At the invitation of the Central Opera and Ballet Dance Theater, Chang & Eng, a full-length English musical produced by the Action Theater from Singapore, will have its Beijing premiere December 9 - 11.
The musical, conceptualized, produced and directed by Thai-born Ekachai Uekrongtham, is based on the true life story of Siamese Twins in the early 1800's who yearned for separate lives but finally learned to co-exist.
Joined at the chest by a mysterious band of flesh at birth, the Siamese twins Chang and Eng were destined to spend every moment of their lives together. Condemned by neighbors as a bad omen, they were saved by the love of their mother and were invited to appear before the King of Siam.
Subsequently brought to the United States and exhibited as special attractions, they fell in love with two American sisters and went on to father 21 children.
Siamese twins seem to have become a hot topic for musicals, with Broadway's successful Side Show reflecting a similar theme. The "Musical" is still at its initial stage in China, even the word itself remains a brand new vocabulary for the majority of Chinese audiences. The Chinese version of West Side Story, performed by students of The Central Academy of Drama, marked the beginning of musical performance in China. It enjoyed instant popularity. This time, spectators in Beijing will have a wonderful chance to expand their knowledge of musicals by watching the visiting play.
Chang & Engwill be performed in English with Chinese subtitles at Century Theatre, 7:00pm December 9-11. For tickets call 86-010-65123388 ext 317, or 62330481.
--By Wang Ling