Starlight Avenue

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 February, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 February, 2009, 12:00am

Starlight Avenue

Flying Child Productions

HK Cultural Centre Grand Theatre

Reviewed: Feb 1

This 'Broadway-style' musical is a textbook case of an under-rehearsed production. The set changes were slow and abrupt, breaking up the flow of the entire show. The sound level was set either under or over, while some cast members were evidently suffering from first-night nerves, fluffing their lines along the way. This is a shame, given the music and story aren't that bad.

Written by Joseph Hwang Wai-nin and directed by Terence Chang, Starlight Avenue is a two-act drama about dreams and disillusionment.

Lee Yik-nam (played by Roger Fung) is an aspiring scriptwriter and his entertainment reporter girlfriend Lam Chi-sum (Eunix Lee) creates an opportunity for him to meet Yip Lui-yan (Samantha Lam Chi-mei), an actress at the height of her career. But it is Yip's father (Chan Chu-hei), a former movie director now in his twilight years, whom Lee ends up meeting at a premiere party. The old man sees the potential in Lee's work and a movie is made - but without crediting Lee as the scriptwriter.

The musical is about the harsh and cutthroat reality of showbiz. The 'play within a play' - about an emperor who has to relive the pain of betrayal every day - offers some philosophical musing.

Hwang's score is a hybrid of Broadway-style show tunes and Canto-pop, with an impressive opening chorus number that is also well choreographed by Frankie Ho.

Roger Fung and Eunix Lee are both strong vocalists who were let down by the sound system. Karsin Berthel and Yu Tik-wai (a popular radio DJ) both have big personalities and they shone throughout the show.

Veteran pop singer Samantha Lam's performance, however, was lacklustre. She lacks stage presence and her two solos failed to create any emotional impact. As the result, the whole musical has no build-up and ended up like a damp squib.

Until tomorrow, 7.30pm, HK$190-HK$490. Inquiries: 8176 7280