The Tang Dynasty, which ruled over China from 618 to 906 A.D., is considered by many scholars to be the acme of progress and prosperity in that nations history. Tang Concubines tells the story of two women both concubines -- who helped shape the Tang Dynasty, but their similarities end there. The first act follows Wu Ze Tian, who used her own brand of ruthlessness and treachery to become the first and only Empress of China; the second act follows the selfless Yang Guifei, whose sacrifice of her own life restored peace to the dynasty. She became an icon of sacrifice and love and devotion, says Genevieve Miller, spokeswoman for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, which is bringing in the production. Theyre kind of these mythic figures, but the stories are true, she continues. The Tang Dynasty was known as kind of a sexual revolution. Women had more say and more roles in the palace, so these two women for 300 years defined the role of women.
Tang Concubines, which is filled with dancing and beautiful costumes and sets as well as history, opens tonight at the Buell Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex; it runs through April 19. Tickets start at $20 and are available at www.denvercenter.org or by calling 303-893-4100.
Tuesdays-Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 & 7:30 p.m. Starts: April 7. Continues through April 19, 2009