To Become A Christian!
Leanne Li speaking/performing at Yeah Show 2007. Photo courtesy of 基督新报.
So it’s been taking me a while to watch my Yeah Show 2007 DVDs because Cantonese comprehension really isn’t my strong suit (absurdity and cynicism are). However, there was one performance that was easy for me to digest: Marsha Yuan’s. This was because it was short (two songs) and in English.
The first song Marsha sang was Amazing Grace, and I enjoyed it. She really belted it out and threw in some bluesy twists. Supposedly, when she’s not reaching for the big notes, her “normal” singing voice is kind of breathy. Perhaps her voice box was built for power vocals…kind of like Ethel Merman.
If I had to describe Marsha Yuan’s singing voice, I’d say it was a cross between Ethel Merman, Ruthie Henshall, Etta James, and Tone Loc.
For her second song, Ms. Yuan sang Heavenly Father, which she wrote herself. It had a very catchy tune, though I found it a little puzzling lyrically, possibly because it didn’t exactly rhyme (another thing she has in common with Tone Loc). Frankly, when it comes to songs and poetry, I’m a big believer in rhyming…
Anyway, I thought Marsha Yuan gave a good performance. I would have loved to have heard her testimony, however, because I’m curious as to how she became a Christian. It’s probably not the influence of her immediate family because her siblings are probably not Christian if their F-bomb-riddled online ravings are any indication. Maybe her mother, Cheng Pei-pei? After all, Pei appeared in the 2004 Media Evangelism film The Miracle Box, which starred Ada Choi (it always comes back to Ada Choi).
But probably not.
I’m guessing it was Marsha’s manager, Helen Chan, who may have led her to Christ. Helen Chan has converted virtually every single Hong Kong entertainer she’s ever managed. Except for Chin Kar-lok…and Lee San-san…and Francis Ng…and Kenny Wong…
But everyone else? Christian.
Not sure if Chan is still Yuan’s manager, though. According to Marsha’s blog, she relocated to Shanghai for some indecipherable reason: to pursue a career in musical theater…or jazz vocals…or something like that.
BTW, I highly recommend reading Marsha’s blog. Possibly the most raw blog by a Hong Kong entertainer out there. The same themes keep popping up over and over again: (1) she’s a Broadway theater geek; (2) she’s a klutz; and (3) she may have some serious self-confidence/self-esteem/self-criticism issues.
All in all, highly recommended, if only because it provides insight into the soul of an American-born musical theater geek trying to make her way in the Asian arts and entertainment circles.
Just got my DVD copy of Yeah Show 2007, Rev. Enoch Lam’s annual evangelistic stand-up comedy show. It’s a two-discer! Must be a lot of comedy…
I believe the DVD is of the Hong Kong shows. The guest stars are DJ Sammy, someone who I don’t recognize and whose gender I cannot decipher, Leanne Li, and Marsha Yuan (so it was Marsha Yuan). I’ll let you know how it is once I view it.
Oh, I gave our Research Department the Sammi Cheng assignment (“Is Sammi Cheng a Christian?”), and they came back with an answer – “probably.” She became one – really became one – about ten years ago, and then recently re-committed herself during her hiatus last year. Or something like that.
So yeah, Sammi Cheng is probably a Christian.
If you happen to be in Sydney, Australia this Saturday (May 5, 2007) and are a fan of the Cantonese language, stand-up comedy, TVB actress Sheren Tang, wacky and ubiquitous Hong Kong radio personality D.J. Sammy, hand bells, and/or Jesus Christ, then check out Yeah Show 2007 at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. The show starts at 7pm.
Yeah Shows are kind of like a Cantonese comedy version of a Billy Graham Crusade, featuring an evening of musical performances and celebrity testimonials, capped off by a stand-up routine/sermon by the Rev. Enoch Lam of Hong Kong. I believe the shows in Hong Kong took place in March and featured among others Leanne Li (TVB actress/host & Miss Chinese International 2005) and someone who looked an awful lot like Marsha Yuan. Apparently, there was also Chinese rapping involved. I hope there’s a DVD.
Wait, D.J. Sammy is appearing in a Yeah Show??? That dude is a Christian??? How discombobulating. I’m discombobulated: I don’t know whether I should be horrified or ecstatic. Are we sure he’s a Christian and not just appearing because he needs even MORE exposure on top of his radio gig, his co-hosting duties on TVB’s Minutes to Fame (the Hong Kong version of The Gong Show), and the four thousand movies he’s been in since 2002? I need answers.
In the mean time, here’s the poster…