Part of NewFest 2003, the 18-minute “Paradisco” will be shown on a double bill with Brad Fraser’s “Metropolis.” Show time is 8 PM. With a screenplay and lyrics by Ly-Cuong — based on an original idea by Ly-Cuong and Fabien Paul — “Paradisco” is described as “a touching and spirited musical reflection on the innocence and extravagance of the pre-AIDS disco era.” The musical film was produced by Athanor Studio and features original music by Patrick Laviosa and choreography by Patricia Delon and Laurent Doëzy.
Ly-Cuong, a writer and director based in France, previously spoke to Playbill On-Line about his newest project. "The film is about a man in his mid-forties," Ly-Cuong explained, "who remembers a New Year’s Eve party in 1979 he spent with all his friends, more than 20 years ago. Magically, he finds himself in the middle of this party, seeing — without being seen — all the friends he had in his youth, hearing them sing their hopes, their dreams or their resolutions. The party is fun, but the man realizes that he lost lots of his friends over the last 20 years. But somehow, the energy and joy the guests have will be stronger than his own nostalgic feelings. It might sound sad," Ly-Cuong adds, "but it will be a very funny and optimistic film."
Pradon, who made his musical theatre debut as Marius in the 1991 Paris production of Les Misérables plays the lead role. The actor, who has starred in the West End productions of Miss Saigon, Martin Guerre and the recent Jesus Christ Superstar video, also appeared opposite Barbara Scaff in Ly-Cuong's first short musical film, “The Turtle and the Maiden.” Rapp, who portrayed angst-filled filmmaker Mark in both the original New York and London companies of Rent, plays an extravagant American friend in “Paradisco.” Ly-Cuong said that Rapp's character is "funny, loud, outspoken, superficial and touching at the same time."
Ly-Cuong, a former correspondent for Playbill On-Line, studied film in Paris and at Brooklyn College and directed a short video entitled “Tarama No Tarama,” which was presented in several festivals. In 1999, his short film “The Turtle And The Maiden” made its critically acclaimed debut. After “Paradisco” Ly-Cuong hopes to direct a feature musical film.
The Tishman Auditorium of the New School is located in Manhattan at 66 West 12th Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. For more information about NewFest 2003, visit www.newfestival.org. (“Paradisco” is also available on DVD at Footlight Records and will be screened at San Francisco’s Gay & Lesbian Film Festival June 16 and 22.)