Meant to bring audiences back to the heyday of Shanghai's glory days in the 1920s and 30s, Briton Norman Gosney has raised the curtain to an era where East meets West in the city's new "Chinatown".
Ironically housed in an old Japanese Buddhist shrine built in Hongkou district in 1931, the program "Chinatown" provides a mix of Broadway, Cabaret, Moulin Rouge and classic live Vegas variety shows along with Chinese acrobatics.
The show which made its debut last week aims to remind people of old Shanghai, which once enjoyed the reputation of a city that never slept thanks to its countless night clubs and go-go girls, said Gosney, whom along with his showgirl wife Amelia Kallman, are the creators of "Chinatown".
"Shanghai was once the jewel of the Orient and now is the time to come to the city," he added. "'Chinatown' is like stepping into a Hollywood movie that is set in pre-war Shanghai."
The 63-year-old who came to Shanghai two years ago with a quarter-century of experience running shows in New York and Los Angeles began plotting "Chinatown" after realizing an entertainment show like it was desperately missing from the city's bourgeoning arts and culture scene.
"Shanghai is a new international city, a city whose entertainment level should be boosted to the same level as New York, Paris and London," he said.
Gosney said he dubbed his show as "Chinatown" because every major international city in the world has a Chinatown, and until now, Shanghai didn't have one.
Starring in the show is American Frank Bray, who Gosney described as the "No 1 lounge singer in the world today, who can sing, dance and charm the pants off anyone".
"Chinatown" also highlights sexy showgirls, both Chinese and Western, as well as highly skilled Chinese acrobats, and an array of bright costumes and dress.
The public is invited to check out "Chinatown" which shows at timely intervals between 8 pm and 2 am from Wednesday to Saturday (Sundays to Tuesdays are reserved for private parties). No cover charge is required unless patrons opt for balcony seating. Those boxes start at 2,000 yuan. The Observatory Bar on the third floor also overlooks the Victorian-style stage. Drinks at "Chinatown" begin at 70 yuan per glass.
Once you step out of "Chinatown", before returning to the city, it is worthwhile checking out the neighboring building at 439 Zhapu Road, another Japanese Buddhist shrine from the old days.
8 pm-2 am (Wednesday to Saturday)
471 Zhapu Road (near Haining Road)