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October 2, 2008

Setting the Scene

The blackberry is flashing for attention, the toast is burnt, your just blow-dried hair has already transformed into a perfect frizz, taxis are harder to come by than a near extinct species of leopard, and half of your morning coffee has somehow landed front and center on your new top. As if that isn’t hair-raising enough, watching CNBC has become more shocking and thrilling than a Hollywood blockbuster. If the day’s drama has all become too much and it’s only 9:30am, tear your mind away and immerse yourself in another type of theatrical experience. The upcoming performances in Hong Kong could rival that of any manic morning.

Act 1: A Streetcar Named Desire

Heralded as one of the most remarkable plays of our time, this 1947 Pulitzer Prize-winning play by American playwright Tennessee Williams will be brought to the stage this fall by Hong Kong-based theatre company, bigbox theatre. Boasting a stellar cast and original live music with a set portraying post-World War II New Orleans, A Streetcar Named Desire, the gripping tale of Southern belle Blanche DuBois and her desperate attempts to reclaim a life gone wrong, promises to leave you breathless. (October 7 – 11, Hong Kong Arts Centre, McAulay Studio Theatre, 2 Harbour Road, Wanchai,

Act 2: 39 STEPS
Coming to us straight from the West End and Broadway, 2-time Tony award winner, 39 STEPS, is set to dazzle and mystify Hong Kong. Alfred Hitchcock’s famous 1935 film has been inventively, and hilariously, recreated for the stage resulting in a fast-paced whodunit punctuated by zany characters, rollicking performances and non-stop action. (October 15 – 26, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, The Lyric Theatre, 1 Gloucester Road, Wanchai,

Act 3: Cinderella
Renowned Broadway starlet and Tony award winning actress Lea Salonga, who created the starring role in Miss Saigon and the singing voices for Disney film princesses Jasmine and Mulan, will play the most glamorous princess of all in a lavish production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. The elaborate sets and costumes are a perfect accompaniment to the stellar performances and melodic songs that bring this classic story to life. It promises to be an enchanting evening that rekindles your belief in magic and the perfect fairy tale ending. (November 5 – 16, Hong Kong Cultural Center, Grand Theatre

Act 4: Old Times
Twice as Good Productions and Sometimes Y Theatre join forces this fall to bring Nobel prize winning playwright Harold Pinter’s masterpiece, Old Times, to life on the Hong Kong stage. In this storyline, memory becomes a weapon as recollections of the past are blurred and altered and the characters find themselves entangled in a desperate, sexual, and psychological game that makes for a hauntingly poetic and comic performance. (October 15 – 19, Hong Kong Arts Centre, McAulay Studio Theatre, 2 Harbour Road, Wanchai,

Act 5: Dirty Blonde
HK based Perilous Mouths Entertainment brings us a shocking and sassy version of Tony nominated play, Dirty Blonde. In a tribute to the controversial yet delightful 1920′s actress, Mae West, the actors act and sing with such vigor that the audience is effortlessly transported back and forth in time between the lives of two adoring 21st century fans and that of the sex icon herself in her heyday.
(September 30 – October 4, Fringe Studio, Fringe Club, 2 Lower Albert Road, Central,

Act 6: Waiting for Godot
Presented by ABA Productions of Dublin, Samuel Beckett’s highly acclaimed masterpiece, Waiting for Godot, will grace the Hong Kong stage for seven performances only. Described by the play’s artistic director, Peter Reid, as ”undoubtedly the greatest show of the 20th Century,” this is sure to be a performance that will captivate your thoughts and resonate long after the curtain closes. (October 29 – November 2, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Drama Theatre, 1 Gloucester Road, Wanchai,

You never know, your current drama could be the subject for the next great theatrical masterpiece.

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