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Musical 'Cats' moves to Xi'an
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The curtain went up on an Australian production of the world famous West End musical "Cats" on Monday in Xi'an, a historical and cultural city in northwestern China.

Monday's performance was attended by an audience of 1,400, according to Zhu Jing, spokeswoman for Shaanxi Magique Art Performance Ltd, the local organizing company.

The Australian troupe of more than 80 personnel began its China performance on Christmas Eve last year in Macao, and then moved to Guangzhou, Beijing, Chengdu, Wuhan, Shenzhen, Dongguan and Xi'an.

In an interview with the press, Stephen Morgante, director of the musical, said Xi'an was not included on the original performing schedule, but got onto the list after producers and local presenters found there was time for Xi'an to be fitted into the schedule.

The cast were excited when they knew Xi'an was finally included, as they all wanted to see terra-cotta warriors and horses in Xi'an, said the director.

Altogether eight performances will be staged in Xi'an between April 7-13.

Zhu disclosed that her company had spent some six million yuan on bringing the troupe to Xi'an, including the preparatory work such as promotion, and was upbeat about recovering the cost.

"Cats" was composed by British composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and is based on T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats and other poems. The show debuted in London in 1981 then in Sydney in 1985 and has since gone on to become one of the most successful and longest-running modern musicals. The musical has been performed around the world and translated into numerous languages.

(CRI April 9,2008)

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