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Trio of famous musicals set for their debut in Shanghai

By Zhang Kun in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2018-08-18 13:28
A stage photo of A Chorus Line, one of the three musicals that will premiere at the SAIC Shanghai Culture Square in the winter. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Three musicals will have their China premiere at the SAIC Shanghai Culture Square this coming December and in January of 2019.

The three productions, Carmen La Cubana, Gone with the Wind, and A Chorus Line, each of which features a distinctive style, will stage a combined total of 54 shows in Shanghai. Gone with the Wind will go on to be shown in Xi'an of Shaanxi province.

"For the first time, we are having not one but three productions premiering in China," said Fei Yuanhong, artistic director of SCS. "We schedule the most heavyweight performances at the end of every year, and this has created high audience expectations for our winter season."

Since its opening in 2011, SCS has been the primary theater for musical performances in Shanghai. The winter season, which covers the Christmas, New Year and Spring Festival period, is usually the golden period for the box office as well as the most exciting time for audiences. End-of-year productions held at the theater over the past few years include Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, the French musical Romeo et Juliette, and German plays such as Elisabeth and Mozart!.

"We have tried to find productions that Chinese audiences can enjoy and resonate with," Fei said. "Also, we are a large theater with 2,000 seats, so we always look for productions of the appropriate scale and quality."

He found that Shanghai audiences have been very open-minded. "There is no other city in the world like Shanghai," he said. "Audiences in Shanghai embrace musicals from so many languages and cultures with great enthusiasm: English, German, French and now Spanish."

Carmen La Cubana, on show from Dec 12 to 23, will be the first Spanish musical production at SCS. "We have always aimed at developing a culturally diverse and multilingual market of musicals in Shanghai, and this is the first time we explored the Spanish language shows," Fei said.

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