Star of Wonder @ Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

07 May, 2014

Gateway Entertainment's strategic expansion of its presence continues with the debut of Easter Magic in Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur. Renamed Star of Wonder, this latest project is a collaborative effort between Calvary Church Kuala Lumpur and Gateway Entertainment. The staging of Gateway Entertainment's signature production was opportune in reaching out to the most populous city in Malaysia.

As with previous productions, building and producing the stagecraft for the Star of Wonder was not easy. Over 40 equipment boxes were shipped from Singapore in a 40-foot and a 20-foot container. In total, the entire Gateway Entertainment production crew had to manage over seven-tons of equipment which were unpacked and set up in a record time of one day – thanks to the solid teamwork and corporation of staff and crew.

"It gets better as we continue to fine tune the work flow and processes to make our productions ready for the road," said Gateway Entertainment's Deputy CEO Jonathan Ow. "In the Arts and Entertainment arena, you just don't have the luxury of time for a long drawn set-up. And being able to set up shop quickly and efficiently at any location, under any circumstance, is importanet as we move forward to bring our productions like this and VISION across the globe to various countries."

What the luxury that the cast and crew did have was a full-fledged performance centre – complete with a spacious stage and a generous comfortable auditorium with excellent acoustics. Calvary Convention Centre itself is a unique and iconic landmark that stands out in the dense Damansara Heights neighbourhood. An ambitious building project that started in January 2003, the Centre is a giant six-storey glass multiplex with a total built up area of about 600,000 sq ft with dozens of seminar and meeting rooms.

More importantly, the auditorium has a generous proscenium stage that provides a clear ample 'window' that frames the production taking place on the stage. This gives everyone in the audience a good view because the performers need only focus on one direction rather than continually moving around the stage to give the audience a good view from all sides.

"When it comes to elaborate stagecraft productions such as Star of Wonder, it's important that we have ample space to set up props," said Felina Khong, producer, when she first saw the auditorium. "It also creates a sense of grandeur with the proscenium arch acting as a picture frame, giving the audience greater depth of the scene and bringing them even closer to production."

With two Star of Wonder shows on opening day, Saturday, father-daughter illusionist duo Lawrence and Priscilla Khong made an unforgettable debut in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia which left the crowds spell bounded by their signature dynamic chemistry, personality and mastery of the craft at both the afternoon and evening performances.

Publicity for the show was well received, and the news covered by local media, The Star, headlined the show as an award winning production that was set to "enthrall Kuala Lumpur." It therefore came as no surprise that the two performances saw the auditorium filled – with many coming an hour early to stand by the main doors with hopes of getting the best seats in the house. Although this signature production has been staged numerous times back in Singapore and recently around the world, its 'magical' lustre and magnetism still shines. Judging from reactions by the audience throughout the show, the production lived up to its title. It was a non-stop visual and illusion extravaganza that kept everyone at the edge of their seats. The illusions even got too 'real' for a member of the audience when he backed out from the 'Head Chopper' illusion at the last minute! A first for this production.

As both award winning illusionists seamlessly executed the repertoire of illusions. It became apparent and fitting that this debut presentation in the city of Kuala Lumpur was renamed Star of Wonder. By the end of both performances on Saturday, 8,742 people came from all over Malaysia to witness this magical extravaganza.

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