Broadway-style musical celebrates Teresa!

Updated: 2011-08-05 10:33

By Chen Nan (China Daily)

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Fans of the late Taiwan singer Teresa Teng will have a chance to experience her music once again, in an original Broadway-style musical Love U, Teresa!

Sixteen years after her death, more than 30 of the late singer's most popular songs will be performed in the musical, which revolves around a poor country boy, Zhou Mengjun.

Born in the 1980s he tries to make his dream of becoming a singer in Shanghai come true.

During his journey, he meets a girl, Mi Mi, who inspires him to write music. As the pair falls in love, Zhou reconnects with the music of Teng, who died in 1995 after a severe asthma attack at the age of 42. The story also has flashbacks featuring Zhou's parents' love story, which is linked with Teng's many hits.

The musical, which made its debut in Hong Kong on the final day of 2010, has been a big hit and toured other major cities.

The production team behind the musical includes director Joey McKneely, who worked on the current revival of West Side Story in New York, Tony award winner Daryl Waters, and mainland producer Li Dun, whose signature musical work Butterfly was a hit across China in 2010.

Li also invited scriptwriter Wong Huiling - who has worked with director Ang Lee - to participate.

"Teresa Teng and her music live on in the hearts of people years after her death," Li says. "The musical is a tribute to the great singer, who has influenced generations."

"She was the first singer I listened to 20 years ago and I am a big fan of her," says Lao Zai, who wrote the theme song, No Place That Love Can't Reach, for the musical. "I was an accountant graduate then and her songs led me into the world of music and finally made me a music writer."

Lao also reworks some of Teng's classic hits, such as Story of a Small Town and Sweet Honey.

Two actresses, Li Shuo and Wang Jing, play the role of Teng. Wang, who was born in 1991, was chosen from 5,000 competitors in the audition, and is called Little Teresa thanks to her voice, which is strikingly similar to that of the late singer.

Performed in Mandarin with English and Chinese subtitles, Love U, Teresa! is one of the most expensive musicals ever made in China.

The show's Broadway production values helped it win the 5th Daegu International Musical Festival award for 2011.


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