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World-renowned, the Red Poppy Ladies are China's first, all-female percussion group. You may recall that they also performed at the London Olympics this year. They are now taking their drums to New York City with the ancient tale of Mulan—yes it goes way back before the '90s Disney film. Mulan The Musical brings something of a different beat when you think of a musical: no signing, dancing, or dialogue. Instead, as director William Meade tells The Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy, "It is a narrative show in the sense of that you’re going on the journey of Mulan." The narration is meant as a guide, the focus is on the ladies' high-tempo percussion creating a mix of loud and dynamic music, but also solos and very quiet pieces.
Although this is not the Mulan production, here is a video of the Red Poppy Ladies' fierceness:
The challenge was not getting the ladies to venture to New York for the first time, but turning Mulan into a theatrical piece, and then one with a focus on percussion and music. "It’s kind of like Stomp, in the sense that they take percussion out of the normal realm and create something special," Meade said. "But this is unusual because we’re trying to create a narrative story around a percussion group." A sample from the musical can be found here.
Mulan The Musical is playing through January 13, 2013 at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater (416 West 42nd Street). To purchase tickets please visit TicketCentral.com or call 212-279-4200.