In Cantonese opera, Trump finds his twin brother in China
With the blond wig and red tie, the star of the Cantonese opera in Hong Kong may look familiar.
The Chinese actor and singer has the lead role in "Trump on Show," a four-day comedic opera reimagining the U.S. president's personal life and his fictional twin brother who lives in China.
Actor Loong Koon-tin (R), dressed as US President Donald Trump, performs on stage during a rehearsal of a Cantonese opera called "Trump on Show", in Hong Kong on April 11, 2019. [Photo:AFP]
The three-hour opera opens with America's first family moving into the White House, where Trump's daughter Ivanka discovers an old suitcase. Inside she finds an English version of "The Little Red Book," which details ideas on class struggle by the founding chairman of People's Republic of China (PRC).
In the show, Donald Trump goes to China and meets Mao and Zhou En-lai, the first premier of PRC. Trump also receives a visit from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the U.S.
Chan Hung-chun (C), dressed as North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un, reacts with follow actors back stage during a rehearsal of a Cantonese opera called "Trump on Show", in Hong Kong on April 11, 2019. [Photo:AFP]
Li Kui-Ming, a 64-year-old feng shui master turned Cantonese opera playwright, explains that his 34th opera piece does not aim to focus on serious international politics. Rather, the show simply uses current political characters to grab the audience's attention.
"It could definitely draw people's attention if the play is about popular political figures due to their popularity and influence. I hope this opera will get my ideas across to the audience," he said.
He hopes that one day, "Trump on Show" could even be performed at the White House or in Pyongyang for Kim Jong Un.
"This is definitely our dream," Li said.
Actress Man Chan (centre R), dressed as Ivanka Trump, gets ready back stage during a rehearsal of a Cantonese opera called "Trump on Show", in Hong Kong on April 11, 2019. [Photo:AFP]
The opera runs until Monday at the Sunbeam Theatre, one of Hong Kong's long-established traditional Cantonese opera venues, created in 1972.
"This opera has to be performed in Cantonese, but of course there will be some English in it," said Loong Koon-tin, a Cantonese actor with more than 40 years of stage experience, who plays Trump. "I will certainly portray Trump's special characteristics. I will wear a red tie and suit, with a blond hair wig and golden eyebrows. Apart from the appearance, I will also imitate the way he talks as well as his body language."
Actress Man Chan (R), dressed as Ivanka Trump, helps actor Loong Koon-tin (C), changes into US President Donald Trump back stage during a rehearsal of a Cantonese opera called "Trump on Show" in Hong Kong on April 11, 2019. [Photo:AFP]
Roger Chan, a Cantonese actor who plays Kim, said they did a lot of research on the North Korean leader. "We try to get to know him through daily news reports," he said.
"I think the theme is very fresh, original and unimaginable because it must be difficult to use traditional Cantonese opera elements and performing methods to perform and interpret the role of these modern world-leading characters," said Chan Chi-kai, who came to see the show as a loyal fan of the playwright.
Another audience member, Justin Lee, came all the way from Shanghai.
"With the recent tense relationship between China and America due to the trade war, I want to watch this show and see how the playwright depicts Donald Trump, and hope the show will bring on new ideas to improve the U.S.-China relationship," he said.
(Story includes material sourced from AP.)