Chinatown Partnership


October 1,  2006

Contact:  David Eng 212.653.9183

Moonshadows and Masks on the Eve of the Autumn Moon Festival Provides Glimpses of Chinese Street and Theater Arts Past and Present at LUNAR STAGES

Free Outdoor Theatrical Performances & Movies

Presented by the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation
In Chinatown's Columbus Park
Thursday, October 5th at 6:30pm

Chinatown kicks off the eve of Autumn Moon with a special program of puppetry and shadow plays by the award-winning company Chinese Theatre Works.  The Company presents two repertory works in which the moon plays a featured role - "Drinking Alone Under the Moon" based on the famous poem by Li Bai and performed by a Japanese bunraku-styled puppet and "Tiger Tales" based on an Aesop's fable and performed with a modern shadow puppet technique using overhead projection.  Shadow puppetry is traditionally performed with translucent figures against a lit screen which allows the shadow images shine through.  This is a precursor to the moving motion picture which in Chinese is fittingly called 'electric shadows'.  Chinese Theatre Works demonstrates an evolutionary phase between the two.  Co-artistic Directors Kuang Yu Fong and Stephen Kaplin are highly accomplished artists.  Ms. Fong is a trained Chinese opera actress and Mr. Kaplin is a famed puppeteer and puppet-maker who created puppets for Broadway's "Lion King". 

Following Chinese Theatre Works' performance will be two films.  The first is a short, black and white, documentary by Chinese-American filmmaker Eric Lin titled "Music Palace" which was filmed just before Music Palace, the last movie theater in Chinatown, closed for good.  "Music Palace" was a finalist for the 2005 Student Academy Award for documentaries. This is a timely and bittersweet showing as the building on Bowery that housed the Music Palace has just begun demolition in the recent weeks.  The second film is the celebrated "King of Masks" by Wu Tian-Ming that depicts a street artist of the 1930's China who strives keep his art and tradition alive by passing it on to the next generation.  "Music Palace" will be shown in its original English and Cantonese with some English subtitles.  "King of Masks" will be shown in its original Mandarin with both Chinese and English subtitles.

The 'Lunar Stages' evening starts at 5:30pm with free community information tables, family friendly cultural activities such as art demonstrations and life-sized street puppets followed by the 6:30pm performance by Chinese Theatre Works and then movies at 7:30pm.

For audience members who want to make a full night of it, bring a blanket to spread on the grass and a sweater to keep warm after sundown, and pick up a special 5.50 dinner package at the following restaurants (show a Lunar Stages card/brochure to get the special meal): 

"Lunar Stages" continues for one more Thursday.  The performance line-up for next week is:

Chinese version

For full information, go the website at WWW.LUNARSTAGES.COM.  'Lunar Stages' is a project of the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation to provide enjoyable activities for the residents of Chinatown and to help attract more visitors to our wonderful neighborhood.  CPLDC is grateful for first time funding of 'Lunar Stages' from the Office of the Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.  CPLDC's programs are also supported with a grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which is funded through Community Development Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Additional support is provided by a grant from the September 11th Fund created by the United Way of New York City and the New York Community Trust and through a September 11 Recovery Grant of the American Red Cross Liberty Fund. 


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