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"Titanic The Musical", Roald Dahl's "Matilda" and More Unmissable Musicals Coming to Shanghai

Shanghai stages are alive with the sound of (wonderful, cheesy) music with these upcoming international musicals...
2023-09-19 08:00:00

Shanghai used to be a pretty decent place for big ridiculous musicals back in the day. There was camp to be had if you were seeking it, is what we're saying. We still remember, with delectable fondness, Shanghai products of Elton John's Aida, Stephen Schwartz's Wicked, a splashy Chinese-language version of The Lion King at this new Disney place, and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats about 20 times.


To say nothing of blue men, river dancers, and Quebecoise circus folk.

It is with great happiness that we can report our musical theater calendars are starting to fill up again with ridiculous and wonderful-looking things. On the whole, it's looking... eh?... okay?... kinda?

I mean Titanic The Musical, of course, we're here for it! Just hope it has a happy ending.

Here are some big musical theatre events coming up in the near future in Shanghai.


A different telling than the famous James Cameron movie, Titanic The Musical (winner of five Tony Awards) is based on real people aboard the legendary ship, with characters constructed from the historical record. The story focuses on describing the stories and fate of a cross-section of passengers from the different classes of the ship, examining how humans face tragedy. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the London production, the show has been rebooted and the English-language production is returning to China for a national tour. 

Crossroads Live and Poly Productions are staging Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies for the first time in China. Debuting in London's West End in 2010, this is technically the sequel to the long-running Phantom of the Opera, although Webber calls it a standalone piece -- a new story with the same characters, set 10 years after the events of the first one, to be more specific. If you're looking for a new face for the Phantom, it's one to check out. Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Glenn Slater, and original direction by Simon Phillips. The Shanghai run is September 28 to October 15. The show will be in English, with Chinese subtitles. Check the full cast list on page (link below).

Born in 1959, The Sound of Music, one of the most popular Broadway musicals in the international market, is about to celebrate its 65th birthday next year. To date, it has played over 4,000 performances on Broadway in New York and in London's West End, setting a Guinness record for the most people watching a show in a week. The Sound of Music has created memories for generations of audiences around the world. The musical albums, films, TV specials and other artifacts derived from the musical version have swept the Tony, Grammy, Oscar and Emmy awards. The newest production is coming to Shanghai as part of its world tour from November 22 to December 3, directed by Jack O’Brien.

Matilda The Musical is a multi-award-winning musical from the Royal Shakespeare Company, inspired by the beloved book by the incomparable Roald Dahl. It tells the story of young Matilda, a bright and curious child who loves books, as she deals with a shallow, cruel family, and a tyrannical school principal. After four years, the show returns to Shanghai and will be performed at the Shanghai Grand Theater from December 29. Ticket price ranges from 180rmb to 1,280rmb. Early Bird combo tickets are on sale now til September 19.

The Last Five Years explores a five-year relationship between Jamie Wellerstein, a rising novelist, and Cathy Hiatt, a struggling actress. The show uses a form of storytelling in which Jamie's story is told in chronological order and Cathy's story is told in reverse chronological order.  After its premiere in Chicago in 2001, it's been received as an emotionally powerful and intimate musical about two New Yorkers in their twenties who fall in and out of love over the course of five years. The original West End's Garrick Theatre version of this award-winning musical will run in Shanghai from October 12 to October 15. Tickets, 180rmb to 680rmb.

Mozart L'Opéra Rock is a French musical with music by Dove Attia. The Chinese-language edition is coming to Shanghai Grand Theater, produced by Sevenages along with original producers Dove Attia and Albert Cohen. The show is a dramatization of the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart beginning from the age of 17 and culminating with his death in 1791 at the age of 35. It uses both original pop-rock compositions as well as pre-existing music composed by Mozart and other composers, including Antonio Salieri in a contemporary retelling of the life of the classical genius. Tickets 180 to 1,180rmb. The show runs from December 1 to December 3. 

A Chinese-language adaptation of the famous and well-received Korean version, the story is adapted from the novel of the same name by the Russian literary master Fyodor Dostoevsky. Set in 19th Century Russia, The Brothers Karamazov is a passionate philosophical novel that enters deeply into questions of God, free will, and morality. It is a theological drama dealing with problems of faith, doubt, and reason in the context of a modernizing Russia, with a plot that revolves around the subject of patricide. Produced by SGT Creation Center, this unique Chinese interpretation (via Korea) runs from September 23 to October 1.