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Adagio Teas
   Features  >  LATEST NEW YORK NEWS

at National Grand Theater near Tiananmen Square.

By David Lefkowitz
Published September 19 2007

  Cameron Mackintosh

Over the last several years, China has surged into the world financial market and into the fields of science and technology. Artistically, however, its influence has been limited to a few cross-over art films and the occasional traveling opera or quartet.

Hoping to change all that is producing wunderkind Cameron Mackintosh, who's inked a deal with the Chinese Ministry of Culture to bring Western musicals - in Chinese - to the Republic and help develop homegrown musicals on a par with productions on Broadway.

This joint venture between Sir Mackintosh (Phantom of the Opera, Cats) and the China Arts and Entertainment Group (CAEG)will create The China Musical Theater Company and begin with Les Miserables, which will open in Beijing and then tour to Shanghai and other cities. Original directors Trevor Nunn and John Caird will stage the Chinese-language version as well.

Of the collaboration, CAEG President Zhang Yu said in a statement, "This initiative will bring fundamental changes to our musical theater industry by attracting new audiences with affordable and easy to appreciate musical offerings and training a young generation of local musicians and production professionals."

Mackintosh, who will help also bring Phantom, Miss Saigon, Mary Poppins, The Lion King and Mamma Mia! to the mainland, added that he's proud to be able to introduce the very best Western musicals to a country with its own rich musical traditions.

Les Miz is scheduled to open Nov. 2008 at the newly-built National Grand Theater near Tiananmen Square.


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