In memory of the recent passing of renowned songwriter Nguyễn Văn Đông, Trung Tâm Thúy Nga has dedicated the latest Paris By Night to his life and music. Paris By Night 125, “Chiều Mưa Biên Giới – Tưởng Nhớ Cố Nhạc Sĩ Đại Tá Nguyễn Văn Đông” highlights the many songs that Nguyễn Văn Đông has written throughout his career, including love songs, songs about the war, Christmas music, as well as his contributions to cải lương. Filmed at the Saigon Performing Arts Center, Paris By Night 125 was a more intimate show that provided many interesting insights into the songwriter’s life through stories shared by MCs Nguyễn Ngọc Ngạn, Kỳ Duyên, and interviews with singers who have worked very closely with Nguyễn Văn Đông.
Paris By Night 125 featured a number of notable performances, such as the return of Giao Linh, who performed “Chiếc Bóng Công Viên”, as well as “Lời Giã Biệt” performed by Thanh Tuyền – two singers who have had great success with the music of Nguyễn Văn Đông throughout their careers. Hương Lan took on Thanh Tuyền’s signature hit, “Chiều Mưa Biên Giới” but brought a slightly slowed down and subdued feel to the song very different from the original. Như Ý, though she normally sings pop music, was able to bring life to “Niềm Đau Dĩ Vãng”, one of Nguyễn Văn Đông’s more modern sounding songs. The closing performance of “Khúc Tình Ca Hàng Hàng Lớp Lớp” was very sweet, but paled in comparison to renditions that came before. Of course, the show would not be complete without some of the songwriter’s Christmas music; Mai Thiên Vân and Thiên Tôn gave audiences a taste of the holidays with “Bóng Nhỏ Đường Chiều” and “Mùa Sao Sáng”.
One final highlight of the show was performance of a scene from the cải lương “Tiếng Hạc Trong Trăng” featuring Như Quỳnh in the female role famously played by Thanh Nga. Stepping out of her comfort zone, Như Quỳnh was very successful in portraying her character in both acting and singing, and was one of her most refreshing performances in the past few years.
Paris By Night 125 is available on DVD and Blu-Ray. Be sure to purchase an ORIGINAL copy at your local Vietnamese music store, or online at www.thuyngashop.com.
Dương Thái Hòa has always been passionate about Vietnamese music. Graduating from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Music, Thái Hòa currently performs alongside the Liberty Band in shows within the Vietnamese community. In addition, Thái Hòa also writes, records and performs his own music on his YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/JamesDuongMusic