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July 20, 2019

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Three award-winning musicals are on song

THREE musicals will make their Shanghai debuts from November at SAIC Shanghai Culture Square. They are the Tony Awards winner “Titanic,” the West End production “Matilda” and the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls.”

With music and lyrics by Maury Yeston and based on a book by Peter Stone, the musical “Titanic” swept the 1997 Tony Awards, winning all five it was nominated for, including the Best Musical and Best Score.

Premiered on Broadway in 1997, the musical ran for 804 performances over two years.

The version being staged in Shanghai from November 27 to December 1 will be an international touring production.

The story is set on the ocean liner RMS Titanic, which sank on its maiden voyage on April 15, 1912. The musical was released the same year as James Cameron’s movie “Titanic,” which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

Unlike the movie, which is more of a love story, the two-and-a-half-hour musical showcases history and human spirt. Some 126 characters will be performed by a 25-member cast. Stage effects will even take the audience to the bottom of the ocean.

The musical “Matilda” is based on the 1988 children’s novel of the same name by Roald Dahl. Adapted by Dennis Kelly with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, the show will be staged at Shanghai Culture Square from December 6 to 29.

The West End production is suited to younger theater fans, with the story centering on 5-year-old Matilda, who loves reading and overcomes obstacles caused by her family and school.

“Matilda” won seven 2012 Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical, as well as five awards at the 2013 Tony Awards.

“Dreamgirls” is a Broadway musical telling the story of a young female singing trio “The Dreams” from Chicago, Illinois.

With music by Henry Krieger and lyrics and book by Tom Eyen, “Dreamgirls” takes the audience back to the American popular music culture of the 1960s.

The girls grow and learn when pursuing their careers, and eventually become superstars.

Staged with a mostly African-American cast, the musical opened on Broadway in 1981. It won six Tony Awards, including the Best Musical.

It was later adapted into a movie in 2006, starring Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson.

“Dreamgirls” will be staged from January 2 to 14, 2020.

As a special treat by Shanghai Culture Square, people buying VIP or A-level tickets for any two of the three musicals can enjoy a 15 percent discount, and will be able to get one VIP or A-level ticket for the third musical by paying another 100 yuan (US$14.50).

The venue has a tradition of introducing year-end annual hits for its audience. It announced recently that it has reached a new three-year sponsorship deal with SAIC Motor. Under the support of SAIC, the venue will introduce more welfare tickets and organize artistic activities for citizens to popularize art and culture.


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