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Children get a kick out of Kung Fu Rabbit
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Kids think "Cinderella" and "Snow White" are boring plays. So they get a zesty original - "Kung Fu Rabbit and MBA Wolf."

Children are no longer happy with going to the theater to watch the "classical" children's dramas that their parents watched when they were little kids.

"No more 'Cinderella' or 'Snow White,' they want something new," says Shanghai-based theater director Yang Xinwei.

Yang will present "Kung Fu Rabbit and MBA Wolf," an original children's drama designed for both children and their parents next weekend at the Drama Theater of Shanghai Grand Theater.

It is the first children's play by the young director, well known for his successful hesui ju (plays celebrating the New Year) series.

The story takes place in the forest, where a group of rabbits with excellent kung fu skills encounters a group of "MBA" wolves just returned from studying abroad.

The rabbits love the forest and want to protect it while the wolves want to destroy it and turn it into an amusement park. A fight is about to start - and the audience takes part.

There is a lot of interaction between the actors and the audience, says director Yang. The play features an unconventional stage design, pretty songs with easy-to-remember rhythms, and lively dances.

"We want to tell children about the importance of environmental protection," he says. The play covers topics like climate change, accelerating urbanization, desertification and endangered wild animals.

The play has captured the attention of the China Environmental Protection Foundation (CEPF) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in China. It is an ongoing project of the CEPF.

Yang says two yuan from each ticket sold will be donated to save the Chinese alligator on Shanghai's Chongming Island.

The voice of "Tree Grandpa" in the play has been dubbed by CCTV's renowned host Zhao Zhongxiang, famous for hosting the long running classic "Animal World."
The leading character will be performed by Sister Nannan, a popular host of children's TV shows in Shanghai. She is also a modern dance performer and member of the "Xiao Ke Studio," a leading private modern dance troupe in the city, known for its "free, young and daring" style.

Date: January 26-27, 1:30pm, 3:45pm, 7pm
Address: 300 People's Ave
Tickets: 80-150 yuan
Tel: +86(021)6487-5703

(Shanghai Daily January 18, 2008)


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