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“Let’s go to see a show”

“Let’s go to see a show”

The Musical Concert Episode 3

Daisy Vogt
Photos: Marion Vogt, Nopniwat Krailerg

“Let’s go to see a show!” is a statement you can use in London or New York on a typical Saturday night. In Chiang Mai, however, it’s typically, “Let’s go to dinner/party/gallery opening/charity event!”, but last week we were allowed to substitute SHOW, as Broadway came to Chiang Mai.

MC’s Donjai Srivichainanda from Mae-Rim Ceramic Studio, and Michael Vogt from Chiangmai Mail interviewing Joan Eubank.

Hundreds gathered at the Kad Theatre to witness The Musical Concert, Episode 3, presented by the Northern Symphony Orchestra, Voice Studio and Kad Theatre. On the program were all time favorite musicals including Jesus Christ Super Star, Aida, South Pacific and Mamma Mia. The crowds which showed up with high expectations were not disappointed.

To kick off the night was an Overture Medley from the Phantom of the Opera which served as the first introduction of the Northern Symphony Orchestra to the public. Under the conduction of Ajarn Kittikul Sodprasert, the orchestra played wonders and led the performance throughout the night, and even though a technical glitch caused some delay, MC’s Donjai Srivichainanda from Mae-Rim Ceramic Studio, and Michael Vogt from Chiangmai Mail, managed to lead the crowd through the evening with a lighthearted flow as they reminded the audience that the performance is live and things can go wrong, go wrong, go wrong.

Book Kitavadhana sang pieces from the renowned Phantom of the Opera, and Sarisa Hongtong was wonderful as Aida and as Donna from ‘Mamma Mia’.

The first act featured well-known songs from the musicals Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Cats, Evita, Phantom of the Opera and Mamma Mia, a rollercoaster of impressions. Dramatic performances, included the dancers of the Voice Studio, brought the desperation of the people of Argentina across to the audience, together with Christopher Thomas, performing Oh What A Circus!, with just the right level of arrogance and haughtiness shown by Che in the original performance.

The duet from Panit Somana and Book Kitavadhana in the renowned ‘Phantom of the Opera’, left the crowd thunderstruck, and Richie Castro ended the first act with an amazing performance of the song ‘Superstar’ from Jesus Christ Superstar, leaving the crowds hungering for more after the intermission.

Nong Penny, already known to Chiang Mai after her performances in the Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty, has the makings of a future star.

The second act started with 10 year old Phattarawadee Fongket and her delightful little ‘ballet orphans’ from the Voice Studio singing ‘Tomorrow’ from Annie. Songs from Aida followed with a performance that left goose bumps on the skins, and Broadway actress Joan Eubank, a longtime Chiang Maian, performed as Nora Desmond taking us back in time to Sunset Boulevard with a huge photograph of herself as backdrop. After her cheerful commentary in which she included a special solo for the audience, she took off her shoes, stuck a flower in her hair, and carried the crowd to the South Pacific, with her powerful voice and wonderful, professional expression.

Six songs from Les Miserables ended the evening and included young performers such as Nong Ning and Nong Penny who already have the makings of future star performers. The performers took their final bow to a standing ovation.

Producer Tianchai Sooktiang and his cast were congratulated by all on an amazing show. Nobody left the theatre disappointed as the concert included something for everyone and leaves Chiang Mai waiting for the next episode of The Musical Concert.

Broadway actress Joan Eubank took us back in time to Sunset Boulevard.

10 year old Phattarawadee Fongket and her delightful little ‘ballet orphans’ from the Voice Studio.

Dancers from the Voice Studio.

Some of the stars of the night including (from left), Christopher Thomas, Richie Castro, Yuthana Lorpunpaiboon, and (far right) Sue Eubank.

Christopher Thomas, performing ‘Oh What A Circus!’ from the rock opera Evita.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat performed by Vongthoncha Itarawat and over 50 children, from as far as Chiang Rai and Phayao.

Pure drama when the body of Evita Peron was carried in, followed by ‘The crowds’ and ‘Che’.

The dancers from the Voice Studio with the opening dance from A Chorus Line.

Tianchai Sooktiang (second left), as Valjean, singing ‘One day more’, the final song of the three hour variety performance.

Revolution in France around 1832. The cast showing the unpleasant situation which is the central theme of Les Miserables.

The pop version of Verdi’s Aida by Sir Elton John, (from left) Ong-ard Kanchaisak interpreting Mereb, Richie Castro as Radames and (right) Kai Pannipa and Piyanan Churchomkul.

Songs by the Swedish super group Abba are the trademarks of ‘Mamma Mia’ with Sarisa Hongtong as Donna.

The Northern Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Ajarn Kittikul Sodprasert, celebrated their one year anniversary that evening. Almost 1,500 people joined in song when the birthday cake arrived.