Lan Lin Theater's 30th Anniversary: 'The Legend Lives On' evokes fond memories & revives the good old days

Written and translated by Diva Yang
Pictures provided by Lan Lin Theater

This year marks Lan Lin Theater's 30th anniversary and, by popular demand, theater leader Mr. Jin Shi Jie, as known as "Jin Bao" in the theater community, has decided to return classics like "Cats' Paradise", "Shamlet", and "Ho Chu's New Match" to the stage. Most of original cast members are middle-aged now and the thought of reunited them on stage while reviving the theater's classic plays is very exciting for diehard fans.

Thirty years ago, the theater presented "Ho Chu's New Match" to overwhelming box office success, as audience laughed hysterically at this foolish over-exaggerated comedy. Commenting today on this critically acclaimed play, Jin is quite modest, "That was a different era then. People had no access to information and were rather repressed. All of a sudden something humorous came along and everyone was easily pleased. It didn't take much to entertain and make people laugh!"

Three decades later, this play is returning to stage with a not-to-be-missed performance by the original cast of Mr. Lee Guo Xiu, Mr. Lee Tian Zhu and Ms. Liu Ruo Yu, who are now ranked among Taiwan's theater acting elite. As artistic director, Liu has led U Theater to perform all over the world, while Lee Tian Zhu is a well-respected, Golden Bell Award-winning actor, and Lee Guo Xiu founded Ping Fong Acting Troupe.

Jin notes that the dispersion of Lan Lin's distinguished original members has assisted the development of Taiwanese theater: "If we'd continued to stay in the same theater group, maybe there wouldn't be Ping Fong Acting Troupe, If Kids Theater and U Theater. Since we're all working at different places and leading the next generation of actors, this forces us to improve our craftsmanship and to speed up the process. As a result we each developed our own performing styles and philosophy."

While the original cast members may have lost their youth, their charisma, arising from years of experience, remains--as talented artists who understand that art imitates life and vice versa. Their acting is never pretentious, but natural and effortless. Whether you watched this cast 30 years ago or weren't even born yet, this is a not-to-missed opportunity to watch these pioneering theater actors.

"Despite having the original cast on stage, you definitely can see differences in our play now and then. We present you this light-hearted comedy and bring back good old feelings and wonderful times," says Jin with a smile. "Also, we would like to dedicate this to Dr. Wu Jing Ji, as it's his 70th birthday this year, to express our gratitude. We're grateful for what he did for Lan Lin Theater and for planting the seeds of modern theater in Taiwan."

The anniversary programs for Lan Lin Theater 30th Anniversary: "The Legend Lives On" continues for two months. For details, check the theater's official blog: http://www.wretch.cc/blog/lanlin1980

Lan Lin Theater's 30th Anniversary: The Legend Lives On
Ping Fong Acting Troupe, "Shamlet", May 5-6, National Theatre Hall
"Ho Chu's New Match", May 9-10, National Theatre Hall
Official Website http://www.wretch.cc/blog/lanlin1980
Ticketing Service by NTCH Ticketing System http://www.artsticket.com.tw

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