“Mr. Shi and His Lover carries the full impact and provocative power of a grand theatrical drama”, “Jordan Cheng is mesmerizing” – Toronto Star
“Musically delightful”, “a constant delight”, “A show for the musically adventurous” – The Globe and Mail
MR SHI AND HIS LOVER
Mr. Shi and His Lover is an elegant and powerful addition to the Madame Butterfly narrative, ranging from citational gestures toward Puccini's iconic version and David Henry Hwang's queer take (M Butterfly) on the story of a diplomat and his affair with a performer from the Beijing Opera. And yet, despite it's presence as an intensely moving extension of gender queer politics found within the core narrative of a feminine character caught within a complex relationship with a man who seems unsure of his lover's gender identity, Mr. Shi and His Lover also stands alone as an even more complex contemplation of the fine lines between performance and reality, sex and love, and even the political construction of nations for political and economic purposes. The production is a 75 minute long exploration, written with exquisite philosophical queries that, once sung, and at times spoken, create a kind of exercise in gender politics that never feels didactic or academic. Instead the beautiful varied tones and the emotional prowess of the actors and musicians as they infuse the score with great passion and subtlety creates an incredible intimate salon-like experience within music theatre and opera.
The music is a continuous and gorgeous onstage delight, and is the key to the success of the overall piece - with layered and beautiful performances by both actors and two onstage musicians.
MR. SHI AND HIS LOVER
RUNS AT TARRAGON THEATRE UNTIL DECEMBER 17TH