Saturday, July 11 2020

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City cải lương theatres returns after COVID-19

Update: May, 30/2020 - 10:00
A scene in the cải lương play Ngũ Hổ Tướng Bình Tây (Five “Tiger” Generals Defeat Invaders), which will be staged at the Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Theatre on Saturday tonight. — File Photo by Thanh Hiệp

HCM CITY — HCM City’s leading cải lương (reformed opera) theatres are planning to introduce quality shows after closing for a long period due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chí Linh Troupe will stage the historical play Ngũ Hổ Tướng Bình Tây (Five “Tiger” Generals Defeat Invaders) at the Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Theatre on Saturday night.

Written by Bảo Kiến and directed by Chí Linh, the play is about five “Tiger” generals who defeat invaders and protect their country. The story is told through the love story of general Địch Thanh and Princess Thoại Ba.

The performance features cải lương stars Tú Sương, Võ Minh Lâm, Trọng Nghĩa and Thúy Mi.

Director Linh said: “Scriptwriter Kiền uses tài tử music and folk music from the South to appeal to audiences in HCM City.”

“We also have used sophisticated dance moves and comic details" to be emotionally evocative, he added.

The Sen Việt Troupe plans to restage the experimental cải lương play Nhật Thực (Eclipse) by scriptwriter Lê Duy Hạnh and director Lê Nguyên Đạt.

Through an eclipse, the play conveys the story that good things are sometimes obscured by darkness. At that time, people look back and examine themselves like an artist who finds a new direction to preserve and develop a traditional art form.

The work is a blend of cải lương and other performance arts like dance, pantomime and hip hop. It stars Lê Trung Thảo, Tú Sương and Thy Trang.

“We will introduce a new experimental cải lương to audiences. We hope it will be warmly welcomed,” Đạt said.

The play premiered at the 4th International Experimental Theatre Festival, launched by the Việt Nam Theatre Artists Association last October. Thảo won a gold medal for his performance at the festival.

The play will be staged at the Trần Hữu Trang Theatre on June 6.

Meanwhile, the theatre is working on restaging the play Tướng Cướp Bạch Hải Đường (Bandit Bạch Hải Đường). The play was written by Nguyễn Huỳnh and first performed in 1959 by the Hoài Dương and Hoài Mỹ Theatre Troupe.

The new version of the play is directed by People’s Artist Trần Ngọc Giàu, featuring veteran performers such as People’s Artist Thanh Ngân, and Meritorious Artist Trọng Phúc.

The play is expected to be presented on June 13. The Trần Hữu Trang Theatre is at 136 Trần Hưng Đạo Street in District 1. — VNS

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