Last month, Trung Tâm Thúy Nga released the long-awaited Paris By Night 130, filmed in the fabulous Singapore. The theme, “Glamour” can refer to several ideas – the word describes the luxurious, extravagant, attractive, and is most often used when describing beauty and fashion. Paris By Night 130 dives into these ideas, but also touches on inner beauty, and the beauty of Vietnamese women.
There were many great moments from the show worth noting. Beloved duet pairings were brought back to fans’ delight, including Quang Lê and Mai Thiên Vân, Phi Nhung and Mạnh Quỳnh, and Như Quỳnh and Trường Vũ. The show also opened with a duet between Như Quỳnh and Hương Thủy, performing “Đừng Là Một Thoáng Mê Say”, a new song by Tùng Châu and Thái Thịnh. In this number, Như Quỳnh was dressed as a princess, while Hương Thuỷ appeared as a warrior: 2 very different figures in Vietnamese history, but together they demonstrate the beauty of Vietnamese women in appearance, strength, and heart. Perhaps one of the most exciting duet performances was the reunion of Nguyễn Hưng and Kỳ Duyên, who used to perform ballroom dances during the 1990s. This time, the pair came together to perform “10 Năm Tình Cũ” with a Latin flair that definitely gave audiences something to talk about.
“Be Glamourous”, a dance performance by Như Loan and Diễm Sương, was a direct call to the show’s theme, and while it may not have been the strongest song, it was definitely entertaining with elaborate costumes and the appearance of a dancer dressed as MC Nguyễn Ngọc Ngạn! Tóc Tiên made her return to Paris By Night with “Chẳng Cần Ai, Chỉ Cần Anh”, wearing a glittering red suit while performing the catchy pop song. Như Ý, on the other hand, explored a different side of beauty with “Mộc”, where she and the dancers removed their makeup, showing the importance of natural beauty and self-love. Lam Anh’s interpretation of glamour came in the form of the song “Đúng Hay Sai”, where she played the đàn tranh, showing that traditional Vietnamese instruments are also beautiful.
Sometimes, beauty can have a dark side, and this was explored in the performance of “Liêu Trai Chí Dị”, based on a collection of classical Chinese tales that use mythical creatures to talk about societal issues. In this performance, Hà Thành Xuân plays a demon disguised as a woman, who uses her great beauty to seduce a male scholar. Quỳnh Vi, as the scholar’s wife, discovers the situation but in the end she fails to save her husband. The dramatic performance was a well-executed depiction of the dangers of human temptation and immorality.
Ý Lan performed “Khi”, a song written by Vũ Tuấn Đức that audiences may remember as being performed by Khánh Hà. While the song was lovely, Ý Lan’s over-the-top style may have been a little too much, with the song better suiting the softer style of Khánh Hà. Đan Nguyên, Quang Lê, and Bằng Kiều reunited for a medley of bolero music. While Bằng Kiều was definitely the odd man out in this genre, and while all 3 voices don’t always blend together smoothly, it was definitely unique and interesting to watch.
One of the main highlights was the show’s tribute to poet Du Tử Lê, who passed away a month before the show’s taping. Ngọc Anh brought the passion to “Khúc Thụy Du”, while Đình Bảo gave a delicate and sensitive rendition of “Giữ Đời Cho Nhau” with a musical arrangement that felt both classic and modern at the same time. Both songs were based on poetry by Du Tử Lê, and the tribute was surely appreciated by the audience.
Of course, a show called “Glamour” has to feature a lavish fashion show! The closing number, “Nỗi Buồn Con Gái” featured 12 female singers wearing áo dài designed by Việt Hùng. It was the perfect way to close out a show that was both emotional and momentous for many involved. With this being Trung Tâm Thúy Nga’s first time filming in Singapore, and first time filming in Asia since 2007 (in South Korea), the singers and MCs did not forget to thank the audience, many of whom flew from Vietnam to attend the show. For singer Hoàng Oanh, the opportunity to perform in Singapore to fans from Vietnam and all over the world brought the singer to tears, and even as she walked off stage, she continued to wave to fans and express her thanks.
Paris By Night 130, despite some drawbacks, definitely brought the “glamour” to the stage and will be another entertaining show to watch with friends and family at home. ORIGINAL DVDs and Blu-Rays of Paris By Night 130 can now be purchased at www.thuyngashop.com or at your local Vietnamese music store.
Dương Thái Hoà
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