A cappella performance co-produced with Yat Po Singers - February 14 – a musical
HKRep and Yat Po Singers co-produce a light-hearted romantic musical
February 14 – a musical
In this bustling world where we seek love Eros has long presaged sweet romance
【HKRep】Love is sweet but can also be bitter. Three BFFs make a pact as they embark on their journeys—tripping and falling along the winding road—in search of true love. In 2005, February 14–a musical enjoyed a sold-out premiere run at the HKRep’s Black Box. Eighteen years later, the HKRep join hands with the Yao Po Singers in mounting a new production, injecting a cappella sound into this light-hearted romantic musical. February 14 – a musical is written by playwright Matthew Cheng with lyrics and music by Chung Chi Wing. This production is directed by Lau Shau Ching with Anna Lo as music director, who also provides additional music and serves as arranger and choral director. Lo also joins the cast featuring Vivian Chan, Mercy Wong, Kiki Cheung, Kalok Chan, Ma Hin Yung, Sam Lau, Ronald Tsang, Fung Chi Yau, Yau Ting Fai, ManMan Kwok and Tunes Ting. February 14–a musical runs from 24th February to 5th March at the Tuen Mun Town Hall Cultural Activities Hall. Advance ticket sales have been robust, prompting two additional performances (28th February and 2nd March). Tickets are now available at URBTIX outlets.
February 14 – a musical is about “Best Friends Forever” Doris, Venus and Fiona make a pact that each must find true love within a year … Although they might trip and fall along the winding road, they persevere despite pain and injuries thanks to each others’ support and care as they grow and learn from one relationship to another.
February 14 – a musical receives a new production after its premiere 18 years ago. Though the themes remain the same, the script has undergone a complete overhaul, with each dialogue updated from its original production. Playwright Matthew Cheng uses a child’s growth and maturity as metaphor: “For a work to reemerge in the world after 18 years isn’t a simple or easy process. So many things can happen in 18 years: A child will finish secondary school, and may be in university. He’s also old enough to watch Category III films in a cinema; he has the right to sign his own marriage certificate and apply for public housing. When I remount a work, I dare not expect that every word remains the same. Moreover, February 14 – a musical is closely connected with contemporary life. Unless I want to recreate a historic Hong Kong from 18 years ago, I must make revisions. But the meaning of love and the definition of friendship and romance probably haven’t changed much from a century ago. That’s why a work from 2005 has the opportunity to appear on stage again in 2023. This heartwarming musical theatre work about friendship and love has a life of its own. It has managed to enroll in university.”
Director Lau Shau Ching was a cast member in the premiere of February 14 – a musical. For this new production the work is further refined, incorporating new a cappella elements by Yat Po Singers. Lau states, “This time, my role is different. I’ve become the director of this production, increasing my commitment in time and effort many times over. What makes this production extra special is the involvement of Yat Po Singers performing with HKRep members in interpreting the musical numbers. I’m very fortunate that our music director Anna Lo will make new song arrangements. I believe all this will bring a completely fresh and new February 14 to audiences.”
Music Director Anna Lo expresses her enthusiasm: “I’m delighted to collaborate with HKRep. Whether for me personally or for Yat Po Singers collectively, this is a breath of fresh air. It is indeed a very meaningful and precious experience for two different groups of stage performers with such diverse training and backgrounds to interact and collaborate. I hope theatregoers will like this completely new interpretation!”
About Playwright Matthew Cheng
Before graduating from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts with an MFA in Playwriting, Matthew Cheng won an Outstanding Script Award. In 2002, he received the Best Script Award at the HKRep “Here and Now” competition for local plays for his work The Bloody Hell, which also won him Outstanding Young Playwright at the 12th Hong Kong Drama Awards. His February 14 – a musical was nominated for Best Script at the 15th Hong Kong Drama Awards. In addition, Cheng’s on-stage performance in Take This Waltz won him Best Supporting Actor (Comedy/Farce) at the 16th Hong Kong Drama Awards. In 2007, he received the Young Artist Award (Drama) at the Hong Kong Arts Development Awards. In 2016, The Sin Family—which toured Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Guangzhou—was nominated for Best Script at the 25th Hong Kong Drama Awards. In 2019, Auspicious Day was nominated for Best Script at the Hong Kong Drama Awards and was a finalist for the IATC(HK) Critics Awards the previous year. In 2022, Ambiguous won Best Script at the 30th Hong Kong Drama Awards.
Cheng’s most celebrated work, The Last Supper, won Best Script at the 21st Hong Kong Drama Awards and 4th Hong Kong Theatre Libre Awards in 2012. The play also received an Award of Excellence at the 9th Chinese Drama Festival in 2014. It was lauded by Time Out (Beijing) and The Beijing News among 2013’s “Best Ten” and “Best Six Productions” respectively. Apart from four production runs in Hong Kong, the play toured Kaohsiung, Singapore and more than 10 cities in the mainland including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Tianjin. To date, The Last Supper has received more than 100 performances and has already been translated in French and Korean, as well as adapted in Putonghua. In 2019, The Last Supper made its Korean-language premiere in Seoul by the Windgrass Theatre Company, receiving Best Production at the 7th Seoul Theatre Artists Awards. In 2021, the Putonghua version toured in the mainland, visiting such cities as Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Xi’an, and Shanghai.
Cheng has been active on the Taiwan theatre scene, participating in such productions as Our Theatre’s The State & Denki that toured Taipei and Tainan.
About Director Lau Shau Ching
About Music Director, Additional Music, Arranger & Choral Director Anna Lo
Anna Lo is a composer, songwriter, arranger, pianist, singer, and conductor. She graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Berklee College of Music.
She has collaborated with groups including the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Hong Kong Repertory Theatre, Hong Kong Dance Company, Hong Kong String Orchestra, Actors’ Family, Theatre Ronin and Mr. Wing Theatre Company. She composed original music and arranged and produced the theme song for the documentary She Objects (winner of the 2017 Nice International Film Festival’s “Scientific & Education Award”). In 2020, she wrote the film score and produced the theme song for the film Apart. In 2022, she composed the film score for the film Pretty Heart, produced by Fruit Chan. In 2019 she was commissioned to create the extremely well-received original cabaret show Tri Ka Tsai for the Tai Kwun Theatre Season, in which she acted as composer, lyricist and performer. This work was remounted in 2021 at the West Kowloon Lau Bak Freespace Livehouse and in 2023 at the Singapore Huayi Chinese Festival of Arts to critical acclaim. In September 2021, Lo was invited to create a new cabaret show LauZone for the Tai Kwun Theatre Season. A dance version of LauZone was mounted in November by City Contemporary Dance Company as Home Sweat Home. LauZone was revived in June 2022 to enthusiastic audiences.
Lo is an avid A Cappella singer and a prolific A Cappella arranger/composer. She is currently music director and member of the professional A Cappella group VSing and serves as Associate Artistic Director of Yat Po Singers, and has represented Hong Kong multiple times, performing in China and abroad and in international arts festivals. In 2017, she created and composed the A Cappella theatre production Save the Next Song for Me and was nominated for “Best Original Song and Lyrics” at the 27th Hong Kong Drama Awards. She gave her first concert “re.Kindle” in 2016 and produced and released “K”—her first EP. Lo’s second solo concert “ACA-ANNA” held in September 2017 was sponsored by Tencent Music Entertainment Group, its first Hong Kong event of the like promoting Hong Kong music makers.
Lo also works in pop music productions, and has performed with and recorded backup vocals for such singers as Leon Lai, Kelly Chen, Miriam Yeung, Andy Hui, Anthony Lun, Janice Vidal, Justin, Jason Chan, Gin Lee, Alfred Hui, Rubberband and Collar. She has collaborated with producers Mark Lui, Schumann Lee and Edward Chan, and is a presenter and music director for RTHK TV31’s “Cantopop Power.”
February 14 – a musical