INTO THE WOODS is China's Newest Hit!

INTO THE WOODS is China's Newest Hit!

By Jason Cocovinis on November 26, 2014
The Ovation Cultural Development Corporation, led by Artistic Director Zhou Zhiqiang, has just recently (Saturday, November 8) opened what is being heralded as the most successful musical locally produced in China since that country began presenting culturally-exchanged Broadway musicals in 1999 – Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s INTO THE WOODS - which is accumulating triumphant feedback from both the Chinese audiences and the American Entertainment Industry.

Working closely with New York Producing Advisor, Don Frantz from Town Square Productions, this smash presentation of INTO THE WOODS has evolved as a benchmark in the producing of musical theatre in that country because it has been produced, adapted, directed, designed and marketed solely by a Chinese company and performed in Mandarin Chinese.

This is a presentation from the heart of the Chinese theatrical community for the audiences that are part of their process.

The excitement is palpable at Beijing’s PLA THEATER where the musical will play through Sunday, February 1, 2015 before embarking on a 14-city National Tour to Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Tainjin, Chongqing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Dongguan, Changsha, Wuhan, Xian, Jinan, and Zhengzhou.

The Broadway musical theatre art form began to actively take hold in China in 2007 when 42nd STREET toured nine cities and played to over 100,000 people.

It was at that time that local artists began to create their own original musicals that led to the producing of the more iconic Broadway musicals in Mandarin Chinese with a core group of performers who has become the ‘triple threats’ required to score a BIG BROADWAY HIT on their own turf.

James Lapine visited China recently to see the show and discuss the adaption of Broadway musicals into foreign cultures. In addition to speaking with the Ovation creative team, cast and crew, Mr. Lapine was the keynote speaker at a seminar for the China Musical Theater Association.

The Internationally respected Ovation Cultural Development Corporation has emerged as the leader in this glorious multi-cultural creative amalgamation of theatrical innovators and aesthetic magicians.

Most recently lauded in The New York Times for the company’s involvement in the $320,000,000 new Musical Production Center now being constructed in the city of Langfang, Hebei Province, located 30 miles south of Beijing, the Ovation Cultural Development Corporation is determined to bring cultural classics to all of the People’s Republic of China and then on to the rest of the world.

And they are on track. The Ovation International Cultural Center will be ready for its first multi-million dollar musical by 2017.

And right on time.

Ovation’s General Manager Li XiaoFei reports that Box Office revenues in 2013 totaled $37, 200,000, up 20% from the year before. The 1300 performances were up 50% and the 1,000,000 tickets are up 40% from 2013. That growth has led to millions of dollars in revenue for Broadway artist fees, consultant fees, royalties and tours that will steadily rise in the coming years. Chinese entrepreneurs are also investing directly into New York Broadway productions.

With the December Premieres of the Film version and Broadway Revival of INTO THE WOODS (the original opened on Broadway at the Martin Beck Theatre on November 5, 1987), Mr. Sondheim and Mr. Lapine are experiencing a bit of a Renaissance.

However, it is the Ovation Cultural Development Corporation that is giving the global entertainment industry the best of all worlds.

INTO THE WOODS will perform at the PLA Theater in Beijing from November 8, 2014 to February 1, 2015.

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