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 the ear.
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 of the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre until June 18. For more information, go to www.damaorchestra.com or www.klpac.org or call 03-4047 9000. You can also buy tickets from TicketPro (www.ticketpro.com.my / 03-7880 7999).