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Friday November 23, 2012

Musical pays tribute to two prominent singers and an actor

Staging a musical: Ko speaking at the press conference with producer
Suzuki Cheng. Staging a musical: Ko speaking at the press conference with producer Suzuki Cheng.

WHEN he first started out as a singer, the late Hong Kong pop icon Leslie Cheung Kok Wing was booed by the audience.

The plucky Cheung stopped the musicians and said to the crowd, “I’m performing for you with all my heart and this is what I get? I will make sure that one day, you will be paying to watch my shows.”

Seated among the audience was director William Lo Chun Ho, who went on to create Shooting Star The Musical which was first staged in 2006, paying tribute to Leslie, Danny Chan Pak Keung and actor Paul Chung Bo Law.

The anecdote was related by movie director Clifton Ko Chi Sum during a press conference at the Old China Cafe in Kuala Lumpur recently to promote the musical.

“Leslie and Danny had about 600 songs between them. Just because they have left us, doesn’t mean that their songs should. We put it together in a show and make it relevant to the present audience,” said Ko, who had a hand in creating the show together with Lo.

He likened the musical to Mamma Mia!, a musical which had successfully combined Swedish group Abba’s hit songs into a single production.

During his illustrious directing career, Lo had worked with all three artistes and this has given him a personal insight to their lives and characters.

“There was a time where I would work with Leslie about six months of the year,” said Ko, whose directing credits include movies such as Happy Ghost; Chicken and Duck Talk; All’s Well, Ends Well; and I Have a Date with Spring.

The musical has evolved since its first run in 2006 and two songs will be added this time around, bringing the total number of songs to 42.

“We staged this in Malaysia back in 2009 at the Arena of Stars in Genting where we had an older group of audience.

“We received a lot of feedback from the younger crowd who also wanted to watch the show and had requested for us to do it in Kuala Lumpur. Their songs will certainly evoke memories for many people, no matter what their ages.

“We staged the musical in Shanghai and I was quite apprehensive that the Mandarin-speaking audience would not relate to the Cantonese show but to my surprise, people started clapping when the famous songs came on. Their music had truly touched many people,” he said.

Shooting Star The Musical will be playing from Jan 16 to Jan 18 at Pentas 1, Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre. Tickets priced at RM48, RM68 and RM138, available at www.ilassotickets.com


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