If mu­sic be the food of love

Dama Asia’s pro­duc­tion of Love Story fea­tures some nice mu­sic and move­ments.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Arts - By ANN MARIE CHANDY star2@thes­tar.com.my

IF you’re above the age of 45, you will re­mem­ber Love Story ,Erich Segal’s best-sell­ing novel and the hit movie star­ring Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw, as well as the Andy Wil­liams’ clas­sic Where Do I Be­gin? Dama Asia’s cur­rent pro­duc­tion Love Story is a mu­si­cal writ­ten by Stephen Clark with mu­sic by Howard Goodall, which was in­spired by the book and movie.

The mu­si­cal tells of rich young Amer­i­can law stu­dent, Oliver, who falls in love with a poor Ital­ian mu­sic stu­dent Jen­nifer Cav­il­leri. They marry against his fam­ily’s wishes and strug­gle to build their life to­gether de­spite be­ing dis­owned by Oliver’s wealthy fa­ther. But, spoiler alert, fate has other plans. Any­one who has watched the movie knows it is a tragedy, and the mem­ory of Ali MacGraw dy­ing tor­mented me for many years.

Dama’s pro­duc­tion fea­tures a cast made up of Michelle Tan, Joshua Gui, Chacko Vadaketh, Alvin Looi, Kerry-Ann Khoo, Choo Wil Liam, Hilda Looi, Teresa Goh, An­drea Tham, Gabriel Tham, Tan Li Yang and Karynn Tan. Pro­duced by Khor Seng Chew and di­rected by Pun Kai Loon, one of the high­lights of this show is the mu­sic and singing. Ku­dos to Michelle and Gui for their able ren­di­tions of the tunes that are strewn through this drama. Sup­port­ing char­ac­ters Chacko and Goh also do a great job in keep­ing the au­di­ence entertained.

There are nig­gling de­tails about the pro­duc­tion that I got a lit­tle peeved over, in­clud­ing the lengthy set changes and the overly Amer­i­can tone of the play that didn’t gel well with the cast. I half hoped that di­rec­tor Pun would have lo­calised it a lit­tle, so it would have been eas­ier on theear.

In terms of singing, danc­ing and mu­sic, how­ever, I am happy to note that ev­ery­thing went fab­u­lously well on open­ing night. Both leads Michelle and Gui ably carry their roles and tunes. It will be in­ter­est­ing to see how they progress in their the­atre ca­reers.

Love Story: The Mu­si­cal is a two-hour show with sub­ti­tles in Man­darin. It is set to play at Pen­tas 1, Kuala Lumpur Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre (KLPac, Sen­tul Park, Jalan Stra­chan, off Jalan Sul­tan Azlan Shah, KL) un­til June 18. Show­time is 8.30pm with mati­nee shows start­ing 3pm. Tick­ets priced from RM65 to RM285 are avail­able at KLPac (www.klpac.org / 03-4047 9000) or Tick­etPro (www.tick­etpro. com.my / 03-7880 7999). For more de­tails, visit Dama Asia (www.dama or­ches­tra.com / 03-6201 9108).

A scene from Dama Asia’s pro­duc­tion of Love Story. — Dama Asia

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