Taiwanese icon reborn on stage


Shoppers posing for photos with actress Chiu (seated) during the road show for Teresa, the musical at Gurney Paragon Mall in Penang.

TERESA, a musical chronicling the life of late Taiwanese songbird Teresa Teng, is set to captivate audiences in Penang for one night only on Sept 6.

Produced by renowned Hong Kong director Clifton Ko, it has compatriot and actress Perry Chiu in the titular role and will play at the Dewan Sri Pinang starting 8pm.

Ko said the two-hour show is based on a script by Chinese playwright Sha Yexin and explores Teng's ascent to stardom, failed romances and inner turmoil.

The story will be propelled by a carefully selected assortment of 30 of Teng's songs, drawing the audience into the her world and experiencing her emotions.

“We are using her music to tell her story, and use her story to highlight her music.

“It was difficult choosing the numbers as Teng recorded over a thousand numbers throughout her life, many of which are golden hits.

“Her voice resonates throughout the Chinese world, and wherever there are Chinese communities today, her popularity endures,” he said during a road show promoting the musical in Gurney Paragon Mall on Saturday.

Crowds who gathered at the shopping centre's open air Festive Square were treated to a multi-lingual medley, along with the evergreen The Moon Represents My Heart.

Chiu considers it a great honour to be playing the role, and has left no stone unturned to immerse herself in Teng's world and tell her story.

“My parents are huge fans of hers, so I grew up listening to her songs and became a fan too.

“The biggest challenge was emula-ting her soft and sweet voice that everybody knows,” she pointed out, adding that she would sing in Mandarin, Cantonese, English, Japanese and even Hokkien.

Among the things explored in the musical is Teng's big regret of never being able to perform in China, where at one point, people were forbidden to listen to her music.

“The musical will show how she felt. It's a very touching episode,” said Chiu, who feels that beneath Teng's demure exterior was a strong and avant-garde woman.

She added that the final scene, depicting Teng's death in 1995 from an asthma attack at age 42 while holidaying in Chiangmai, Thailand, will be a tear-jerker.

Tickets for the musical are priced at RM220, RM180 and RM100. To book, call 012-2686908 or 012-2686959.

It is presented by Hong Kong-based Spring-Time Group Ltd and endorsed by Penang Global Tourism.

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