Nostalgic musical captures spirit of youth in 1990s Shanghai

Yao Minji
New version of "The Twilight of Springtime" depicts the economic and social pressures on the younger generation in a rapidly changing city and country.
Yao Minji

Huating Road, Suzhou River, The Bund ... Bus 71? Which one of these represents a nostalgic encounter for you in Shanghai?

The iconic spots, each turned into a song in the musical "The Twilight of Springtime," will be brought to audiences around the country as the show starts a national tour in Shenzhen, southern Guangdong Province, on September 23.

The stage play, co-produced by Shanghai Concert Hall and Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center, is a piece of nostalgia that captures the spirit of youth, economically and socially, in the 1990s in a rapidly changing city and country.

Nostalgic musical captures spirit of youth in 1990s Shanghai
Ti Gong

"The Twilight of Springtime" national tour will start in Shenzhen at the end of September.

Debuted in 2017, it is returning with a new cast joined by some of the country's best-known musical stars, as well as changes in script, music and sets.

"It is both emotionally and dramatically richer now," said Yu Rongjun, the playwright.

"All our revisions have been made from the audiences' perspectives, and based on their feedback. This version will certainly help people understand the characters much better and, in turn, have a better grasp of Shanghai, the city they grew up in."

The musical follows the growth of four teenagers in 1990s Shanghai, whose lives were changed by gaokao, China's national college entrance exam. It depicts their changes, separation and reunion over the next ten years.

Shanghai is the hidden protagonist, as audiences follow their footsteps to travel back in time to nostalgic Shanghai landmarks, including Park Hotel, Waibaidu Bridge, and the former Huating Market, each accompanied by a song.

"All those musical notes and melodies, each of them marks a youthful and unforgettable memory for me!" said composer Zhao Guang.

"And these sophisticated emotions are stitched in with a minimalist '10 years' theme. How many precious '10 years' do you have in life?"

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