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BACKSTAGE WITH MARIAN
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Story outtakes, celebrity confessions and the latest pop culture news in the Bay Area

About Me
I'm a pop music writer for the San Jose Mercury News. I cover pop, hip hop, punk, rock, dance, and ethnic - well, basically everything you can dance to.

My Articles

MY PICKS
CD: Common:"Be"
Music Video Eminem: featuring Triumph the Insult Comic Dog
Trailer: The Year of the Yao
TV: Harvey Birdman
Videogame: Fable

MERCURY REVIEWS
Art: The New Art of India
Bar: Boswell's
Book: Jill Scott
Club: Forum
DVD: Kinsey
Movie: Cinderella Man
Music: Sleater-Kinney
Restaurant: The Melting Pot
Theater:The Mambo Kings

SICK SITE
Earth and Sun Kiss

MY PLAYLIST

1. R. Kelly: "Trapped In The Closet"

2. Weezer: "Hold Me"

3. Bright Eyes: "First Day Of My Life"

4. Ringside: "Miss You" and "Criminal"

ENTERTAINMENT RESOURCES
  • Billboard Charts
  • Encyclopedia
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  • Music Dictionary
  • MTV
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  • tickets.com
  • Urban Dictionary
  • ticketmaster.com
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  • Adisa Banjoko : San Jose's Bishop of Hip hop
  • Angry Asian Man: Asian American media watchdog
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  • East Bay Livin' : Ellen Lee's EB hunt
  • Davey D: Hip Hop Daily News
  • Fortt: black american gen x journalist musician multicultural christian technophile
  • Jeff Chang: fellow Asian hip hop writer
  • Joe Grimm : Ask the Recruiter
  • In Passing : Random Street Conversations
  • Pacific Standard: Bay Area hip-hop
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  • Pop Licks : O-Dub, a cultural critic
  • Scape: San Jose graffiti artist
  • SiliconBeat: News about tech money and innovation
  • Thursday, May 19, 2005

    Kingdom of Desire, a Peking Opera version of Macbeth

    Ch-check out my story today on the Mandarin Macbeth. It's a Peking Opera version of the famous Shakespeare play.

    For the story I chatted with director Wu Hsing-Kuo as he rode from his lecture at San Francisco State to a local Chinese restaurant.

    The man, probably in his 40s (he wouldn't say, only that he could play anyone from age 16 to 60) was really unassuming. While he played these extravagant characters, like Macbeth, in full makeup and colorful robes, that day, he was in all grey - a simple Henley T-shirt and slacks.

    The director of many Peking Opera/Shakespeare fusions (including Hamlet and King Lear) was exceptionally humble, choosing his words carefully.

    While, his wife, producer and choreographer Lin Hsiu-Wei, wore a furry black vest along with black leather pants and boots. She was more loose with her words, telling her perspective on how the whole production came to be - first asking college professors and scholars to help with the translation (they wouldn't do it, exclaiming, who are you to take on Shakespeare?) - and then turning to college students (coming out with a work so long, a whittled down version was 3 hours - the current one is 2)

    Anyways, check out my story to see the differences between Shakespeare's and Wu's vision of Macbeth.

    Also, here's the info on the Wu's play coming to town:

    Kingdom of Desire
    WHERE: California Theatre, 345 S. First St., San Jose
    WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday
    TIX: $29-$100; (408) 998-8497, (415) 421-8497, www.ticketmaster.com, www.dimensionarts.org
    IN: Mandarin, with English super titles
    ALSO: Gala fundraising dinner, 6-9 tonight; Marriott Hotel, 301 S. Market St., San Jose; $120; (408) 271-6500; (408) 655-2761

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    Photo of Marian Liu by Stephanie Grace Lim, Mercury News
    You can e-mail me at mliu@mercurynews.com.