After a few difficult years due to the pandemic, Dama Asia Productions’ grand resurgence in April proved that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Staged over the course of two weeks at the Petaling Jaya Performing Arts Centre, All That Glitz & Glamour transported audiences to the musical heydays of the 1930s to the 1960s. The stage was illuminated with beaming smiles, glittery outfits and the glow of talented performers who presented a series of nostalgic Mandarin Golden Oldies, alongside a seven-piece band. Artistic director Pun Lai Koon talks about the fundraising event and what theatregoers and music lovers can expect from Dama’s upcoming show in August.
Congratulations on the success of All That Glitz & Glamour! How do you feel after Dama Asia’s grand comeback?
Pun Lai Koon: ‘Relief’ is the word. We are relieved that we managed to sail through without any hiccups. The production period was relatively short. There was a lot of stress and tension behind the scenes as we got our act together. The production work. The rehearsals. We were fighting with time all the time. After three years without producing any stage work, we were like novices. We found ourselves having to relearn the production process.
That said, we are glad to have discovered many young and emerging talents for All That Glitz & Glamour. They are gems. It was a wonderful experience working with them. We also have several new musicians joining our band. We had a wonderful time creating the music together. So, overall, we are very happy and thankful with the performance run. The amount of effort and conviction put in by the entire project team — the production-creative team, the crew, the cast and the other show-related support teams — has been fantastic.
How was the response to the production?
It was above our expectations. We weren’t sure how the crowd would respond to this comeback show, but the ‘thumbs up’ response on our first night’s performance was very reassuring. We received many positive, encouraging and favourable messages from members of the audience throughout the show’s run.
What were you most pleasantly surprised about?
The heartfelt support given by the audience and the numerous sponsors who helped us pick up the pieces and get back on our feet again. For the past 29 years in the performing arts industry, we have relied mainly on ticket sales for subsistence. Sponsorships were difficult to come by. But, for the fundraising shows this year, we have many sponsors and donors to thank. Without their support, we could go no further.
As such, we are indebted to our co-presenting sponsor The Edge, together with Tan Sri Tong Kooi Ong and Datuk Ho Kay Tat, for supporting Dama’s comeback to the performing arts scene. We are also grateful to sponsors like AHAM Asset Management Bhd, Dialog Group Bhd, Gamuda Bhd, IJM Land Bhd, Mah Sing Group Bhd, Matrix Concepts Holdings Bhd, Newfields Land Sdn Bhd and Westport Holdings Bhd for their support of Dama’s 2023 fundraising shows.
We are also thankful to A Cut Above, Studio DL, Office Cosmetics and Wah Li for their continuous support throughout Dama’s existence, as well as to 1 Utama and PJPAC, and our new merchandiser partners Theatre Café, Sensenique Natural and Precious China. Last but not least, we are thankful to the audience for coming to lend their support.
What else can we expect from Dama this year?
Dama’s upcoming August show In Perfect Harmony Too is a sequel to our first In Perfect Harmony production presented in 2011. This new showcase is in perfect harmony, too! But with a difference. It promises to be fun and entertaining. A show to celebrate the cultural diversity of Malaysia. The repertoire of popular English, Malay, Mandarin, Cantonese and Hindi songs, along with songs from Sabah and Sarawak, and other countries, is sure to tug at the heartstrings of many Malaysians, regardless of race, creed or colour. Our friends from overseas are welcome to join us in this celebration of a cultural heritage that makes us Malaysians unique and proud.
We expect the audience to come to the show ready to let their hair down. They will be invited to join the performers on stage to sing or dance along (otherwise they can do it from their seats), have fun and a good laugh. You will have a good time; that’s the show’s motto. So, come and be entertained by an amazing group of talented multiracial musicians and cast.
This article first appeared on May 1, 2023 in The Edge Malaysia.