Should he inherit a traditional folk art from his father or pursue his own musical dream? Xiao Liu faces a painful choice in a new original musical "Smash the Wall," which is premiering in Shanghai this week.
"Smash the Wall" was born from Shanghai Culture Square's original musical cultivation project in 2020, and has been rated as one of the most expected original creations.
After three years of producing and polishing, the musical is staging its first round of performances at PG Theater in Huangpu District from May 26 to June 4.
In the story, traditional quyi (storytelling) performer Zhang Zhongli is planning his last show, hoping that his son Xiao Liu would take up and continue the traditional art.
Xiao Liu is more attracted to contemporary music like rock, pop and blues, however, and is making his own plans for his life.
The title "Smash the Wall" is often used as a metaphor in Chinese to describe those who are determined to challenge an overwhelming power that is as strong as a wall.
"The clash between two generations and the crossed swords between traditional quyi and blues music made this musical attractive to me from the beginning," said Tao Xin, a professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music who took part in the musical cultivation project.
"But after watching the whole performance, I found more value in it," Tao said. "Everyone has his own 'wall' in life to smash. So, this work is related to every audience.
"We don't always get a happy ending, but understanding and persistence," he added.
Director Zhou Xiaoqian said she liked the script after her first reading.
"Apart from the father-son relationship, the work also involves the development and inheritance of China's traditional quyi," Zhou said.
"The quyi tunes are well merged into the music, which is also a challenge for us," said musical actor Xu Junshuo, one of three who play the lead role of Xiao Liu.
"It's a sincere and emotional creation. We all have different tasks in life, but the most important task is to live for yourself," Xu said.
Dates: May 26 to June 4, 2pm/7:30pm
Tickets: 180-680 yuan
Venue: PG Theater 人民大舞台
Address: 663 Jiujiang Rd 九江路663号