Curtain rises on Show Life one-stop ticket center
As a dozen downtown theaters reopen after major renovations, a service center opened on Friday near Shanghai Great World in Huangpu District.
The one-stop service center “Show Life” sells tickets and gives information about all nearby theaters and stages.
Theatergoers can buy discounted tickets either from self-service machines or from staff at the counter, meet performers and take part in various activities at the center. Multilingual services are available.
The operators of Show Life plans to offer 20,000 discounted tickets for over 40 performances this year.
The government has subsidized each of the tickets to the tune of 100 yuan (US$14), said Cao Xiaoming, deputy director of Huangpu publicity department.
The first center opened on Friday at 435 Yan’an Road E. Another two near Shiliupu Wharf on the Bund and on Nanjing Road E. will open in July. The tourist information centers in Huangpu will also become ticket centers in future.
A long line of customers waited outside the center on Friday morning to get their hands on the first subsidized tickets.
A ticket for a weekday performance of Swan Lake by British director Matthew Bourne, in which the traditionally female parts of the swans are danced by men, sells for only 200 yuan with the subsidy.
“It’s quite difficult to book tickets online for such popular shows, so I came to the center at 9 am,” said Li Yi, an IT engineer from the Pudong New Area who became the center's first customer.
Subsidized tickets will go on sale every Saturday and each customer can purchase only two tickets with their ID. Foreigners will soon be able to buy with their passports.
Other popular shows available at the center include “The Bald Soprano” by Romanian-French playwright Eugene Ionesco and the “Red Rose & White Rose” directed by Tian Qinxin and performed by young actors from Shanghai Theater Academy.
There will be 16 performances at the historic Great Theater of China from June to October during its annual international performance festival, including “An Iliad,” a one-man show by Denis O’Hare, and “Othello” from the English Touring Theatre.
The theater, formerly the San-Xing Theater, at 704 Niuzhuang Road was built in 1930 as one of the city’s four major Peking Opera venues. Peking Opera masters Mei Lanfang, Cheng Yanqiu and Yuan Shihai often performed there.