December 23, 2008 / 9:50 AM / 10 years ago

Beijing to build a Chinese "Broadway": report

BEIJING (Reuters) - The Chinese capital Beijing will build a complex of 32 theatres dedicated to putting on musicals, state media said on Tuesday, calling it the country’s answer to Broadway.

The complex, in Beijing’s northwestern suburb of Haidian, will start being built at the end of next year and take five years to complete, the official Beijing Daily said.

The main theater will seat 2,000 people and others will seat between 300 and 500 people, it added.

The complex will become “a Chinese Broadway base for composers, writers, performers and actors in training,” Xinhua news agency quoted a spokesman for the developer as saying.

The theatres aim to stage more than 100 musicals, the report said, including “Aida” and “The Lion King,” although it did not provide a timeframe.

Western-style musicals are increasingly popular in China’s big cities, although still attract rather niche audiences.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard, Editing by Dean Yates

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