Beijing People’s Art Theatre Museum

Made a mini-trip to Hubei, where I found this while shopping with my cousin.

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Afterwards, we had an all too stuffed lunch at one of the restaurants nearby. The hand-made yogurt tasted just like it looked.

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And the Salmon salad.

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Bumped into a music street full of music instrument shops near Pin’anli in Beijing.  It reminded me a French friend who had gotten confused between Pin’anli and Yong’anli while looking for a replacement guitar string.

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Toy guitar in different shades.

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Different styles of lute.

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Trombones and trumpets

And instruments made from gourds. What exactly are those?

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Herbal Jelly my friend introduced me the other day.  Apparently its essence comes from turtle shells.

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Me and James decided to visit a theatre museum near the tourist-fested Wangfujing.  Before our visit, we had a meal at Beijing Hotel.  “This is where my parents were married,” he said, reminiscent. Wasn’t it during the harrowing period of Cultural Revolution? At that time, my parents were so focused on getting out of the countryside that they forgot about marriage all together.  My father eventually got into an university and made his way back in Beijing.

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Down stairs in the basement is a fine restaurant.

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I wonder what’s in those green bamboo gift boxes, roasted duck?  Remind me that I have translated one of those articles about Beijing Roast Duck when working as a translator.  Apparently Beijing Hotel is among the top serving those roasted ducks.

It was Sunday, and the old dinning hall was tucked behind the touristy crowd.  As we sat among the lofty, but empty hall, we were presented with some of the most interesting “berger” menu.

Among which, Shanxi berger James ordered was a glorified meat bun that a lot of street vendors used to sell.2013-05-11 024

I ordered a Sichuan berger, and it came with beef stuffed in between a halved steamed bun.  I had high hopes of it being spicy.  It’s spicy enough to impress a foreigner Winking smile2013-05-11 022

Our appetizer involved some salted and dried mushrooms.

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James pointed out an old and famous hat shop while browsing Wangfujing.  The shop put up the hats that it has made for famous people, like these were duplicates of the hats they made for the president of China.

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A hat made for Premier Zhou, one of the founders of modern day China.

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A small cathedral behind the

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The church was probably about 200 years old, and it’s probably the only one with a Chinese couplet running along the sides of its gate.

Virgin and baby next to the church.

Unfortunately, the church was only open for its services, but we did make it back for its afternoon English service.  The lady even asked me if I’m Catholic, fearing that she will oust me if I’m not, I simply gave her a nod.  She immediately gets that I’m not, and started giving me all sorts of pamphlets preaching Catholicism.

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Renyi Theatre, a theatre born at the same time of the People’s Republic, is probably one of the oldest, if not the best witness of the Republic.

James fits in this communist-era building very well with his suit.

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Looking at its production time line at the grand hall.

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The beam that used to switch prop sets since the theatre was constructed.  It has just received its retirement last year, after serving the theatre over half a century.

1958 was a very productive year.

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Exhibit hall.

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Old days when Chinese letters were still written vertically with a brush.

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The days before computer became popular, where you have to revise a draft and copy the entire thing by hand.

Soviet play, where all Chinese actors and actresses were made up into Whites.

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They literally hired a make-up artist from USSR.

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Lenin A and Lenin B  (alternative actor)

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But other plays were less strict with make-ups, like these, each alternative kept some of his/her original physical features.

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Background design model.

Custom design drafts.

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Background design drafts.

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Props used in various productions.

James noted the general large stature of those theatre actors.  From the size of this gentleman’s gown we could see someone twice, if not three times, the size of your average Chinese man.