Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Jay Chou's Jukebox Musical: The Secret 不能说的秘密 in Shanghai

Latest and best news on the family front for His Royal Diaoness was the announcement on Valentine's Day that the Chou family would be welcoming a new addition soon.
Trust that you guys have been following the Facebook Page!
If so, you would also know that it's gonna be a boy! 

Valentine's Day also marked the start of the Shanghai run for the musical, The Secret which is based on Jay's 2007 movie of the same name which was a huge hit for him, not just in Taiwan but also in many other Asian countries.

Here are some news links for the background to this production:

Jay's visit to a rehearsal:

Rehearsal of Fine Day:

Jay at the Beijing premiere:

Playlist of related vids:

The lead actress (Tracy Wang)'s Page: 

I'll try and find out more about the other actors and update here when available. 


When I first heard that Secret would be performed in Shanghai in February 2017, it was immediately clear to me that this was a trip worth doing as I had not been to Shanghai previously and welcomed the opportunity to do so. One of the most impromptu decisions ever for me and within a day, I had gotten in touch with a friend who lived there to help me procure the tickets and started making flight and hotel arrangements. That was back in November 2016. 
My dear hubby was persuaded to come along for the ride and before long, 16 February had arrived and so did we in that bustling city.
It must be mentioned that I had seen footage of the rehearsals and had been struck by how his songs seemed to have been woven in smoothly. 
As this was also a first in the industry viz adapting a movie into a stage musical (it's usually the other way around!), my curiousity pushed me to do my best to attend the show. 
Which I finally did on the night of 17 February.
Of course I had also paid top dollar....after flying all the way there, I was not going to scrimp and sit in Circle or way at the back! 
NB: I also ended up watching twice as my friend, who I met up with on 18 Feb was keen to attend and well, I was only too happy to oblige and go with her again on 19 Feb. Surprisingly, my hubby (who almost never watches anything twice!) was most supportive. :)

Some observations about the venue impressed, viz

1. The use of bag machines (like those at airports) instead of human bag checkers
2. Bottles containing water were allowed in; juices and food were not
3. Ushers went around with signs indicating No Photography and Keep Quiet Please before the start 
4. Laser pointers were directed at the backs of people who were taking photos during the show
5. The acoustics were fantastic. No echoes, no distortions of the performers' voices. Accompanying music was just the right volume. 

As for the musical per se, well, it was a joy to watch and listen to from the very beginning to the triumphant finale. 

1. The cast showcased their triple-threat talents completely, from the two veterans to the younger members, most especially the two leads who played Ye Xiang Lun and Lu Xiao Yu but special mention must go to the comic relief provided by Ah Lang and Ah Bao. 

2. What is a musical without music? And this was one using songs from Jay Chou's vast and varied repertoire from 14 albums. The scriptwriters and music arrangers had managed to pick the best songs to fit into the storyline (which was tweaked a little but worked very well!), and the result was a seamless and polished production which flowed along and was easy to understand, even for those who may not be familiar with the original movie.
One other aspect which shone through about Jay's music was his versatility and range of genres, encompassing ballads, rap, pop, hip hop, Latin, country and Western...you name it!
My friend who was not a Jay fan had gotten converted by the end of the show and was checking out all the songs on her way home in the cab. 

3. Stage management was flawless and the lighting effects did the job. As I am not an expert on theatre stuff, that's about all I feel qualified to say...lol! 

4. What I felt in spades, however, was the anguish in certain scenes which moved me to tears, not just on the first viewing but even the second time I watched. I shall, however refrain from describing those scenes so as to keep this spoiler-free.
Rest assured there were hilarious scenes too...best rugby match ever...lol! 

5. It was such a joy to hear Jay's music being performed on stage in this manner that I could not help, at the beginning, but hum along a little, thinking I was doing it very softly so that my neighbours would not be disturbed. Sadly, I was mistaken; the man in front of me turned around and gesticulated at me to stop. At least he did not give me the middle finger. Embarassment washed over me but that also effectively stopped me from providing unwanted accompainment to the professional production going on. This was on the second night. Lesson learnt. Thankfully, that incident did not prevent me from enjoying myself thereafter. 

I shall share some photos below.

Close-up of the banner outside the Shanghai Culture Square.

Shanghai Culture Square by night.
Very beautiful.

Curtain calls at the end....glad we were allowed to take photos and vids!

Well...this was unexpected! They did not kiss on 17 Feb but did so on 19 Feb!
So glad I caught it. ;)

He does look a little like Jay.

The finale where they sang Dao Xiang with the audience: 

Love this! 

Song list:

Needless to say, I am one happy fan! 
Just hope that Broadway Asia brings The Secret to Singapore and Malaysia. 
I have told all my friends about it and many of them are looking forward to catching it as well. 

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Jay Chou's Bedtime Stories Signings: Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taichung




Over the weekend of 16 and 17 July, Jay graced three autograph sessions in Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taichung,
Fans turned up in droves, many also flying in from other countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, etc to join the queue and get their chance of seeing Mr Chou up close and having their albums signed.

Playlist of vids from Taipei:

Playlist of vids from Kaohsiung:

This is a must-watch vid from Kaohsiung, featuring the 12-year-old dancer who was in Jay's MV for Yang Ming Shan two years ago. She completely killed Turkish Ice Cream with her moves, so much so that it attracted Jay's attention and he simply HAD to stop signing to have a chat with her!
He was in top form, praising her flinging arm movements and advising Xiao Mai to learn from her. ;)


One thing is certain: his popularity has not waned one iota and with his passion for music still intact and perhaps even more inspired by his lovely wife and daughter, he looks good to keep releasing albums for many more years to come. :)

Bonus pics from my fanclub, Jay Chou Malaysia and Singapore!
Photo credit: JayMS FC

中国新歌声 Sing! China Episode 1: All the news and youtube links

It was an awesome start to the new season of this reality singing competition and the chemistry between the four mentors was even better this time round.
Bantering, teasing, joking and mock insults flew fast and furious but there was no denying the warmth and mutual admiration each had for the rest.
Last season, Jay forged a partnership of sorts with Na Ying as a brother-sister pair.
This time round, with the changes in positions, it appears he will form some kind of alliance with Wang Feng...methinks Team Dads is more like it...lol! After all, Wang Feng and wife, Zhang Ziyi have also recently welcomed a baby daughter. :)

An added treat for fans in Singapore was the appearance of our very own Nathan Hartono, who blew the judges away with his performance AND eventually chose Jay Chou as his mentor!
Needless to say, there will be HUGE interest from the locals and I hope Toggle or any of the other broadcasters will be able to start simulcasting this show as there are still two more Singaporeans in the blind auditions to come.

FULL vid:


If your preference is to watch in parts:

Part 1:

Part 2: (Nathan Hartono)

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Part 6:

The 4 mentors solos and group:

Jay's solo of Wang Feng's song:

Wang Feng's solo of Silence:

Na Ying's solo:

Harlem's solo:

I Want Summer by all 4: (awesomely appropriate song for the finale! )




Nice vid about our Jay:

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

The Invincible: Shanghai 30/6/2016 to 3/7/2016

Hot on the heels of the release of Bedtime Stories came the start of Jay's The Invincible concert tour at Shanghai's Mercedes Benz Arena on 30 June 2106.

Report from Toggle:


Playlist of fancam vids:




Featuring a 4D stage and space theme, he went through a repertoire of songs from all his albums, with some significant omissions, most glaringly the absence of old favourite, Nunchucks.
Was this a result of a previous incident at a concert in China where a fan had complained about being hit by that weapon which Jay and his dancers always fling out to the audience?
Or did Jay figure it was time for a change anyway? *furrowed brows*

He has said many times that he is not a natural dancer and needs lots of practice to get his steps correct, so it was a treat to see him performing for Stolen Love.
Methinks he looked a trifle serious as he stepped, twirled and swung his lovely partner around for that 40-second segment....guess he was concentrating hard to make sure it was perfect. :)

Another difference from his previous The Era and Opus Jay concerts was the absence of usual guest artistes, Cindy Yen and Darren. Instead, it was young Patrick Brasca's turn to shine, as he performed his song, Try from Kung Fu Panda 3.

Costumes for this concert were colourful and featured lots of pink but this yellow patterned suit from Moschino has to be the most gaudy outfit of all. ;)

Not forgetting this from the opening number:

Some favourite shots:


And what Jay Chou concert is complete without an elaborate piano?

And the icing on the cake?

Has to be this photo....

I'm so feeling the JH LOVE!!!
Besides Hannah, Mama Chou was also spotted in the audience and Hathaway had also gone along for the trip!
Hannah revealed that Jay would feed her before going on stage and Mr Chou confessed that the best post-concert experience for him was to be able to hug his daughter when he returned to the hotel. *heart melts*

Next on the calendar is Invincible: Beijing and of course, Hathaway's first birthday, which is likely to be celebrated there on 10 July!
Do join in the virtual party for her on Jayannah!


Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Jay Chou's Bedtime Stories

Jay's 14th studio album aka Bedtime Stories was officially released on 24 June but even before the stroke of midnight, everything was available on iTunes and my chat group was full of comments as we tuned in and gave our two cents' worth.

Once again, sleep was sacrificed for His Royal Diaoness....but as always, no regrets!

As Jay had already released 5 songs over the past few months, there remained only another five to catch up on. There was plenty of his signature rap and ballads but one thing I sorely missed is a zhong guo feng song like Qing Hua Ci or Hong Chen Ke Zhan.
Apparently, the NYSM2 theme is meant as the zhong guo feng song for this album; well, it fit into the movie and has Chinese-style instruments but it cannot hold a candle to his slower numbers from previous albums nor even the ones which were more hard rock like Dragon Fist or Fearless.

Anyway, the track list on Itunes is here:

And here is my playlist of five other new songs:

My overall impression of the album is favourable and I would put it on par with Aiyo Not Bad.
The absence of the 'proper' zhong guo feng song is made up for by the Hathaway-inspired Lover From A Previous Life, which remains my favourite track.

My rating of the songs:

1. Bedtime Stories: 9/10: weird and OTT reinterpretation of what the humble bedtime story can be

2. Stay Away: 8.5/10: catchy  and nice to bop along to but what I really love is the banjo

3. A Little: 8.5/10: typical Chou ballad, emotional and heart-tugging

4. Lover From A Previous Life: 9.5/10: near-perfect mix of rap, strong memorable melody and the fact that Hathaway inspired it makes it stand out for all time

5. Hero: 7.5/10: good song for LOL, with shades of The Era and All In One Breath

6. Shouldn't Be: 9/10: beautiful duet, destined to be a karaoke favourite which will be mangled by well-meaning fans. ;)

7. Turkish Ice Cream: 8.5/10: did not like it initially but after listening a few times, now find it utterly cute! Has shades of Nunchucks. Can't wait to see this MV!

8. Love Confession Balloon: 8.5/10: simple singalong number 

9. Now You See Me: 8/10: the supposed zhong guo feng song; sounded great in the movie, though! 

10. Failure At Love: 8.5/10: another heartrending Chou ballad


Incidentally, sleep will be sacrificed again tonight as another new MV will be released at midnight!

Can't wait!