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July 12, 2011

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Three musicals in store for kids

HELLO Kitty goes on a "Journey to the West" and Disney and "Sesame Street" have a romp in three upcoming musicals. Zhang Qian and Wang Xueyuan buy their tickets.

Popular cartoon stars will perform in three musicals to celebrate the summer vacation together with children in Shanghai from late this month to mid-August.

The animation characters include Hello Kitty, Disney stars like Mickey Mouse and "Sesame Street" heroes.

Hello Kitty from Japan will perform in "Journey to the West" at the Shanghai Yunfeng Theater from August 10 to 14. It's a new take on a the famous story of the Monkey King's adventures.

By opening an ancient Chinese chest, Kitty's friends U-Sa-Ha-Na and My Melody are kidnapped by the monsters of "Journey to the West" who pop out. To save their friends, Kitty and others immediately jump into the world of "Journey to the West." The adventure begins.

"Journey to the West" has been one of the director Norio Ushirone's favorite Chinese stories since he was young.

"By adding adventure elements, I hope to attract more boys in the audience, apart from the girls who are the major fans of Hello Kitty," says Ushirone.

"It is a time travel story, which is a very popular concept in recent years," says Zhu Yin, vice president of Shanghai City Entertainment Group Co.

All actors are from the original Japanese troupe. The music, choreography and costumes are faithful to the original. The only difference is that they speak Chinese, not Japanese.

Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and more than 20 other Disney stars will stage an interactive carnival at Shanghai Daning Theater from August 3-7. There will be flying carpets, singing fishes and cowboy dances. Balloons will be dropped from the ceiling.

"We hope it will be interactive and the audience will fully take part," says producer Alana Feld. "The audience can laugh, dance and sing together with the Disney stars in every wonderful moment."

Familiar songs from Disney's "Aladdin," "The Little Mermaid" and "Toys" will be jazzed up with rock, pop, reggae, hip-hop, jazz and country music.

"A single song can touch thousands of people and that has been an important part of Disney story throughout the years," says Kenneth Feld, CEO of Feld Entertainment Co.

Both English and Chinese performances are availed.

Big bird, Elmo and Ernie from "Sesame Street" will visit the Shanghai Oriental Art Center from July 28 to August 3 for a show and discussion about "growth and dreams," in English and Chinese.

Since 1969, "Sesame Street" has been one of the world's most popular TV programs, broadcast to more than 120 countries, including China. The musical preserves most of the major characters and elements in the TV series, while adding modern ones.

Expect a bit of mocking of modern culture.

Sesame Street Live: Elmo's Green Thumb

Date: July 28-August 3, 7:15pm

Venue: Shanghai Oriental Art Center

Tickets: 40-580yuan

Tel: 6217-2426; 6217-3055

Disney Live! Mickey's Music Festival

Date: August 3-7, 7:30pm; August 5-7, 2:30pm; August 6-7, 10:30am

Venue: Shanghai Daning Theater

Tickets: 180-580yuan

Tel: 3636-8807; 400-818-3333

Hello Kitty - Journey to the West

Date: August 10-14, 2pm; 7pm

Venue: Yunfeng Theater

Address: 1700 Beijing Rd W.

Tickets: 80-480yuan

Tel: 962-388


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