Vietnamese Broadway-style musical back for more

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Nguyen Thi Viet Nga, who plays Roxanne, in the "Corner of Fame Remake" musical, which will be performed in Hanoi from July 5-7

Nguyen Phi Phi Anh and his crew have rolled up their sleeves to bring Hanoi audiences a new and improved version of the Vietnamese musical that made its debut in the capital city nearly a year ago.

"Goc Pho Danh Vong (Corner of Fame) Remake" will be performed in Hanoi from July 5-7.

Anh, 22, is a drama major at Hampshire College (US) and the project's scriptwriter and director. He said "Corner of Fame" was his first attempt at creating a Broadway-style musical intended for Vietnamese audiences.

The musical premiered in Hanoi last August, drawing some 1,200 spectators over the course of five performances, said Do Vu Dieu Linh, the musical's media spokesperson.

Anh said his musical has been improved, with new details added and redundancies from the original version cut.

"In addition, the new version focuses on delivering messages on the youth's lifestyle as well as the chaos of Vietnamese showbiz," he added.

All summer, Anh and his team a group of local and international students have been preparing both their remake of "Corner of Fame" and a new musical, "Dem He Sau Cuoi" (A Midsummer Night's Murders), which was inspired by the famous detective novels of Agatha Christie and the well-known Japanese comic book "Conan."

"Corner of Fame Remake" began casting actors in April, receiving a large number of applications from local youths with a passion for the performing arts.

Among the 40 selected were Nguyen Bao Tram, who finished in the top three of this year's Vietnam Idol competition and Nguyen Huong Thao, the runner-up of last year's installation of Vietnam's Got Talent.

The musical, which Anh said has great educational value, employs the melodies of songs by international pop stars Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Katy Perry and Bruno Mars, and extracts themes from famous Broadway musicals "Chicago," "The Phantom of the Opera," "Cats" and "Moulin Rouge."

The storyline is also foreign. The three main protagonists are named Roxanne, Flint and Rudolph. The Rudolph character is a reindeer that is magically transformed into a human being with an eccentric personality that makes him both pitiable and a bit frightening.

Anh did not translate the English language songs' lyrics directly. Rather, he added Vietnamese elements to the plot with alternate lyrics he wrote himself.

"In my story, the personalities of the characters contain ambitions, jealousies and inferiority complexes, as well as conflicts that Vietnamese people can relate to."

"Corner of Fame Remake" will be performed 8 p.m. at the Cong Nhan (Workers) Theater, located at 42 Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem District on July 5, 6 and 7. There will be an additional show at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 6.

Tickets for the show cost from VND150,000-280,000 and are available at the venue. For free ticket delivery, contact  0124 241 6120 (Ms. Hà Dung) or 0906 140 303 (Ms. Hằng Lê).

"A Midsummer Night's Murders" is due to be performed in mid-August at the same venue.

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