Monday, March 16, 2009

Das Kapital, the musical

Danwei, a Beijing-based website about Chinese media, advertising and urban life, reports:
Drawing inspiration from a best-selling Japanese manga adaptation of Das Kapital, Chinese theater producers are planning to bring Marx’s masterpiece to the stage.

Yang Shaolin, general manager of the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center, told the Wen Hui Bao that, together with Fudan University economics professor Zhang Jun and other experts, he is preparing a dramatization of Das Kapital. They’ve already decided on a director: He Nian, who directed the stage adaptation of the hit martial-arts spoof My Own Swordsman (武林外传).

He Nian says he will combine elements from animation, Broadway musicals, and Las Vegas stage shows to bring Marx’s economic theories to life as a trendy, interesting, and educational play. . .

To director He Nian, Das Kapital and the theory of surplus value are serious issues, yet he wants to make them fun to watch.
But don’t worry, says Danwei, there will be no dumbing down: “the creators have expert consultants on hand to ensure the project stays true to Marx’s theories.”

If writing about music is like dancing about architecture, as Frank Zappa said, what is the analogy for singing about economics?

Monitor: Tyler Cowen

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