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Red Letters opens in Vancouver to great fanfare

I had the pleasure of attending the grand opening gala of Red Letters at the Roundhouse Theatre on Friday.  Red Letters is an original Canadian musical based on the book by Kathy Leung. It tells the story of Shen and Mei – a young couple separated by the goverment-imposed head tax and the exclusion act  in the 1920’s. The show was funny and heartbreaking at times, and it takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions.  One minute you’re laughing, the next you’re sobbing.

It starts with a very moving song (sang by Alan Wong) about what the apology made by the Harper goverment in 2006 meant for Chinese-Canadians.

Red Letters is by no means perfect, but history never is.

The set created by John Bessette was impressive and had amazing attention to detail. Pictures and newspapers taken from record archives gave the set credibility and you really felt like you were stepping into 1920’s Chinatown.

Red Letters will be playing until December 4 at the Roundhouse Performance Centre in Vancouver, after that, it moves to the Gateway Theatre Studio in Richmond from December 30 until January 8, 2011 with a  Preview on December 29. You can also catch it at  the Metro Studio Theatre in Victoria from January 13 – January 16 with a Preview January 12

Time: 8:00 pm nightly with select matinee performances
Tickets: $20 students/seniors & $25 in advance $35 at the door (cash only). See Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre website for more information.

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