Wednesday, May 09, 2007

"Love In Tears And Laughter"

"Love In Tears And Laughter"
An ill-fated love story set in Beijing, China
Based on the 1920s popular novel by Zhang HunShui
Adapted and directed by Joanna Chan

In Mandarin-Chinese with English subtitles


May 31 to June 17, 2007
Thurs. through Sat. at 8:00 pm; Sun. at 3:00 pm

A Yangtze Repertory Theatre of America Production
Presented by Theater For The New City

Johnson Theater at Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue, NYC 10003

$15/TDF; reservations: 718-263-8829 (English and Chinese) or

Tickets available at

Love and Tears and Laughter, a popular novel by Zhang HunShui, was written at a time when the young republic of China was undergoing unparalleled social changes, barely finding its ways from under the yoke of thousands of years of imperial rule. Western cultures had made evident inroads among the elites, and the involved circles of intellectual affinity and influence spread and flourished amidst the chaos of warlord politics, parliamentary corruption, anti-communist purges and Guomingdang

The novel that appeared in the yet unfamiliar serial form in a widely circulated daily newspaper, with its keen observation unusual for its day, of the unbridgeable social divides, became enormously popular among the common readership. Intentionally unsophisticated in its attempt for mass appeal, the simple narrative of three young women from different social standings, whose paths cross briefly, each hurling towards her own destiny, reveals much a land without the rule of law, of unrelieved poverty, and of lives shaped by circumstances void of personal options. An innocent attempt on the part of the lead character, a young university student from the south, expectedly led to tragic consequences. While the Chinese world at large was not known for its social consciousness, the unexpected popularity of the novel seems to indicate the dawning awareness of the populace, and the regard of it as an indictment of its time and society. The novel also made popular the vernacular, finalizing the transformation of the Chinese written language from the classical styles in the previous millenniums to a form still used today. In the following decades, Love In Tears And Laughter were made into stage plays, movies and television series.

Heading the cast of 16 in the roles of two ill-fated loves are William YueKun Wu, a trained and experienced Beijing opera artist, who migrated to this country three years ago from his native Shen Yang northeast China, and Ma Qian, a musical theater singer and dancer from Beijing. They will be joined by Richard Li Chang Lin and Cui Dan, two popular broadcasters fro SinoVision, together with Wayne, Kenny Chong, Elizabeth Hammett, Jin Xin, Joanne Liu, May Wang, ZhiQiang Wang, David Yang, Zhang Kang, Zhang Li, Zhou Lei and Steve Zhu. The set is by Peter Spark, lighting is by Joe Hodge and costumes by David Shen.

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