Despite the dozen Broadway shows that have already closed this year, one new show is actually opening this evening. Granted, this limited run show is not your typical Great White Way fare, but it is an opening nevertheless.
Produced by Nederlander Worldwide and the Eastern Shanghai Cultural Film and Television Group, which have come together in a unique partnership named China On Broadway, Soul Of Shaolin is the latest short-term resident of the Main Stem's Marquis Theatre.
Featured during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Soul Of Shaolin is described as:
...a breathtaking new Chinese martial arts spectacle that tells the story of a boy named Hui Guang who is separated from his mother by war. Hui Guang is found and taken in by the legendary monks of the Shaolin temple and raised among them. As he becomes a man, Hui Guang becomes an accomplished master of Shaolin Kung Fu and embarks on a spectacular journey of self-discovery.The partnership of China On Broadway will be developing and producing live stage productions globally. The current plan is for China On Broadway to produce one theatrical event each year to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Performances of Soul Of Shaolin run through January 31, 2009.
Soul Of Shaolin features 33 Chinese nationals highly skilled in Shaolin Kung Fu, the astounding martial art featured in such blockbuster films as "Fearless" (starring international superstar Jet Li) and "Shaolin Soccer." This amazing show blends the fantastic display of Shaolin Kung Fu with the rich history and tradition of the Chinese people. Created by world-class artists from Chinese theatre, opera and ballet, Soul Of Shaolin is dazzling entertainment your whole family will remember forever.
Soul Of Shaolin takes place during wartime in Chinese history. Hui Guang, a child who was separated from his mother, was found by a Kung Fu monk from Shaolin Temple and brought back to the temple. As Hui Guang grows up under the care of the monks, he is instructed in the unique ways Shaolin Kung Fu and the daily practicing of Kung Fu skills.
Will critics find this their cup of tea or will they say phooey? Find out tomorrow as I provide my critics' capsule.
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).