A night out at the Beijing egg watching 3 northpole magnets forced to be on the same stage

The Beijing egg was so round, so full, so fertile looking – It made me want to nest.

Officially known as the National Center of Performing Arts, the Beijing Egg is where musicals, opera’s and performance art shows are staged. I was curious see what the acoustics were like, and sneak a peek at the internal architecture, so being a person who LOVES theatre, it seemed that attending a musical was the perfect way to kill two birds with one egg. (haha)

I chose the only musical playing during my remaining time in Beijing. The name and information on the posters were in Chinese, but the characters looked interesting enough, and my friend Will informed me that the name of the musical was an epic ‘Somewhere Far Away’

I’ll start by saying that I am a critic by nature, of everything, and the last musical I attended was Wicked (see the review, it was excellent) and while I could take into account the cultural differences in musical tastes, what I can’t stand is a musical that has a SHIT plot.

Firstly, even though everything was sung in Chinese, surprisingly there were these 56″ screens at the lower left and right of the stage which introduced each scene, song, character, had subtitles, and even an epilogue in both chinese and English, leaving no room for musical interpretation. Oh yeah, I knew exactly what was going on..

The plot – The characters wanted to go far west, far far west, far far far west, as they kept on singing. Then there was this love triangle between the leading man, the leading lady, and this other guy that seemed to pop up and hang around whenever the leading lady was alone.

There was a lot of awkward him reaching out and walking a couple of steps towards her, then pausing and turning away. Her, emotionally distraught, kind of stumbling around towards the leading man, then stops herself before touching him. Other guy, clumsily leans in and takes a step towards the girl but isn’t confident that she’ll return his affections, so he too halts before making the connection. All repelling each other like three north pole magnets forced to be on the same stage, singing simple phrases like ‘let me hold your soft hand’ to the back of the head of their object of desire, while the subtitle screen explains in detail all their cravings and fears. What cracked me up at the end of a particularly majestic tune, was this single, clear and confident, clap that came from behind me. Just one. ‘oops, I didn’t mean to.. it just slipped out..’

There comes a point, a painful and intolerable point, when you have to make a choice.
Do I risk being rude and leave? Like the time Dale and I went to see Pearl Harbour at the movies and were so disgusted that it had been turned it into a love story that we walked out (only after the main scene of the bomb dropping on Pearl Harbour of course)
Or do I be polite and bare it? Like the time Mark brought my father and I to the amateur version of the classic, award-winning musical Chess (He didn’t realise it was amateur night and thought he scored some really really cheap tickets).
Or the time Mark invited me to a paid survey and told me it was going to be about Television (I’m a massive TV critic) and what it actually ended up being was the two of us sitting in a dark conference room with a projector playing an awful Packed to the Rafters episode, while having 12 wires hooked up to our skulls, a tight wet swim cap holding the wires down, and made to wear flashing glasses so these scientist could read our brain activity – I’ll never forget sitting there, looking very Clockwork Orange, when Mark turned to me, wires connecting his head to the expensive equipment behind us, his eyes hidden behind the special flashing glasses as he held my hand and said in his best geek voice ‘we’ve made it, baby, we’ve made it.’

Afterwards, Mark and I happily tucked into some dirty bird (KFC) as a reward for being good little guinea pigs. It was a very ‘Where are they now’ moment.

The musical was somewhere between the Chess and Packed to the Rafters survey experience – I wanted to DIE. And couldn’t stop fidgeting and scratching, getting imaginary itchy spots everywhere due to not being riveted. I eventually decided that it would be better for the lady next to me if I just left. So before the show even got to the halfway intermission, I quietly snuck out and went home via curly fries from Mcdonald’s as a reward.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mark
    Aug 30, 2010 @ 13:07:10

    ……i still get nightmares and i cant watch ANY Australian drama ever again.


  2. Tiara in Transit
    Aug 30, 2010 @ 14:35:04

    I don’t think we’ve been none too bright since… ; )


  3. Jax
    Sep 19, 2010 @ 05:53:41

    I have not stopped laughing at this for 10 days. It was so funny, I had to read it out loud to Rory when a PTTR ad came on on TV.


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