Chinese Staging of I Love You, You're Perfect Begins NYC Run in Rep With U.S. Hit

News   Chinese Staging of I Love You, You're Perfect Begins NYC Run in Rep With U.S. Hit
 
How do you say "international hit" in the Mandarin language? New York audiences will find out starting May 9 when the Chinese production of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change begins at Off-Broadway's Westside Theatre.
Wen Yang and Lin Yilun in the Mandarin production of I Love You, You're Perfect.
Wen Yang and Lin Yilun in the Mandarin production of I Love You, You're Perfect. Photo by Broadway Asia

Billed as the first time in American theatre history that a foreign production of an American musical will play in the United States, the 23-performance run is a co-production of Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre and Broadway Asia Entertainment and will play six shows weekly in rep with the long-running American production on West 43rd Street.

Even the Playbill reflects the international engagement: Production information — the title, players and musical numbers — for both stagings is listed in English and Mandarin in the new Playbill for Westside Theatre/Upstairs.

The Chinese company will perform the show entirely in Mandarin, with English supertitles projected above the stage. Given New York City's large Chinese population, it's safe to say a new demographic will be heading to the Off-Broadway hit by composer Jimmy Roberts and playwright-lyricist Joe DiPietro.

The rep situation continues to June 3.

Simone Genatt, chairman of Broadway Asia Entertainment told Playbill.com, "The Mandarin production of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, direct from Shanghai to New York, is a pioneering production on both sides of the Pacific: the first Chinese language commercial co-production in the emerging cultural industry of China and the first Chinese musical to be welcomed Off-Broadway. While America has a growing obsession for China, China has a growing obsession for the American musical. I Love You in Mandarin is the first of many shows that Broadway Asia Entertainment has scheduled to produce in Chinese." *

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change recently concluded a run at the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre directed by Joel Bishoff, who helmed the original New York production, as well as productions in 17 cities worldwide.

This groundbreaking Chinese/American co-production was the first Western musical to be performed there in Mandarin Chinese.

"Not just a recreation of the New York show, Joel Bishoff worked with translator Nick Rongjun Yu to incorporate local Chinese attitudes and references, allowing the material to resonate with Shanghai audiences," according to production notes. This production premiered in Shanghai in December 2006 and was selected as the special opening ceremony attraction at the prestigious 2007 Beijing Theater Festival on April 17. After that, the entire company (cast and musicians) made the move to New York City.

Immediately after their New York engagement, the company will return to Beijing to launch an extended multi-city tour throughout China.

Featured in the cast of four is Lin Yilun — one of China's most popular singing stars and the winner of the 2006 Best Male Singer of China Award at the CCTV & MTV Music Awards — along with Yu Yi, Wen Yang and Ma Qingli.

Westside Theatre is located at 407 West 43rd Street.

The playing schedule for the Chinese production will be Tuesday at 7 PM, Wednesday and Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 8:30 PM, and Sunday at 1 PM and 8 PM. There is no performance May 8.

The playing schedule for the English-language production will be Monday at 7 PM, Wednesday at 2:30 PM, Thursday at 8 PM, Saturday at 2 PM and 5 PM, and Sunday at 4:30 PM. There are no English performances on Wednesday, May 9 or Thursday, May 10. There is an added English performance on Tuesday, May 8 at 7 PM.

For tickets call Telecharge.com at (212) 239-6200 or visit www.ILoveYouMandarin.com (Chinese production) or www.LovePerfectChange.com (American production).

*

Now in its 11th smash year in New York, I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change is the longest-running musical revue on or Off-Broadway. It's produced Off-Broadway by James Hammerstein Productions, Bernie Kukoff and Jonathan Pollard.

It's billed as "a celebration of the modern-day suburban mating game that explores the joys of dating, romance, marriage, lovers, husbands, wives and in-laws."

The current New York cast features Courtney Balan, Anne Bobby, Will Erat and Jim Stanek, with Joe Ricci and Karyn Quackenbush as standbys.

Ma Qingli, Wen Yang, Lin Yilun and Yu Yi in a scene from the Mandarin production of <i>I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change</i>.
Ma Qingli, Wen Yang, Lin Yilun and Yu Yi in a scene from the Mandarin production of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change. Photo by Broadway Asia
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