Mulan the Musical 2014 Returns to New York City

Article by Pui See Tsang
Photo credit Xue Liang

Mulan the Musical returns to New York City this summer from June 25th to September 13th. The story of Mulan occurred 1,600 years ago during the Han dynasty. Mulan was the eldest child of her family who enjoyed practicing kung fu. At that time, each family was given a conscription notice, requiring one man from each family to join the Chinese army. When Mulan heard that the army was forcing her elderly father (the only man in their family who was also ill) to conscript, she decided to stand in his place. To do this, she disguised herself as a young man and defended her country. When the war ended, she was rewarded by the Khan and revealed her true identity. Her loyalty to the Khan and her parents was highly praised by the people, making her a legend.

Mulan the musical divides its classic story in 14 scenes that use a dazzling display of synchronized drumming, choreography and pantomime. Plot summaries were displayed on large projection screens to help the viewers follow the dialogue-less adaptation. The 13-membered Red Poppy Ladies troupe beat vigorously on large drums and tables. They also beat on the floor with their bare hands and sticks. By mixing high-tempo drumming with admirable acting ability, the creators of Mulan were able to produce an effective narration without relying on spoken words.

Beijing’s Red Poppy Ladies percussion group was founded in 2000 and has participated in over 2,500 performances around the world since then. Red Poppy first attracted its audience in 2001 at the CCTV Spring Festival Show, hosted by China’s largest broadcasting station. Red Poppy has also performed percussion concerts in over 30 countries at global venues such as the Sydney Opera House, Cairo Opera House, Kennedy Art Centre and Vienna Golden Hall. In 2004, the World Culture Open in South Korea honored Red Poppy with the World Peace Award. Red Poppy’s proudest moment was during its performances in the 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening and Closing ceremonies. Mulan is a musical very worth watching as you can see these 13 young performers’ talent and passion, live in New York City.

Director: Zhou Li
Choreographers: Zhou Li, Lin Shujing, Ma Lin, Ying Li, Chen Zhenghe
Performers: Du Qianqian (Mulan) and Red Poppy Ladies
Composers: Dong Gang, Ma Lin, Liu Oian, Zhang Junpeng, Wang Han
Lighting + Costume Designers: Red Poppy Ladies

When: June 25 – September 13, 2014, Monday – Friday (expect Tuesdays) at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm + 8pm, Sundays at 2pm + 7pm

Where: Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 East 4th to Astor Place

Tickets: $25 and Up, Students 20% Off, First Child FREE, Additional Children 50% Off, Family Pack group prices also available. To purchase, contact Ticket Central at 212.279.4200 or visit

Director Zhou Li

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