Fri, Sep 30, 2005 - Page 15 News List

A tale of two lovers is reworked to give story a modern twist

By Derek Lee  /  STAFF REPORTER

A classic tale retold.

PHOTO COURTESY OF DAFENG MUSICAL THEATER

The centuries-old Chinese love story of The Butterfly Lovers has been part of folklore for as long as anyone can remember, and has more recently been featured in Chinese traditional operas, on the stage and in movies.

From tomorrow in Taichung, the Dafeng Musical Theater will present this romantic story in a Broadway musical style. The music is composed by the highly-talented Chung Yiu-kwong (鍾耀光) and the script has been written by Melancholy Yang (楊忠衡), a well-known critic.

One major and daring change from the original story is the role of Ma Wen-cai (馬文才), one of the three main characters -- who is usually depicted as a rich, foolish and pock-marked man attempting to spoil a perfect marriage between the two lovers, Liang Shan-bo (梁山伯) and Zhu Ying-tai (祝英台).

The new role that Ma takes in this production is that of a rich, handsome guy who gets almost the same amount of affection from Zhu as Liang does. So, the old story of Zhu breaking away from an arranged marriage turns into a modern triangular love story with leading lady Zhu having to make a final choice of her life-long companion.

Liang is played by Berson Wang (王柏森), an award-winning actor who has played major roles in various musicals, stage shows and movies. Sean Hong (洪瑞襄), who plays Zhu, is another familiar face who has shown her talent in plays produced by Godot Theater and Dafeng Musical Theater. The challenging role of Ma, played by Henry Huang (黃士偉), will likely make or break the show.

The Butterfly Lovers is from Oct. 1 to Oct. 2 at Zhongshan Hall, Taichung City; from Oct. 7 to Oct. 8, at Municipal Culture Center, Tainan City; Nov. 4 to Nov. 6, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Taipei; Nov. 26, Hall of Art, Jungli.

Website: www.liang-zhu.com

Telephone: (02) 2925 3960

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