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June 29, 2010 > Malan Flower blooms once again

Malan Flower blooms once again

By Mona Shah

An adaptation of a timeless Chinese children's book, "Ma Lan Hua," the drama Malan Flower returns to Fremont. The classic tale written in the fifties in China by playwright Ren Deyao has been adapted for the stage by David Z. Chen. Chen is the Artistic Director and President of the Academy of Chinese Performing Arts (ACPA.)

"It was so well-received when it first premiered in Flint Center in 2005, and then again at the California Theatre in San Jose in 2008, that it was invited by the Minister of Culture of China to perform in 2008 at the Shanghai Malan Flower Theater as part of the 2008 Olympic-Youth Festival Celebrations. This English version became an instant success in China. This July, ACPA is honored to be invited again to participate in the 2010 Youth Art Festival in China," states Lena Zee, a prominent Fremont realtor. Zee translated the original Chinese script to its official English version.

The story is timeless and ACPA has excelled in extending the boundaries of Chinese cultural dance and performing arts within the community using primarily local talent.

In the enchanting forest of Mt. Malan, lives the thousand-year old Grandpa Tree, a troupe of monkeys, the Colorful Bird Sisters, Pudgy Bear, Honey Bunny, Baby Fawn, Squirmy Squirrel, Pretty Butterfly, Buzzy Bee and other adorable creatures. The diligent and intelligent Lord Malon, a flower god, cultivates and nurtures a magical and beautiful Malan Flower. Each year, the happiest day in the forest is the day the Malan Flower first blooms.

Farmer Old Papa Wang and his two twin daughters live at the foot of the mountain slope. Dalan (or Jie-Jie, meaning elder sister in Chinese) is lazy and selfish while Xiaolan (or Mei-Mei, meaning younger sister in Chinese) is diligent and kind-hearted. Xiaolan adores the lovely Malan Flower.

Greedy, cruel and cunning Wicked Wolf lives on the outskirts of the forest and has repeatedly led members of his Kingdom of Wolves to attack Mt. Malan with an evil intent; to occupy the forest and take possession of Malan Flower. He is cunning and treacherous. During the wedded Xiaolan's first return visit to Old Papa Wang's hut, Wicked Wolf uses black magic to transform into Creepy Cat, pet cat of Dalan. He stirs up the jealousy that Dalan has of her younger twin and manages to harm Xiaolan. He robs her of the Malan Flower.

In an ensuing struggle, the courageous Bitty Bird loses her life but is transformed into a Red Berry Tree. She relates the tragic happenings to Lord Malon, who, with the help of Grandpa Tree and friendly creatures in the forest, manages to regain Malan Flower. Creepy Cat comes to a fiery ending, and thus, Wicked Wolf gets his deserved punishment.

Once again, the "Malan Wish-Come-True Festival" begins. The enchanting and beautiful Malan Flower will forever continue to bloom and help the kind and courageous.

Malan Flower Children's Song and Dance Drama
Saturday, July 3
2:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Ohlone College, Smith Center
43600 Mission Boulevard, Fremont
(510) 676-4528
(510) 683-8701
(408) 865-0981

Tickets: VIP $60; $40; $30

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