It’s rare here to get the chance to see real Beijing opera. The 300-year-old form is mesmerizing, from its lavish costumes and makeup to its ethereal singing, infused with dance and martial arts. Now one of China’s oldest, best-known companies, the Mei Lanfang Beijing Opera Troupe, is coming here for the first time. It’s renowned for its famous namesake, but also for his successor, Mei Baojiu, who brought his father’s practices into the new millennium. Its performers, true to tradition, have trained since childhood in the style. In other words, it’s the real deal—and about the closest you’re going to get to this art form without buying a plane ticket across the Pacific.
Mei Lanfang Beijing Opera Troupe brings The Legend of Lady White Snake to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Friday and Saturday (December 22 and 23).
To December 31 at Concord Pacific Place expressionistic, Jules Verne–like spectacle really is one of Cirque du Soleil’s best.