Tonight it was the VIMARU Gala that is always the most popular in Gala season - put on by students from Navigation and a couple of other faculties. Khang had asked me to keep the night free weeks ago because he and his 'brothers' were heavily involved. They have been so busy with rehearsals I haven't seen them for a couple of weeks. So after I finished teaching, I walked to VIMARU to meet up with Katie and our walking crew, who had taken her to Bún Chả for dinner. The Concert Hall was more crowded than I've ever seen it ... standing room only! Khang had saved Katie and me some seats and arranged for a lady to sit with us and explain what was going on, which was very kind of him - considering he was part of the performance and had plenty of last minute things to do.
The performance was extremely well rehearsed - the four lead comedians were slick and had the audience laughing throughout. The production was entirely original. The story line followed the mis-adventures of four uni students living in an on-campus dormitory. Since all freshmen at VIMARU have to live in the dorms, everyone could totally relate. Once again, I was frustrated that I couldn't understand - but there were so many one-liners and inuendos I would have had to be totally fluent to get all the jokes. So I sat back and enjoyed watching, appreciating how very talented they were.
Đạt (in green) was one of the lead actors, as well as being in every dance item... So much to learn! So many costume changes! He must have been feeling exhausted by the end... sustained by nervous energy and adrenalin, I think! Đạt is the one who had blessed me by giving me his special faculty badge, which he had received for being an Honour Roll student. I wear it with pride on my bag strap.
Khang and Đạt shaping up in one of the dance items.
The dialogue was fast and furious and delivered without any hesitation (except when the audience was in stitches haha!) and even though I couldn't understand the words, I knew exactly what was going on and they were very funny.
Many people put in an enormous effort to pull it off, and once again, this Gala stood up to its reputation. I expect it will be a sell-out again next year.
After it finished, Khang asked us to wait for him, so we stood around for a bit. Our other friends decided to call it a night when Katie and I were invited to the after-party.... we would be up early walking with them tomorrow morning...only a few hours away!
So we joined in the celebrations and Bia Hoi at 283 Lạch Tray for a while, congratulating everyone on a hugely successful night, then said our farewells and walked home, enjoying the balmy evening.
PS This next photo I lifted off facebook after getting back to Australia... I have included it because it is such a beaut photo of Khang and his crew. It has been such a pleasure spending time getting to know them - they are a great, close-knit bunch, and I feel very blessed to call them my friends.