Philadelphia, Here I Come!
Writer: Dominic Luk
Published: Fri, 04 Jan 2013
The Actors Studio in Kuala Lumpur will be treating us again with its acclaimed production of Philadelphia, Here I Come! for the third time.
The witty comedy drama directed by Joe Hasham OAM will be staged at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Center from Jan 12-20.
The play was originally written by an Irishman but was later adapted for the Malaysian stage in 1994. It was staged again in Malaysia, thanks to its major success, four years later.
In this local adaptation of Philadelphia, Here I Come, we see a picture of middle class Malaysia in Danny Tan, born in Cheras and raised by his father who runs a kedai runcit. Danny is at a crossroads. Feeling unfulfilled and unloved, he is searching but unsure. He finally decides to take up his aunt’s offer to join her in Philadelphia and start anew there, leaving behind a former love and an uncommunicative father.
A generation or two ago, migrants flocked to Malaysia. Today, the the tide has turned. Malaysians are migrating to places as far as Canada and New Zealand. Between 2008 and 2009, more than 300,000 Malaysians have left our shores. Like the fictional Danny Tan, they are bound by a common dream and hope that something better awaits them somewhere else.
Saying goodbye is tough and comes with a mix of feelings. The genius of Brian Friel is in creating two sides of Danny Tan – the public persona, to be played Jon Chew (Youth Award, Short+Sweet Malaysia 2012) and his alter ego, to be played by Qahar Aqilah (Best Actor, Short+Sweet Malaysia 2008). Also in the cast are theatre giants and iconic Malaysians Patrick Teoh and Datuk Faridah Merican as well as other well-known names like Sandra Sodhy, Radhi Khalid and Lim Soon Heng.