The New Shanghai Circus was first presented in Branson on May 12, 1998 and played in a small theater on the edge of the city. Today they have a new beautiful theater located at 645 State Highway 165 in Branson, Mo.877-21-CHINA or 417-336-8888 to order your tickets Director of Sales: Traci Stilwell 1-877-212-4462
Here is a press Release from the first time they did their show here in Branson.
In our first year in Branson, we did shows in the morning at a small theatre located on the edge of the city. We announced the opening of Acrobats of China show on May 11, 1998 and did our very first show on May 12. There were only 15 people in the audience when the show started. In the following weeks the attendance stayed with only dozens. When summer came, the number of audience members started to build up, sometimes it reached up to 50 or 60. There was one day that the number exceeded 100. All of the acrobats on backstage leapt with joy as the goal of our first year's effort is getting 100 in the attendance. However, they found out later that it was an “area appreciation” show, a show presented to local people for free as a way to express the show's appreciation to the community. Our show was recognized as part of Branson after the area appreciation. Meanwhile the attendance number began to increase after the busy season hit Branson.
In the fall of 1998, our show moved to the Remington Theatre on the main street, when a new favorite turn started. In those days, I had another surprising discovery in Branson: the lake surrounding Branson looked like a Chinese dragon! When I realized that I was suddenly filled with energy. I could even imagine the picture that the 3,000 years old Chinese acrobatics would sweep and awe the audience just like the rushing river!
On November 24, a representative of the well-known Hall family of Branson appeared at the Remington Theatre. The Halls are famous as bankers. They operated entertainment business as a sideline. Soon after, the acrobats were ready to move to the Wayne Newton Theatre, which was one of the theatres owned by the Halls and named after the great singer.
The Acrobats of China decided to host local residents a special “appreciation show of the year” on July 10, 1999. We specifically decorated the lobby of the theatre for the event. The over 10,000 square feet lobby was filled with lanterns, colored ribbons and joyfulness. A traditional Chinese style gateway was set up in the lobby, furnished by a huge banner with New Shanghai Circus picture and more than ten bright red lanterns. Local VIPs were invited to a reception with hors d'oeuvres and refreshments, and a full-length show which followed. The Cultural Consul of the Chinese Consulate in Chicago arrived in time, after ten hours of driving. Mr. Schafer, the mayor of the city of Branson, gave a gracious speech before the show started. At the end of his speech, Mr. Mayor presented a Key to the city of Branson to me as the highest honor from the Mayor, and I gave him, in return, an out-of-edition silk woven world map. The precious moment won prolonged applause.
Early in June, 2000, we received a letter from the PBS (Public Broadcast Station) inviting the “Incredible Acrobats of China” show of the New Shanghai Circus to its broadcasting network. The news immediately spread out and Branson was shocked.
There came the recording night. On the evening of July 14, 2000, all the 2,400 seats were sold out. Nearly ten cameras were moving in the auditorium. Mr. Randy Fivasch, President of Branson Chamber of Commerce, gave a speech as a representative of Branson and presented flowers to all of the acrobats. Mr. Schafer, Mayor of Branson, was once again sitting in the audience with his wife and watching the whole ceremony.
Being broadcast on PBS is really a big event to Americans. It is even more important than performing on Broadway. It is for sure that “The Acrobats of China” would become popular in the North America, and gain both fame and fortune through the airing on PBS.
Here is a list of awards that we have obtained, just to mention a few:
In 1999, we were rewarded the highest honor of Branson: the Best Non-musical Performance of the Year.
In 2000, the Acrobats of China show was nominated one of the four best shows in Branson.
In 2001, we were rewarded the Small Business of the Year by Branson Chamber of Commerce.
On September 17, 2002, I was awarded Honorable Doctorate by the William Woods University.
That is not all. Although exploring the market is our first priority, we also have the passion to enhance our artistic creativity. Our performers in Branson have also won medals, one after another, both in American and international competitions.
So after getting off to a slow start which was understandable in as much as we were reluctant to let anyone into the USA from Communist countries. Now they continue from their new theater and are doing very well. There location and phone numbers are above.
The New Shanghai Circus website
A Free Preview Video of The New Shanghai Circus.