Musical about death promises tears and laughter

Two young Chinese men will sing about their choices in the last few days of life, as the Chinese version of the musical "My Bucket List" hits the stage.
Ti Gong

Two young Chinese men will sing about their choices in the last few days of life, as the Chinese version of the musical “My Bucket List” hits the stage at Shanghai Grand Theater until April 1.

Rather than spending time in treatment, 19-year-old Liu Bao chooses to complete his bucket list before death, such as having a concert of his own, marrying his idol and designing his own funeral. He hires a rebellious teenager, Yang Xiaoyu, who has attempted suicide before to help him.

“It is not only a story about death but also about youth — everybody was once young and had dreams they wished to realize,” says Ma Da, one of the directors. “The 19-year-old man is determined to live his life regardless of the limited time. His passion offers hope to the pessimistic helper — it's a salvation for both sides.”

It was the idea of young men’s attitude toward death that hooked Ma at the beginning.

“The young may have a more relaxed attitude when discussing this serious topic,” he says.

While keeping the general structure of the original South Korean version, many Chinese jokes were carefully mixed into the Chinese version to help lighten the atmosphere from time to time. Still, many audience members wept during the first-round tour of “My Bucket List” last year.

Ma remembers a “cool girl” with tattoos on both arms crying heavily in the audience with whom he had a little chat after the show. Ma learned that the girl was also suffering from serious cancer.

“It presents another option: At the end of life, can we shine again?” Ma asks.

Performance details

Date: Through April 1, 2pm, 7:30pm
Tickets: 229 yuan
Tel: 400-106-8686
Venue: Shanghai Grand Theater
Address: 300 People’s Ave

Ti Gong
Ti Gong
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