PARIS BY NIGHT 92: NHAC YEU CAU
JULY 4TH 2008
"THE HOTTEST SUMMER SHOW"
PARIS BY NIGHT 92: NHAC YEU CAU PREVIEW - THUYNGA
SONG LIST AND SPECIAL REVIEW WRITTEN BY JOHN FROM THUYNGA FORUM
PROFESSIONAL PICTURES TAKEN BY HUY KHIEM
1. TRAI TIM LAM LO (LV KHUC LAN) & NHU LA TINH YEU (TUAN KHANH) - HO LE THU, NHU LOAN, THUY VAN
The background image on the screen is an abstract color scheme. Lined along the back wall is a row of male dancers with their back to the audience wearing capes. My instant thought was Zorro! As the music builds, the wall of Zorros part and emerges Ho Le Thu in a sequined pink dress with a long skirt, and she commences with the chorus of "Trai Tim Lam Lo." The audience breaks out in applause. She is electrifying on stage. Towards the end of the chorus, the wall of Zorros forms again, this time in the middle of the stage, and when it parts, emerges Nhu Loan, in a similar outfit but in turquoise. The tempo of the song has slowed down as she begins the first verse of the Trai Tim Lam Lo", again applause from the audience. She is so gorgeous and elegant. Towards the end of her segment, they lift her up and carry her towards the back of the stage, while in the meantime, some dancers are doing the same for Thuy Van (in purple), but they are coming out onto the stage; they meet in the corner, back to back, and then they're turned around so that Thuy Van is facing the audience now and she continues with a refrain of the chorus. Again at the end of her lines, the line of zorros reappear, and as they transition into "Nhu La Tinh Yeu" the zorros part and we see that the long shirt worn by all singers and dances have now become short shirts. Talk about quick costume changes!! The stage is blazing with energy, excitement, and colors!! The 3 singers along with the 16 dancers really raise the energy level of the audience, and this is evident in the roar of applause and cheers which fills the auditorium at the end of the performance. The opening number transitioned with 4 dance rhythms: Paso, Rhumba, Tango, and Chacha. And in some sense this performance is a prelude to the very promising "Dancing with Celebrities" show - Paris By Night 93.
2. DI VANG (TRINH NAM SON)- MINH TUYET & BANG KIEU
I have loved this song, it's always had a certain connection with me, ever since Thanh Ha performed it in the lien khuc with The Son in Paris by Night 32 - 20 Nam Nhin Lai. And today, to have it performed again by arguably the hottest duet couple right now, is something so special. Both Minh Tuyet and Bang Kieu exert so much emotions into the song, that you can literally feel the pain and the depression in their voices. The stage is set up like an abandoned room. A sofa and two chairs are set up with white sheets draped over them. Just envision a room like I just described. Immediately, you can feel the loneliness and the sadness. Minh Tuyet is beautifully dressed in a long floral design dress. The song is very familiar, yet through the emotions and the voices of the star duo, we are able to appreciate its greatness all over again, and instantly fall in love again with one of the greatest Vietnamese love songs. It was very informative to hear Nguyen Ngoc Ngan discuss the history of this song, and how many obstacles it took for it to finally be recorded, and how this song brought fame to Trinh Nam Son and further success of hits like Nuoi Tiec, Quen Di Tinh Yeu Cu, Tinh Vao Thu, etc...
3. GO CUA TRAI TIM (VINH SU)- QUANG LE & MAI THIEN VAN
After the immense success of "Nuoc Non Ngan Dam Ra Di", fans from both near and far have requested a follow up performance. Their voices blend together so nicely, and the flowing of a gentle river. Their chemistry seems to have blossomed since PBN 90. The background now features butterflies fluttering. For the first time tonight, the full band has been positioned. Mai Thien Van is in a pink/peach ao dai with floral embellishments ad Quang Le in a suit. The background color scheme complements Mai Thien Van's ao dai very nicely. She really has grown a lot since her first performance and you can see the increased confidence in her movements. I cannot speak enough of her vocal abilities. This duo is definitely 2 for 2, if you loved their first performance, I'm sure you'll love this one too. For some reason, their voices just mesmerize the audience!!
4. MAT THU (NGO THUY MIEN)/ TUOI XA NGUOI ( TU CONG PHUNG) - TRAN THAI HOA & HUONG GIANG
This song was very soothing and melodic. Tran Thai Hoa is in a gray suit and Huong Giang is gorgeous in a long white satin dress. Very elegant. The ocean scenery in the background adds to the calmness and serenity of the medley. The arrangement with the piano is just so gentle. The simplicity of the arrangement really allows their voices to shine. There is so much character and personality in their voices, and when in combination and in harmony with one another it is truly uplifting.
5. SA MAC TINH YEU / CHIA KHOA TINH YEU (LV KHUC LAN) - NGUYET ANH & NGOC LIEN
These are two of all time favorite songs, especially "Sa Mac Tinh Yeu." There's just something about that piano introduction that gets to me everytime. Everything from lyrics to melody is amazing. 4 panels with circular cutouts are now positioned in front of the LED screen and fog has filled the stage floor. Nguyet Anh appears first in a bluish/green patterned design ao dai. She delivers a very admirable performance. Many people will immediately compare her to Ngoc Lan or Y Lan's previous recordings of this song, but Nguyet Anh definitely holds her own and delivers a stronger and very dramatic performance. Ngoc Lien then steps out in a similar designed ao dai, but with more shades of brown and yellow. Again, a very classic translated song, but Ngoc Lien injects her own personality into it. The songs seems tailored to fit Ngoc Lien's voice and she delivers with the utmost emotions. At the end, Nguyet Anh rejoins Ngoc Lien for the last few concluding lines of the song.
6. TINH YEU NGAY MAI (MINH NHIEN) - NGUYEN HUNG
The LED screen now pictures a very virtual red and black swirl. A metal fence now is positioned in front the LED screen. 3 tables are set up across the stage. Nguyen Hung is joined on stage by his female partner dancer and then another couple dancer. Nguyen Hung is in a very slick black ensemble. This song was written especially for Nguyen Hung by Minh Nhien and the lyrics as well as the set up touch on some of Nguyen Hung's most memorable performances because of the references to drinking in reference to his "Say" performance. The melody to his song and the lyrics recreates that feeling of drunken loneliness and depression. You can tell he injects so much emotions into the singing and the performance.
7. TAN CO LONG ME (Y VAN, HOANG SON VIET) - HUONG LAN & HONG NGA
Talk about perfect timing for a performance as this was also Mother’s Day and the audience was full of mothers. Throughout the program NNN and NCKD would venture out into the audience to ask them what their favorite song was, and in both days, someone requested “Long Me.” Even without me telling you, I’m sure you could guess that there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. The stage is setup like the interior of a traditional Vietnamese house. The mini-skit starts out with the legendary Hong Nga on stage, in ao ba ba, reminiscing about daughter during her youth. Then from stage right comes out Huong Lan in a black dress suit rolling in luggage surprising her mom. She’s come back to Vietnam to arrange the paperwork for her mom to come to America. They continue their dialogue as Huong Lan takes off the black jacket to reveal a purple shirt underneath. Hong Nga then expresses how beautiful Huong Lan sings “Long Me.” From which then Huong Lan begins to sing the classic song. With just a few words in the song, the audience began to applause and the tears began to flow. The song will then slowly transition into its vong co counterparts. Will her mom go to America with her? Or does she decide to stay back in Vietnam?
8. TINH CON VUONG VAN (TRINH LAM)- QUYNH VI & TRINH LAM
Get ready for the next top hit song guys!! The two favorites from the Talent Show return to the stage of their competition, this time not as contestants, but as very admired and respected singers of the the Vietnamese music community. This is a new song by Trinh Lam with a very unique and beautiful arrangement by Nhat Trung and coincidentally is the title of the upcoming Trinh Lam & Quynh Vi CD which will be released in a few weeks. This is a beautiful love ballad and the stage is setup to represent the separation of ways between the two lovers. You will see the 2 distinct color schemes on stage, as if the stage has been cut in half to represent the two worlds of the singers. The left side (Quynh Vi) is green with a bench and lamp post. The right side (Trinh Lam) is blue with a small table and some chairs. Quynh Vi is in a teal blue dress with rhine stones and hair in an updo. Both Trinh Lam and Quynh Vi do an excellent job portraying their parts of lovers and do a great job interacting with each other on stage through exquisite facial expressions.
**Interview Minh Tuyet, Bang Kieu about their dance routine in Paris By Night 93** (Saturday show)
**Interview Tran Thai Hoa** (Sunday show)
9. TINH DA LANG QUEN (LV NGUYEN LOC)- NHU LOAN & NGUYEN THANG
And another hot couple!!! Because they’re both so tall, they look so good on stage. Oh and before I forget...Welcome Nguyen Thang to the Paris By Night stage!! Nhu Loan is in a very sexy royal blue dress and Nguyen Thang is dressed all in black. Fog has again filled the stage. Both are holding microphones and enter from opposite sides of the stage. They do an excellent job, both in terms of vocals, as their voices blend and mix together very nicely. The very slow and gentle moves on stage make them look very romantic. Great great job!!
10. KHONG BIO GIO QUEN ANH (HOANG TRAN) / DUNG NOI XA NHAU (CHAU KY, HO DINH PHUONG)- HA PHUONG & MANH QUYNH
And yet two very classic songs performed by a great duo. Audiences fell in love with this duo in PBN 85 and their rendition of “Ngay Xuan Tai Ngo.” Tonight, Manh Quynh in a black suit and Ha Phuong in a multicolored, flowery ao dai. They give a very admirable rendition of these two songs as they are accompanied by the full band.
11. AMORE MIO (LV THUY TIEN)- LUU BICH & THUY TIEN
Hot! Hot! Hot! If you loved “Magic in the Air,” then you should love this performance. And was because of the audience response to the PBN 84 performance that urged the reunion of these two charming performers. Both Luu Bich and Thuy Tien are in matching outfits, Luu Bich in purple, Thuy Tien in pink. They are joined on stage by 8 PBN male dancers. The chain linked fence is brought on again to use as the backdrop for this song. It is a very sultry and energetic performance. After the performance, Ky Duyen visited an area filled with Luu Bich and Thuy Tien fans in the audience, and our very own mexanh was part of very loud and energetic group!!
12. MINH OI (MINH VY) - CAM LY
I’m sure by now most of us have heard this song contained in Cam Ly’s newest CD “Chuyen Chung Minh” recently released by Thuy Nga. But you really do appreciate the song more when it is performed on stage. For her first appearance on PBN, Cam Ly has chosen a very subtle and poignant song written by Minh Vy. The background on the LED screen is that of a non la, and now 2 large sea shell/fan-like structures are brought onto stage. We have 2 instrumentalists on stage: dan tranh and a flute. Cam Ly slowly walks onto the stage as the intro music is playing in a black ao dai with gold embellishments on the front. Cam Ly has made her name for herself, not just because of her looks, but because of her versatility as a performer and her ability to make the audience “feel” the song through the emotions she injects into her performances. But nonetheless, it is an honor to have Cam Ly on the Paris By Night stage.
**Interview Y Lan, Quang Le**
14. HELLO VIETNAM (QUYNH ANH)- QUYNH ANH
Perhaps one of the most anticipated performances of the night. The iconic Quynh Anh makes an appearance on the Paris By Night stage in a truly captivating and mesmerizing performance of “Hel lo Vietnam” by Marc Lavoine. As many of you already know, Quynh Anh was the winner on a Belgium Music Talent Contest, similar to “American Idol.” One thing led to another and eventual she was given “Bonjour Vietnam” to record, and by means of technology and the internet, the song quickly circulated around the world. The message of the song has touched so many. Honestly, I did not know much about Quynh Anh until it was announced she had been invited to tonight’s show, and I did happen to listen to this song online. Before her performance, they did a little clip of her career thus far and then NNN introduced her. A very timid yet confident young girl in a simple black dress slowly walks towards the front of the stage and the music begins. In the background, a glorious slideshow of Vietnam scenery is shown, and it is so appropriate for the song. The slideshow as a backdrop to the live singing literally brought tears to my eyes. I don’t know, what it is, but there is something about the lyrics and the alluring melody which draws you in, and forces you to reflect and look deeper within you. Also, for me, being born over here, and having never been back, the song and the lyrics in particular have a very personal meaning for me, because “someday I will go there, someday, I’ll say hel lo to your soul, someday I will go there to say hel lo to you, Viet Nam.” Read through these lyrics and for a few brief minutes, reflect upon its message, and see where it leads you...It was a true honor and gift to have had the opportunity to listen Quynh Anh’s live rendition of this song.
**Interview Quynh Anh**
15. HAI KICH- CHI TAI, VIET HUONG, KIEU LINH, HOAI TAM
16. CAU CHUYEN TINH TOI (KIM TUAN) / NUA VAN TRANG (NHAT TRUNG)- DUONG TRIEU VU & BAO HAN
Wow!! wow!! Where should I begin? Firstly, I have to preface this by saying that it was on this very stage in 2002, that Thuy Nga and Nhu Quynh gave us one of the most memorable and dramatic performances. Everything in that performance from concepts to vocals is still regarded as top notch. So thereby, it is inevitable that comparisons will be drawn and it was definitely a challenge for the producers to once again re-use this song and find a way to make it standout and special in its own right...and by all means, this was probably the standout performance of the night. The chinese arrangement lends itself nicely to the overall feel and theme. The background in the back shows a temple shadow and a full moon. Bao Han is so elegant in a white/pink chinese dress and Duong Trieu Vu in a brown ensemble with long hair. Very Duong Qua and Tieu Long Nu. At the beginning 4 dancers carry 4 white paper lanterns to represent a full moon and togetherness of the couple. All of a sudden, a group of ninjas enter on stage and a fight breaks out. The karate choreography is superb! Among the chaos of the fight Duong Trieu Vu is knocked unconscious and the evil witch character (dressed in fiery orange dress) uses her 2 small swords and stabs them into Bao Han’s eyes. Upon this, they drag Duong Trieu Vu’s body off stage and we see Bao Han covering a white band with blood around the eye areas on her face. Among this commotion we see on a screens Duong Trieu Vu running through woods, streams, desert...he is trying to find and reunite with his one true love. Where has she gone? Is she ok? As he is running, we see him jump, and with perfect timing this is the exact moment that he jumps back onto stage. This is when we transition over to “Nua Vang Trang.” The moon is the background is now a crescent moon and the lanterns are now half black and half white. It is the small attention to details like that which make Thuy Nga superior to all other productions! Bao Han now reappears and, wow, what great acting, the way she stares out, makes it look as if she is blind. When she finally sees DTV again, she feels all over his face to see if it really him, but she knows that she can never really see his face ever again. This piece was truly a work of art. You can tell great performances by its post effects, and even 5 days after the performance, I still get chills thinking about the song, so it truly left a lasting impression on me!
17. MAI MAI BEN NHAU (LV BAO THUY)- LUONG TUNG QUANG & TU QUYEN
Audiences have fallen in love with "Tinh Ngo Tram Nam," “Con Tim Dai Kho” and “Thien Duyen Tien Dinh.” For a fourth time, Luong Tung Quang and Tu Quyen are reunited in the Korean-translated song. LTQ is very handsome in a black suit and Tu Quyen is gorgeous in a orange/yellow elegant dress. The seashell decor used in Cam Ly’s number is brought out, along with a very Victorian style couch and candles. The background image shows a series of candles positioned in a circular position. It’s a very romantic and elegant set up to accompany a very heart felt and wrenching love ballad.
18. TUOI HOC TRO (LE DINH, DA CAM) / TRUONG CU TINH XUA (DUY KHANH)- MAI THIEN VAN & QUYNH DUNG
The full band is again brought out and we see images of hoa phuong in the background. Mai Thien Van begins and right after the first line...”Quay ve ky niem luc con hoc sinh....” the audience breaks out in applause. Mai Thien Van and Quynh Dung give such an admirable performance to these outstanding and very meaningful songs. Both ladies are very beautiful in a white ao dai with very minimal floral prints on the fabric. Mai Thien Van has a pink head band on. Both ladies are holding ‘non la’ to further create the image of a traditional Vietnamese girl. At times, I had trouble differentiating who was singing, if I hadn’t been looking on stage, it would have been difficult for me to tell who was singing. That saying that both of their voices are so sweet and genteel. I am so grateful for songs such as these because they carry with it a certain amount of such pure innocence and memories and brings us all back to a time of such joys and challenges.
19. DAU TINH SAU (NGO THUY MIEN) / LE DA (TRAN TRINH, HA HUYEN CHI)- KHANH LY & BANG KIEU
I think you can already hear the applause. Right after the first phrase of both songs, the audience went absolutely crazy. Bang Kieu and Khanh Ly are accompanied by two guitarists and the panels with the holes are again brought out. Even those these songs have been sung and then re-sung again by so many people for many years, they are true standards of Vietnamese music. And these standards are further elevated by the great talents and legends such as Bang Kieu and Khanh Ly. There’s not much I can say except that they delivered what is expected of them.
**Interview Khanh Ly, Bang Kieu**
20. BE BANG & CO GAI QUE (THAI THINH)- CAM LY, HA PHUONG, MINH TUYET
And yet another much anticipated performance. The 3 sisters. Wow, this truly is a very special occasion for them as well as for the audience as well. Minh Tuyet, Ha Phuong, and Cam Ly along with 13 additional PBN dancers light up the stage in a medley of 2 new songs from nhac si Thai Thinh. The 2 songs lend itself nicely with one another and carry with it a very distinct traditional sound. When I first heard the lyrics to this song, I thought it was old poems or ca dao because it is so beautiful and so very very lyrical. All singers and dancers wear ao tu than and carry non quay thao. It is a very graceful and charming performance
**Interview Minh Tuyet, Cam Ly, Ha Phuong (The 3 sisters)**
21. LIEN KHUC NHAC DIEU HUONG (DIEU HUONG)- KHANH HA & QUANG DUNG
And yet another very much enjoyed performance. Khanh Ha is in a long black dress with a Chanel emblem at the waist and Quang Dung is in a metallic blazer and black pants. Quang Dung is well-known for his delivery of Dieu Huong songs and Khanh Ha once again shows her versatility as a performer. Both singers have great powerful voices and when they sing together it is very full and harmonies are exquisite. Again, the full band and piano are brought out to accompany these 2 amazing performers.
22. LOI CUOI CHO CUOC TINH (LV NGUYEN VU)- HUONG THUY & THE SON
This was just a cute performance about a couple going through a fight. This is a Chinese translated song and both Huong Thuy and The Son really play up the part of this quarreling couple. Huong Thuy is in a abstract colored ao dai and The Son is in a brown ensemble. Both are holding microphones. The voices go together very nicely. Huong Thuy is just so adorable and once again I must give props to The Son for his ability match his vocals with nearly every female performer.
23. NGAY CHIA TAY, TIEC THUONG (QUOC HUNG)- HO LE THU & LUU VIET HUNG
This was a very sultry performance. Again the chain link is erected. Ho Le Thu is very sexy in a short black dress and Luu Viet Hung in a black leather vest. They are joined on stage by 4 other PBN dancers, thus there are 3 couples on stage. “Tiec Thuong” has been performed by many people, most notably Diem Lien and Lay Minh in PBN 52. And “Ngay Chia Tay” was performed in LTQ’s first solo album “Phep La” with Nhu Loan. Tonight, both of these songs are mixed together in a techno mix and both perform with so much tension and drama and energy.
24. LIEN KHUC TOP HITS: TRA NO TINH XA, KHONG CON MUA THU, GOC PHO REU XANH, GIOT SUONG TREN MI MAT, MAT TROI DIU EM, QUEN DI HET DAM ME -
BANG KIEU, DUONG TRIEU VU, NGUYEN THANG, LUONG TUNG QUANG, TRINH LAM, MINH TUYET,QUYNH VI, TU QUYEN, NGUYET ANH, NGOC LIEN
This was such a fun performance and a great way to end such an amazing program. Duong Trieu Vu (dressed in all black) starts out with “Tra No Tinh Xa”, then Nguyen Thang in a white dress shirt and cream colored blazer joins him. Quynh Vi then proceeds on with “Khong Con Mua Thu” in a magenta blouse followed by LTQ (Gray blazer, white pants) joins in. We then transition into “Goc Pho Reu Xanh” with Minh Tuyet in a short brown dress. Trinh Lam follows note in jeans and and a blazer. Tu Quyen starts “Giot Suong Tren Mi Mat” in a short hot pink dress to be followed by Bang Kieu. Then we have the trio of Minh Tuyet, Quynh Vi, and Duong Trieu Vu singing “Mat Troi Diu Em.” Nguyet Anh (silver shirt, red pants, boots) and Ngoc Lien (purple shirt, black pants, and boots) reprise “Goc Pho Reu Xanh.” Then all singers join together with the last song of “Quen Di Het Dam Me”
Paris By Night 92 was a true variety show composed of a mixture of all sorts of music and for all ages. Everything was put together so nicely and smoothly. Everything from staging, to costumes, to lighting, to songs was carefully selected and it truly paid off in the end. Thank you Thuy Nga for yet another outstanding program!!!!!!!!