Perth (Australia) in 2004 and that it has never been performed in Malaysia. I listened to it and I liked the lyrics and the melody. The message, too, is very uplifting,” says Teh.
Based on an e-book by Dr Jenny de Reuck and songs by Choo, Athena Emu At The Olympics was originally written and performed in Perth in 2004. This will be first time the Athena Emu songs will be performed in Malaysia.
Elsewhere, the anthemic James Bond theme will also set the scene for action from the big screen before a medley including I Say A Little Prayer, and The Way You Look Tonight from My Best Friend’s Wedding and Dream A Little Dream from French Kiss adds romance to the evening.
The hit TV show Smash will also be featured through the song Let Me Be Your Star. Besides the choir, there will also be performances by solo singers and smaller groups of the Phil’s members.
Music From Movies & Musicals 5’s opening night is an invite-only performance in aid of The Befrienders Kuala Lumpur. The other beneficiary is the National Autism Society of Malaysia.
Music From The Movies And Musicals 5 will be staged at Pentas One, KLPac, Sentul Park, Jalan Strachan off Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur on Aug 15 (8.30pm), Aug 16 (3pm & 8pm) and Aug 17 (3pm). Admission on Aug 15 & 16 (3pm) is by invite only. For invitations, call Leow (013-331 3792), Mano (03-7957 1306) and Shima (03-7886 8233). Tickets are priced RM58 and RM43 for Aug 16 (8.30pm) and Aug 17. For more information on the choir, visit thephil.org.my or www.ticketpro.com.my.