A Song to Remember (simplified Chinese: 星洲之夜) is a MediaCorp Channel 8 historical-cum-musical drama which is set in the 1930s to 1940s in early Singapore before World War II. It debuted on Channel 8 on 22 November 2011 and was telecast every weekday night at 9.00 pm.
This drama stars Qi Yuwu and Joanne Peh who had paired up thrice after The Little Nyonya and C.L.I.F., and Eelyn Kok, Julie Tan and Desmond Tan. Chen Hanwei plays a villain in this drama while Eelyn Kok is also another antagonist. Viewers can catch episodes on xinmsn catchup from 23 November 2011.
It was reported that the scriptwriter Ang Ee Tee took several years to complete the script of this drama. Despite large amounts of resources and money pumped in for the production and promotion of this serial, the drama was not well received by the audience when it was broadcast. Many perceived the show to be boring and slow-paced, and the acting skills of some of the main cast members were heavily criticised. This drama ranked 9th (out of 11 dramas at the 9pm slot) in the Year 2011 viewership ratings, coming in one of the last. On the other hand, smaller scale productions such as Love Thy Neighbour managed to clinch the top spot.
The drama was encored from 18 July 2012 to 29 August 2012, at 5:30pm, pre-empted on 9 August due to the live telecast of the National Day Parade.
In the 1930s and 1940s, troupes from Shanghai, Southern China as well as local cabaret groups thronged the scene and enlivened the night. Reveling in song and dance drowned out anxieties of the impending war and blues of the real world. Set in this backdrop, this drama serial relives the glittering Singapore nightlife of old.
Flames of war ignite in the 1940s. Swaying in the midst of a raging turmoil, Yuhong (portrayed by Joanne Peh) and Song Qiao-er (portrayed by Eelyn Kok), rivalling doyennes of Shanghai Li Ming Troupe, fight it out on stage. Qiao-er vows to remove the thorn in her flesh, and Yuhong retaliates.
A young musician from Shanghai, Mo Liguang (portrayed by Qi Yuwu), arrives on the eve of the outbreak of World War II in Singapore. A bookish "cultural youth", he indulges in fantasy and music. His insensitivity to mundane affairs often lands him in comic situations! He develops feelings for Yuhong after meeting her on board the ship to Singapore.
Liguang's aunt is a vicious landlady who puts him in charge of collecting rents from the difficult tenants of an old building. Taunted by a motley bunch of characters, he is helped by Liu Jiumei (portrayed by Julie Tan) from being driven back to Shanghai by his aunt.
Jiumei is mistreated by her adopted mother to sing for a living, and ends up being bullied as the "soda girl" at New World Nightclub. An optimistic girl by nature, she daydreams about making a debut on stage. She falls for Li Guang after a series of tribulations but suppresses her love for him because his heart is with Yu Hong.
The captivating Indian, Malay, Peranakan and Western dances inspire Liguang to compose songs for Jiumei. Both are the quintessential composer and singer duo.
The rivalry between Yuhong and Qiao-er intensifies when they come to Singapore. Qiao-er works her charms on tycoon Xu Kun (portrayed by Chen Hanwei) in the hope of eliminating Yu Hong, but the latter counter-attacks by sexual seduction to rise as the doyenne of the troupe and a star in Singapore.
Yuhong ropes in Liguang to the troupe and redeems Jiumei from the brothel. Jiumei is filled with gratitude for her saviour.
To raise funds for the medical costs of a neighbour's infant, Jiumei and Liguang call on everyone to participate in a spectacular street show – "Night of the Stars". Jiumei becomes an overnight sensation. Will Mo Liguang choose to love Yuhong or Jiumei eventually? In the chaotic period leading to a world war, what is the fate of everyone?This drama was scheduled to broadcast in 2010 but however was postponed to 2011. It is also one of two anniversary dramas in 2011, the other is Devotion.
There are three-year-blockbusters in 2011, the other two being Devotion and The Oath.
This drama started lensing in August 2011.
It was scheduled to have 40 episodes but was reduced to 30.
This series garnered eight nominations in the performance category for Star Awards 2012, five in Show 1 and three in Show 2. Results would be announced on 22 and 29 April 2012 during which the award ceremony will be televised 'LIVE' on MediaCorp TV Channel 8.The other dramas nominated for Best Drama Series and are Secrets for Sale , Kampong Ties , C.L.I.F. & On the Fringe and Best Theme Songs are Secrets for Sale , Kampong Ties ,The Oath & Devotion.
A Song to Remember was one of three dramas parodied in a skit during the awards ceremony with ceremony co-host Lee Teng as "director". Guo Liang played villain Xu Kun, Quan Yi Fong played Yu Hong and Dennis Chew played Mo Liguang. The criticism of the series being to melodramatic was referenced throughout as Guo repeatedly complains about how Quan's character Yu Hong speaks her lines "too slowly" and Lee comments that Mo is "too expressionless".
Many songs were sung on A Song to Remember. Mavis Hee "sang" for Yu Hong, Liu Liyang "sang" for Song Qiao'er and Xu Yijing "sang" for Jiumei.The Singapore theatre's name is "Paramoun" compared to "Paramount".
This drama was supposed to be an anniversary drama. It was however also added as an end-year blockbuster as the episodes were broadcast.
This drama would be the first drama to have an all-new credits layout.
Married couple Alan Tern and Priscelia Chan play husband and wife for the second time.